Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Lettering Movement

7:21 PM

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Four young artists-turned-Instagram sensations talk fonts, bands, art, and more. 

Lettering is a pretty handy skill to learn. Some say that it can be therapeutic, while others claim it a perfectionist’s nightmare. It’s interesting how this art form shifted from solely being a craft to ultimately becoming a movement of expressive fancy-fied letters. Of course, with every art form comes its own collective of famous artists. To name a few, along with Abbey Sy (who just published The ABCs of Hand Lettering), there’s Fozzy Castro-Dayrit, June Digan, Jelvin Base, Ella Lama, and a whole lot more names waiting to be discovered.

The lettering movement has inspired us to poke the noggins of four young artists namely: Arielle Guevara, Katsy Garcia, Kitty Jardenil, and Zoe Ocampo.

What drove you to start pursuing lettering?  
Arielle: I think it's really the love of anything handwritten and combining it with illustration that inspired me to take up lettering. I've always been a fan of handwritten things so to combine that with drawing is the best thing ever!

Katsy: Ever since I was a kid, I would draw on everything using anything I could get my hands on. I must have been around 8 or 9 years old when I received a book called The Kids' Book of Creative Lettering by Lindsay Ostrom and Vicky Breslin. My lettering may have stayed on the down low in high school and early college, but chance discoveries of letterers on Instagram sometime last year made me fall in love with it all over again, leading me to where I am today.

Kitty: It was the beauty of the complex simplicity of words that made me gravitate into this field. While I was still at my first steps at lettering, I attended a type workshop that occurred in my school's fair. Then one day in school, the person beside me asked if I knew Abbey Sy. I didn't, and then I did. Abbey's works blew me away. Then, I told myself, "This is the dream; this is the goal. I'm ready for it."

Zoe: My interest in lettering probably began a few years ago when my friends and I attended a workshop held in our school. I really love the idea of turning words and letters into art. I started pursuing lettering about two years ago, but I only started posting my works a few months later.

Photo from @fueledbyzo
Where do you most often draw inspiration from?
Arielle: Oh films and anything pop culture, hands down. Most people know me for the fan art I make. I also draw a lot of inspiration from outer space or anything under the sea! (Does ramen also count as inspiration?)

Katsy: I think the best sources of artistic inspiration are from experiences and people. Experiences could be from positive to negative things. I also try to surround myself with creative, open-minded and really interesting people. Aside from this, I stalk a lot of artists and designers, watch a lot of weird films, read books and magazines, and just feed off all the creative energy from these different sources. 

Kitty: Inspiration comes in different forms, and is from and for others. I mostly get inspired from different artists. You can draw inspiration from watching clips or videos of processes and not just the end results. Afterwards, you end up having this surge of energy; the itch to work on something and to give in to it. That's the feeling of inspiration.

Zoe: As an avid lover of film, TV shows, and almost anything geeky, I tend to absorb the energy and excitement I receive and turn it into art fuel! I usually take my favorite quotes or moments from a movie, show or song and illustrate them.

Photo from @guevarawr
If you had the chance to name the color of a crayon, what would you name it? 
Arielle: Ocean Potion! Or maybe Spaceship to Infinity, hehe!

Katsy: I'd name it YASS KWEEN. It'd be the color of victory and vindication; maybe deep, sunset-like hues.

Kitty: A really bold blue that screams liberty. Then, I'd name the crayon Captain America.

Zoe: I would name it Elle Woods' Brain. It would be pink, bright, and full of sparkles.

Photo from @kittyjardenil
Who is your favorite band/musician? What font do you think he/she/they would be?
Arielle: My favorite band right now is Walk The Moon. If they were a font, I think they'd be Lickety Split! 

Katsy: WALK THE MOON! Their music is a surefire way to get me back on track when I'm down in the dumps, and they're just the greatest, dorkiest group of humans ever. I honestly think they can't be limited to a single font––they'd probably be organic brush hand lettering, in all caps. On rainbow placards. Parading in the streets. 

Kitty: Oh, man. Favorite? I don't play favoritism, only love! I'd say Sara Bareilles for this one. She's probably Clarendon; sophisticated, gorgeous, wonderful, strong, and empowering. 

Zoe: My favorite band is a tie among Panic! At The Disco, Twenty One Pilots and Fall Out Boy. They're all similar in terms of the variety in their sound. Their albums are diverse, and their music styles are quite strange. They'd be Wingdings or any dingbat font because each of their songs is unique.

Photo from @katsycreates
What is your favorite word, and why? 
Arielle: My favorite word is imagination because I believe it's what fuels the universe!

Katsy: Serendipity. It's a pretty word in the technical lettering sense, plus its meaning resonates with me as I try to be a positive yet, un-expectant kind of person.

Kitty: I don't have a favorite word, but rather a favorite phrase: thank you. It means so much to say it and to have it said to. In a world where we're frantically hasting to get from here to there, it matters a lot when you take time to say those two words. 

Zoe: Ghostbuster is my favorite word because I want to be one.

We asked the artists to illustrate each others' favorite quotes. Here's what they came up with: 

Arielle: "You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have." - Maya Angelou
Illustrated by Zoe Ocampo

Katsy: "I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions." - Augusten Burroughs
Illustrated by Kitty Jardenil

Kitty: "You don't understand the unbearable beauty of being you." - Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Illustrated by Katsy Garcia

Zoe: "I know my value, anyone else's opinion doesn't [really] matter." – Peggy Carter
Illustrated by Arielle Guevara

Follow Arielle (@guevarawr), Katsy (@katsycreates), Kitty (@kittyjardenil), and Zoe (@fueledbyzo) on Instagram!

Article and cover art by Zoë
Zoë is a can-doer of all sorts. On some days, she enjoys illustrating the wonders her imagination can conceive. On others, she is exceedingly musically-inclined. You’ll often see her stopping in her tracks to take pictures, or on the train with earphones on, filling her phone with thoughts and ideas for her next piece of art. You can listen to the songs she's covered here:


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