THE Creativity Chronicles
Introducing the studio sessions: where I look behind the scenes and talk to some of the best creatives in the business. People that inspire me, have the fire for what they do and are amazing at their craft. I’m kicking off with designer, illustrator and hand lettering leader, Belinda Love Lee who I have a serious creativity crush on.
What makes Belinda so damn awesome? Her attitude to life, her work, interior styling (serious home goals) and personal take on every single piece of work she does. She totally interprets the brief and just nails it. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Belinda three times this year; on my Jess Collins logo, my personal blog The Courage Chronicles (both hand lettering and design) and I’ve had the privilege of writing her website copy also.
But most of all I love how down to earth and authentic she is, she just emanates warmth. And as for her hand lettering, it’s divine. I’m seriously obsessed with it and want more! All. The. Hand. Lettering.
So, enough digressing… I’m handing over to Belinda for my first Studio Session feature:
What piece of work are you most proud of?
I would have to say the wedding suite that I did for my husband and I is probably the one I’m most proud of for 2 reasons: 1. Designing for yourself is an incredibly hard task, at least I find it so. And the fact that I was able to come up with something I love finally was a long and hard task 2. It’s one of my most popular projects on Behance, which is super cool because it’s my own complete self-expression, and the fact that others like it is pretty awesome!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere and anywhere really but I think the best kind of inspiration comes from traveling.
Name 3 other creatives who have inspired you
Monet, Anna Bond, Jenn Im
When did you first try your hand at illustration/hand lettering?
I first tried my first piece of hand lettering about three and a half years ago! It was just before the cusp of it getting really trendy, and I managed to explore and find ‘my style’ through being inspired by other hand letter artists on Instagram.
What made you decide to make this your living?
I decided to run with working for myself when there was literally no other agency or creative jobs opening up for me. Perhaps my resume didn’t do my work justice? But either way, I’m happy that this life found me, as I love it so very much.
What does authenticity mean to you and how important is it to your work?
Authenticity is a key part of my process, I’m all about being individual and unique, and helping my clients find their own voice and design style as well. Nowadays there are so many knock-off designers, where you can buy a template logo for $50 on Etsy. Or you can buy a trendy business card design and get it poorly printed all for the price of $100. But I believe there’s much more to building your own unique identity than having a mass produced template one.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned on your journey in business?
Believe in yourself. Prior to this, I never had an ‘agency or real world design job’ and it’s amazing that I’ve managed to carve a piece of the pie despite not being necessarily ‘qualified’. I’m the type of person who struggles with self-doubt, but when I first started pursuing this career and lifestyle I literally didn’t have any other option because no jobs were opening for me. Which left no room for me to have ‘self doubt’ about whether or not I was qualified or good enough to do this, because I literally just had to go with the work that I was receiving and it was all independent, specifically to work with me. But even 2 years into work with my own company, I always had this looming thought of “oh I’m not a real designer, because I don’t really know how agencies do it, or how much they charge etc. Perhaps it’s now the time for me to get the ‘real’ experience.” But heck it, now 4 years in, I’ve come to realize that obviously I am cut out to do this work, otherwise I wouldn’t be surviving doing the thing I love!
What sort of clients and projects do you usually work on?
I work with a lot of creative professionals who are looking to get branded/ rebranded on custom logo designs, letterpress business cards, websites etc. I’ve also recently been branching out into design products and packaging. Which I love!
Describe what you do in your own words?
Through inspiring and designing, I help others achieve their goals and dreams by partnering alongside them to help them find their very ‘own’ aesthetics and creative direction in an already crowded world. I aim to help others find their voice and stand out.
What is your advice to a young creative setting out on your path?
Do what makes you passionate and happy, not what others expect of you or from you, both in work and in life.
What book most inspires you?
Are you tied to a location or do you work and travel?
I usually work from home most days, especially recently since we got a new puppy. I’ve been less flexible with him around but it’s a good pay off. I definitely can and do love working while traveling because all of my clients are around the world and we communicate through the handy dandy interwebs.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day starts with me waking up at 7am with my husband to help him get prepped for work, then I return back into bed (mmm!) and usually read or laze around catching up on the latest online. Then from 9 – 10 I’ll go for a walk with Moto, to get him all exhausted for the day, allowing me to work! From there, the rest of the morning is spent on Instagram, emails, and correspondence. I try to work on the posting for my Instagram posts for the day and working on those quick fire easy to reply emails, to get them out of the way. Then after lunch that’s when I find my creativity flows the most, I’ll save all my projects for the afternoon, and work on them till about 5:30pm. A key unwind after work is me heading to the gym to get a little more movement in my day besides just sitting in front of a computer screen.
Did you always know you were good at design and illustration?
Actually, I didn’t find out that I was good at ‘art’ till I was in grade 11 (16-17 years old). As a kid, I knew I always loved those pre-packed craft kits, where you get to mould your own ceramic piggy bank and then paint it, but that was really my extent of creativity. It was until grade 11 where I started taking art classes, got pretty good grades, and realized “hey I’m pretty good at this!”
Why Belinda Love Lee?
I got the middle name of ‘love’ in a dream where I encountered God. That dream has a real significant part in my story, and when I woke up I knew that the name ‘Belinda Love Lee’ was a part of my real identity and that I was meant to use it for something amazing.
What are your creative ambitions?
I feel like recently I’ve been trying to re-discover a lot of my creative ambitions. I’ve surprisingly fulfilled a lot of my dream desires already at the age of 28, so I’ve just been currently trying to re-dream, and brainstorm what it is I’d like to do next! That’s probably not the most inspiring answer, but hey, it’s the truth! The older I get the more I realize that everyone is just winging it in life!
Wow, what a great interview and so true, I’m definitely winging it over here! I loved featuring Belinda as my first Studio Session and I hope to continuing working with her further in the future. For more hand lettering, illustration, design and general awesomeness, check out Belinda here.