What is your creative work?
Lettering, Signs, and Murals
Tell us how you started your business / creative venture?
I’ve always loved letters since I was a kid. So I started with writing graffiti, then later got into calligraphy classes. Through these two vastly different explorations of letters, I realized I wanted to start doing lettering as a career. I began by doing chalkboard menus for restaurants and it grew from there.
How long have you been doing your creative work?
Seriously, about 3 years, but in all honesty more like 15.
What made you choose this journey?
I hate working for other people, being your own boss is amazing.
What kind of struggles did you face in your journey?
Heroin addiction and subsequent methadone treatment definitely put a damper on my creative journey. I had to get through addiction and make myself mentally and physically healthy before I could start my career.
What is one advice you can give to creatives struggling right now?
Right now we’re in the middle of a raging pandemic. My advice is to just keep going. I’m personally having struggles in this area but I just keep pushing because I know that even though there are dark times right now, the sun is coming soon.
Share a quote you live by. It can be yours or something else that inspires you!
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years, you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.“Ira Glass
Are there any products you recommend that helped you better your craft?
Products don’t really matter if you don’t put in the practice. Just keep painting. Paint a million straight lines. While it seems boring, lines make up letters and if you can paint a straight line you can paint a beautiful letter.
How can people learn more about you and your business?
What are some resources that have helped you succeed?
C4 Atlanta is amazing for artists wanting to learn about the business side of things. I’ve also learned so much from my lovely calligraphy instructor Anne Elser.
CMATL is an interview series where our team collects submissions and find Atlanta’s hidden gems of creators and creative entrepreneurs. This project powered by The Creative Folks.