10 Questions featuring Olga Muzician Pacilio

10 Questions featuring Olga Muzician Pacilio


Olga Muzician Pacilio is an Associate Art Director at Hearst Magazines by day, and amazing lettering artist by night. Also a fellow Passion to Paid alumna, she's originally from Ukraine and now lives in Brooklyn. 

Here are her responses. 

Inspired by the Proust Questionnaire, I'm asking letterers and calligraphers I admire to share their thoughts on success, frustration, personal experiences, and more.

What's your name and where can we find you?

Olga Muzician Pacilio - olgamuzician.com or @olgamuzician on Instagram

What's your lettering / calligraphy background?

My background is in painting and drawing and I studied graphic design in college, so I've always loved drawing by hand and playing with typography. Last year, I realized that I can combine the two disciplines in lettering and started lettering almost every day. I feel that the years spent studying fine art and graphic design have been vital in understanding and learning hand lettering.

When was the last time you surprised yourself?

I'm surprised every time I get some recognition online for my work or book a job that pays me to do what I love to do. I think looking back at my work from when I started lettering consistently, I'm surprised at how different my work looks now.

What is your greatest frustration in the creative process?

My greatest frustration is figuring out what to do and actually starting something. Once I have an idea and a project, I'm ok, but in the very beginning, when I have a million ideas circling in my mind, it gets very overwhelming and stressful.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I think my greatest achievement so far has been finding the time to letter every day for the past year. I've worked late nights and weekends, after my full time job, on the train... I think that my work has progressed a lot and I hope that it continues to get better.

Who are your favorite artists?

Specific to lettering, my favorite artists are Jessica Hische, Lauren Hom, Tobias Saul and Stephanie Baxter.

What is your motto?

In life, my motto is "everything happens for a reason" and I really feel that when life lets you down, it's because there is something better waiting for you around the corner. In work, I'd say it's probably something like: you're not going to master the rest of your life in one day. It's so easy to get caught up in thinking about the millions of things you want to get done and to get discouraged when you're not where you want to be, but it's so important to remember that good things take time and you can't expect everything to work out on day one.

If you weren't a letterer/calligrapher, what would you be and why?

If I wasn't a letterer, I'd be a graphic designer since that's what I do right now as my full time job and what I studied in school.

What's your ONE piece of advice to people starting out?

My one piece of advice is to just get started since that's the hardest part. It doesn't matter what you're doing, just do it, every day. It's hard at first and even can be discouraging at first but you can't get better without lots of practice.

The Hand Lettering Formula by Helm Wotzkow

The Hand Lettering Formula by Helm Wotzkow

The History of our Alphabet

The History of our Alphabet