A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Brooklyn-based designer and letterer Lauren Hom. A lot of times people who are living good stories are too busy to write about them so as long as I'm given the opportunity, I'm more than happy to pay attention and come along the ride.
I got a chance to peek into her creative process, how she utilizes FiftyThree's Paper app and Pencil where she goes to seek inspiration, what she loves most about living in New York and equally fascinating, how's she managed to draw the lettering signs outside of restaurants in exchange for the food there.
1. What is your creative process like?
My creative process as a designer is extremely organic. George Lois once said "I don't think I create ideas. I discover the ideas." and that's pretty much my creative process in a nutshell. I used to work in advertising, where we would block off time and sit down for hours trying to brainstorm good ideas for clients. Now that I work for myself, my entire day is a slow and natural brainstorming session; whether I'm grocery shopping, riding the subway, or being lazy in bed, my mind is always racing and the creative juices are flowing. I'm constantly scribbling things down in my sketchbook or jotting ideas down in my iPhone notepad.
All of my best ideas have been inspire by everyday feelings and events, like white lies, breakups, and constantly being hungry. Like Lois mentioned, I don't go out of my way to come up with ideas. I let my daily life act as the compass that guides the way to inspired ideas. I prefer to work this way because I think that creativity is a relationship between you and your ideas, and just like any other relationship in life, it can't be forced. Well, it can, but we all know that never ends well.
2. What do you love most about living in New York?
I love living in a city where everyone is moving at light speed. People don't move to New York City to hang out and take it easy; they move here to make things happen. The ambition here is infectious. New York keeps me on my toes. There's always something new to eat, see, drink, or do.
3. What of your personalities can we see in your work?
I try to put the best parts of myself into my work, and I think that just by looking at my designs you can get a sense of the kind of person I am. I love bright and bold colors, busy layouts, and lots of texture. Since I'm a letterer, you can also get a feel for my sense of humor through the kinds of phrases I illustrate. I'd like to think that my work is reflective of my sunny disposition, crude sense of humor, and big personality.
4. How would you describe your workspace and what do you love best about it?
My workspace is a colorful sort of organized chaos. It's filled with posters, books, plants, and antiques. I like to keep a world map in plain view too, because it reminds me of how small I am and how much there is for me to explore and see in my lifetime. My favorite part about my studio is that no matter where you look, there's always something bright and colorful to keep your eyes happy.
5. What would you typically do to seek inspiration.
I feel the most inspired when I break up my routine and step away from my comfort zone. The same way you have to change up your workout routine to achieve the best results, I like to change up my sources of inspiration. I tend to go through phases: collecting vintage matchboxes, binge watching stand up comedy, documenting hand painted signage in Brooklyn. The list goes on. Aside from everything else, my two constant sources of inspiration are travel and music.