Have you seen @surelysimplechallenge on Instagram? It’s a creative community for sharing art and calligraphy tips and tutorials. (The main hashtag for the challenge is #SimpleAlphabets!) It’s always fascinating to read about a creative mind, and we have Jo of Zuer Designs sharing (a second time here! Her first interview is here, if you’d like to take a look at that too). If you want to read more about her lettering journey, feel free to read her interview at Surely Simple. This one is an additional feature to highlight her creative process!
Please tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m Jo. I’m currently a postgraduate student studying biology, but in my free time I love creating letters and art with my hands. I’m a huge stationery addict as well, evident by my Instagram photos.
How would you describe your lettering/ calligraphy style?
I feel like my lettering is big, bold, and beautiful. While I love the dainty hairline like calligraphy and lettering styles, I prefer prominent brush strokes and lots of colour.
What makes you motivated enough to keep on keeping on with your work?
Seeing people saying that they enjoy my work is enough to keep me motivated! I love hearing feedback from people.
Would you rather go the freelance way or do you prefer a more regulated and secure way of work?
Definitely freelance. I enjoy picking and choosing what works best for me. I don’t want to work on a project that doesn’t suite my style. I wouldn’t be happy with the work I produce otherwise.
What makes you the happiest when it comes to looking at your progress?
Seeing how my style has developed while learning. I can definitely see my personal style coming through when I look back at old work.
Half glass full or half glass empty? What’s your attitude in life in general?
Honestly, I’m more of a realistic person than an ‘optimist’ or ‘pessimist’. So, my glass would be filled with half water and half air. I say this because I like to look at both the positives and negatives in every situation and prepare myself for both.
Who do you look up to in your field? Or in life as a whole?
I don’t know if there is any particular person I look up to, but I admire people’s style. I look up to every creative person, because they are willing to continue creating, and that motivates me heaps!
How many hours do you put in for your work everyday?
The first thing that I tell people who try and learn lettering is that you have to do something everyday related to it in order to see improvements. So at the bare minimum, I’ll create something to post on Instagram everyday which means I spend at least 15 minutes everyday working on my lettering.
What book/ podcast are you currently reading/listening to?
As a student currently, I don’t have time to read any fiction books at all. Instead, I’m reading a lot of research papers for my classes.
How do you think you have evolved in your art- has it changed you?
I’ve learned to find my own style and do what feels most natural and comfortable. In the beginning I was really into following trends. While I still enjoy it, now days I prefer to put my own style into it.
What’s next in your artistic journey?
I don’t know what will happen from now. Ideally, I’ll like to keep learning to paint and eventually combine my painting with my lettering.
SHOP ART SUPPLIES THAT JO USES:
Thanks for sharing, Jo! You can find Jo here: