Lana Hughes Interview
Lana Hughes is a London based artist specialising in hand-lettering, sign writing and typographic illustration. In 2010 she completed a B.A (Hons) in Graphic Design at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey, upon graduating she lived and worked in London for several years before spending a year painting her way around Australia and South East Asia.
Tell us a fun fact about you I love peanut butter so much, even on avocados and often straight out of the jar.
How did you get into illustration? My dad has always been a sign painter as a hobby, and always encouraged me to draw from a young age, until I grew up and knew that is what I wanted to do with my life. I eventually progressed onto studying Graphic Design from then on I just couldn't get enough of drawing them letterforms.
Who or what inspires you the most? I'm massively inspired by vintage signage, ghost signs, neon signs, street art and architecture. I really enjoy looking at how buildings create shadows and the way that shadows form around different shapes. I find this interesting to look at when thinking about the possibilities of creating shapes and shadows with letterforms. Ah and also 90's hip hop and R&B always inspires me!
What does a typical day look like for you? A typical day for me is downing some coffee to bring me back to life in the morning, following that I like to slowly ease into work by taking care of emails, admin and so on. To avoid burnout I like to get away from the screen, as it can often feel difficult to be stuck to a laptop for hours on end then I like to have a sketch of new ideas and new works for fun (if I have time around commissions) and then have a paint to wind down for the day which often goes into the eve when I get carried away. Having said all that - no day is really the same when I have lots of commission work on, and things can often get a bit hectic where I may be travelling all around. In that case, my days don't really follow a plan except work towards a deadline!
What do you do when you have a creative block? I find this a hard one to answer actually, as I had one recently. I'd like to say I went on lots of walks to galleries and so on but instead I just decided to try to get on with my life as normal and let the ideas come to me. As they often do when you're not trying to force them. Instead I'll not beat myself up about it as there really is no point. I just use that time wisely and actively work to promote what work I have already created, and that I want to shout about. There's always a job to be done when self employed and so I just wait and let the ideas come back to me these days. That and walk around London on my errands listening to 90's hip hop, as that always gives me too many ideas!
Top three clients you've worked with? London Zoo, Scribbler Cards and most recently The Female Quotient at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
What tools (digital or not!) do you use to create your work? I use a whole range of tools - Photoshop & Illustrator, Procreate app on the iPad Pro is a well used programme for me to take pencil sketched ideas to work on. Pencil, pen, chalk, acrylics, Inks, chopsticks! brushes, sign writing enamels, gold leaf and more.
What's your favourite resource for inspiration? I like to read the Creative Boom site quite often, as well as Inspiration Grid, Colossal, Design Week and Creative Review to name a few. Oh, and let's not forget Instagram - I'm a little bit addicted to Instagram.
Do you have any tips for artists thinking of doing freelance? Just go for it! There'll probably never seem like a good time if you wait for there to be. It was the best decision I ever made, and I love being freelance everyday.
What would your dream project be? I would absolutely love to create some type for an event or ad campaign with an amazing client such as Nike, Adidas or one of those greats... if you're listening, I'm here!
How can fans keep up-to-date with your work? Instagram
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