By MARIE LANDINGIN
Introducing the talented Lauren Blakeley of lauren.creative from Auckland, who gives us a little peek into the world of hand-lettering!
What is your life motto?
My life motto would probably be live life to the fullest. Even though it can get tough, life is designed to be enjoyed. We only have one so why not give it your all. ?
What have you been up to recently?
Drowning in internals and other school assignments ? haha. Even though it can be hard work I’m grateful for an education. I chose to take double art so I have two art boards to complete this year which, as any NCEA Art student would understand, takes quite a lot of my time. Outside of school I’ve been working on my hand lettering Instagram. This involves reaching out to brands and creating content. My latest collaboration has been with an earring brand called Tassels by J.
You describe yourself as a “hand letterer.” Could you explain to us what hand lettering is?
What few people realise is that hand lettering is different to typography and calligraphy. Calligraphy involves a nib, ink and dip pen and focuses on strokes to form letters. Typography follows an already created typeface. Hand lettering uses a range of mediums to almost draw letters as opposed to writing them. It makes words into artworks.
How would you describe your art style?
My art style is feminine and organic. It is still not super digitalised yet, but I would like to improve my Photoshop skills and begin to also experiment with Illustrator. Photography is also an element of my art style. The reason for this is because I enjoy seeing how it can work in with lettering. A particular aspect of photography I like to work with is flatlay because I can piece my artworks beside other beautiful things. ? As you can see from my Instagram feed, I am quite into colour. I once heard a designer mention that if there are about 10 million colours we can see. Why not use at least some of them?
Who or what inspires you and your art?
My faith would be my top source of inspiration. It inspires me to create to the best of my ability and spread positivity. I am also constantly inspired by other hand letters such as Stefan Kunz, Eva Winters and Corina Nika. Their works are next level- a level I hope I can reach one day ?Instagram inspires my art because it allows me to share what I do with the world and keep at it. Other art forms like fashion and interior design also offer me inspiration. Kiwis, such as Kristina Webb, who get internationally recognised also inspire me.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because I find it relaxing and rewarding. The art world is fascinating and it’s exciting to contribute to it. I believe everyone is creative and my way of expressing this just happens to be hand lettering.
What sorts of things are in your art kit? What are the must-haves of a hand letterer?
My art kit would consist of a range of brushes and pens. Fine tip pens are definitely a must as there is so much you can do with them. I would also recommend the Pentel Aquash Brush pens as they enable hand lettering with watercolour. Good paper is also an essential as it can make all the difference.
What do you think is so cool about hand lettering in particular?
Hand lettering enables words to become art. They add a whole new dimension to a quote and can cause people to interpret them in a new way. Lettering is a breath of something hand drawn in this digital age. It takes time and can’t really be rushed which is a contrast to the speed at which we live today.
Once in a while we get into a creative slump. How do you keep the creative juices flowing?
Just keep going. Even if it sucks, create. Eventually something will spark an idea somewhere along the track. That being said every once in a while it is good to take a break and come back with a fresh mind. Admiring the work of others is another way to keep the creative juices flowing. Social media makes discovering the work of other creatives even easier.
If you could choose to relive one day of your life, what day would that be and why?
Probably a day from when I was little. I am so grateful for the awesome childhood I’ve had. I love how carefree kids are so it could be fun to be 4 for a day again.
What have you got planned for the future?
I would love to do more collaborations and brand repping (If you’re reading this and are keen, chuck me an email ?). This is because I really enjoy working with others and supporting their dreams as well. My bucket list is getting rather long, but I definitely would like to do more travel. Iceland is probably top of the travel to do’s. I’d also love to work doing event styling/lettering for a few more weddings.
If you could tell the next generation of artists one thing what would that one thing be?
A more technical piece of advice but make sure you label/sign your work. I’m trying to be better at overlaying my name or logo onto Instagram posts even though it does detract from the overall image a bit. This is because it is so easy to snatch artwork and images off the net. I’ve actually seen well established clothing brands steal artworks from artists I’ve known of and stick them on their phone cases!
Do you know someone whose art deserves to be discovered? Let us know through [email protected].
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