Handmadefont community of artists from around the globe is big. To make artists from the lettering community closer to each other, and introduce them better – we decided to interview some of them. Welcome, José Bernabé, designer and lettering artists from Spain. Especially for Handmadefont blog he reveals how lettering is connected with the passion to draw from the childhood, why his little kid is a great source of inspiration and how to get Adobe on board.
— Thank you for joining our blog project and supporting the idea of highlighting designers’ lives. It’s so nice of you to share with us your personal view and thoughts on typography. And we shall start from the very beginning. There is always a fascinating story behind an early start of pursuing an artistic path. What was yours? How and when did you figure our that this was your passion?
— I have always liked to draw and my drawings always accompanied them in one way or another with some text, some message. The truth that neither in my childhood nor in my adolescence I never thought that I could dedicate myself to my current profession. In fact, before dedicating myself to my profession I had different jobs from handyman to salesman. But these jobs never satisfied me. Maybe this led me to rethink what I really liked to do and how I could carry it out. Then, at the age of 26, I entered the art school of my city to study graphic design and illustration. From there, with perseverance and hard work I managed to dedicate myself to what I like.
— But there are many graphic design fields. Why did you choose typography?
— The truth is that in my early days I played different fields, web, animation, illustration, photocolage, but a few years ago I found in typography and lettering a form of expression with which I can agglutinate different graphical aspects such as illustration, painting, photography … The versatility of letters and their styles are unlimited.
— What was your first big project like?
— I do not know if it was a great project properly named but it was quite popular on the internet. It was a typography that I called Chemical Cloud typo, a typography that by the way is about to end (not all the letters and characters are made) but it served to lay a stylistic basis that has allowed me to approach different customers, including Adobe.
— Speaking of experience we cannot help but ask this question. Every artist has his or her own secrets and principles. Can you share some of your tricks with Handmadefont?
— I approach each project in a different way, so I could not talk about some principles or a secret formula if that is what you mean. What I can say is that I always start making sketches with pencil/pen and paper. I find it a shortcut and it gives me a clear idea of what I want to achieve in terms of composition. The digital media tools come later.
— What inspires you?
— Leaving aside the obvious economic issue, it inspires me to have a good time while I’m working and very important to me is to be able to transmit this feeling and way of life to my little son. We all have to work for what better to do in something that we are passionate about. My opinion is you can only be good at something you like to do.
— Our next question is closely connected with the previous one. You know, we all have our ups and downs and for someone it is very difficult to create something new after a creative crisis. Do you have any tips about how to survive lack of inspiration?
— Just relax for a while. Take distance from your work, read, walk, do some sport… so you get a wider perspective of everything, and remember the reason why you do what you do.
— Turning attention to the other aspects of life – what are your other hobbies? Do they influence your works somehow?
— I like to listen to music of very different styles, the same thing with movies, I watch classic films of all times and genres. And very important I really enjoy playing with my little kid, painting, playing with plasticine, doing muppets… Kids really follow their creative instincts and are unafraid of making mistakes. They just have fun.
— What are your creative plans for the nearest future?
— I would like to continue working with typography and also do it in a more conceptual way without abandoning aesthetics. Animation is also a topic that I would like to retake in my career and applying it to lettering. I am also working on my first book but I would like to keep it as a surprise. Only thing I can say is it is based on lettering and it will walk the line of what is political correct or not.