10 Questions featuring Alanna Munro
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?
What's your lettering / calligraphy background?
I took a type design course in university and kind of fell in love with making letters. After I graduated, I started going to a local "lettering club" where a bunch of folks would meet up and chat about letters and life over pizza and beer. We would roll velum out on the restaurant tables and draw letters while we chatted. I've been practicing lettering and weaving it into my design projects whenever possible for about 5 years now.
When was the last time you surprised yourself?
I'm always surprised at how much more energy I have when I exercise! I recently started the couch to 5km running program and have much more energy for lettering and chasing my 2-year-old. We use our mind a lot in this profession but the body is such an important part of what we do as well.
What is your greatest frustration in the creative process?
Figuring out the best way to execute an idea. I love coming up with ideas and I love the meticulous finishing of an idea, but I often get lost in that big middle bit while I'm trying to figure out a direction.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
There's a board game called Tokaido that I have won almost every time I have played it - only 2 losses tarnish my near perfect record.
Who are your favorite artists?
I love Martina Flor's work, she is so insanely skilled at making beautifully ornate lettering. Kelly and Spencer over at Charles and Thorne also do amazing stuff, and I love Teagan White's kids book illustrations!
What is your motto?
Earl grey tea, hot
If you weren't a letterer/calligrapher, what would you be and why?
I would be a master gardener at Van Dusen Gardens here in Vancouver BC. There is something very peaceful about caring for plants all day, plus I'm very introverted, so not having to work with many people would be a bonus!
What's your ONE piece of advice to people starting out?
Find your "thing". In your spare time (yes you should have some of this, if you don’t, something is wrong), continue to explore and figure out what you’re truly excited about. When you know what it is, immerse yourself in it! Join Meetup groups, find like-minded people, and nerd out with them on a weekly or monthly basis.
Anything you'd like to add
Right now, I'm really excited about the Words For Parenting project that I am working on. It's a series of lettered phrases that help parents use language to have a positive influence on their children's development. I think what we say to our kids is really important and I'm happy to share knowledge with other parents, because sometimes we just don't know what to say to our little humans. I hope my future brings a lot more work that involves making letters!