10 Questions with Jessica Molina
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'm completely self-taught and have been doing it on the side of my full-time job as a graphic designer since May 2016.
When was the last time you surprised yourself?
A piece of work I made in my first year of lettering made into Typism Book 4; I didn't even think I'd make it through the first round, let alone make it in the book!
What is your greatest frustration in the creative process?
I have to agree with Lauren Ronquillo and say that the whole process is frustrating for me! (Chalk it up to perfectionistic tendencies and a lack of patience.) I think my biggest frustration right now, though, is finding the balance between taking a break and working obsessively. Sometimes I feel like I’m either creating nothing or doing nothing but creating.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Making it into the Typism book is pretty huge! Besides that, I would say graduating Magna Cum Laude from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. My major was brutal and took a ton of work, but I made it through with lots of hard work and determination.
Who are your favorite artists?
Since I come from an architecture background, I’m an architecture nerd! Those are the artists I studied when I was in school. I love work by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Renzo Piano, Carlos Scarpa, Santiago Calatrava, and Richard Meier.
What is your motto?
Done is better than perfect. (I've got to drill this one into my head daily!)
If you weren't a letterer/calligrapher, what would you be and why?
As I said, I studied architecture in school, so I could definitely see myself as an architect. To me it was always the perfect blend of math and art—two things I was good at and loved doing. I could also see myself as a lawyer; I’m a logical person who tends to follow the rules, plus I love to argue!
What's your ONE piece of advice to people starting out?
Soak up as much varied work as you can and study, study, study. Think about why certain pieces draw your attention and figure out what specifically you like about them. Read up on typography from many different sources. Download a bunch of different lettering/calligraphy practice sheets to help you learn how to physically form letters the way they're intended to be. This is all especially true if you, like me, have no formal training on typography or lettering. I have to say being meticulously observant really helped catapult my work from decent to good in a short amount of time.
Anything you'd like to add:
You may notice that my personal work all has a common theme where I sort of poke fun at love and relationships. I’m a hopeless romantic deep down, but I’ve also got a skeptical view on the world, so that gives me an acerbic attitude that I like to exaggerate in my work. I’ve launched a new passion project as a sort of evolution of my first project. This one is all about getting back at your ex when you’ve got some things to say to them!