Art is personal, and when choosing for my own home, I love photography, pieces that are playful and art that fits the mood of the specific space. My home office is going to be my favorite room once it’s complete. I purchased the piece “I keep hitting escape but I’m still here” from the Artist Ionut Radulescu. It sets the tone for the room, and the rest of my design will be based off this one bit of inspiration. I interviewed Ionut and would love to share his feature with you.
Graphic Designer & Illustrator
I am a Romanian Graphic Designer and Illustrator with passion for lettering and smart, beautifully crafted design. I am currently living and working in New York City. I specialize in branding identity, custom typography and web experiences for lifestyle & fashion brands. I am running a daily lettering project since March 2014.
I hold a BA in Graphic Design from The National University of Arts, Bucharest, Romania (2010) and and MA in Illustration Design from SCAD—Savannah College of Art & Design (2012). I’ve been living and working in New York City for about 4 years now.
1. Have you always been an artist? What gave you the confidence to put yourself out there and start showing/selling your work?
I use to draw a lot as a kid, and without even realizing I was finding myself lost in pile of papers and pencils, while watching cartoons and later drawing characters from anime series like Pokémon or Digimon and before that it was Sailor Moon, ha ha!
Before going into an art high-school I realized I love drawing and designing clothing, so my first thought was to go into fashion. However, I ended up studying industrial design for 4 years. It was a great opportunity to learn different things from furniture design to interior design and having lots of art history classes, sculpture, painting and traditional drawing.
I realized that I love to visually illustrate my concepts, composing layouts, and so I learned that “graphic design” is an actual profession where I will be able to do just that. I ended up having my first job in high-school drawing animal characters into packaging design for kids cereals.I barely knew how to color them digitally, but that small company at that time taught me about this process. After high-school I ended up studying Graphic Design and some Illustration in a 3 years BA Program at the National University of Arts, Bucharest.
In 2010 after my graduation I worked in advertising and publishing picking up several illustration and design projects. I discovered I loved to illustrate words and play with letters, merging the bridge between design and illustration. I didn’t know at that time what “lettering” was. My first lettering project was for McCann Erickson Agency in London, designing a series of posters, web and print applications to illustrate a playful type image for a restaurant.
In August 2011 I moved to USA for my Master in Illustration Design at SCAD—Savannah College of Art and Design. I didn’t know exactly what the outcome would be after, I just knew I wanted to learn and be challenged by different mediums and disciplines.
2. More and more of my friends have side hustles. Work hard, play hard right? Is creating art your day job or is there something else that fuels the dream?
I work as a graphic designer for a lifestyle brand during the day, The Frye Company, and I am doing my own stuff aside for magazines, agencies and other type of clients, along with my side projects. I have an ongoing daily lettering project started in 2014, a creative experiment to document my daily thoughts and moods along with things I have read, seen or heard. It started as a daily challenge to see how many letterforms I could create.
Part journal, part commitment to create everyday, the project contains more than 700 pieces, marked with their number in the series on Instagram and my Tumblr. The daily doodles range from rants to snippets of wisdom all meant to send good vibes.
3. What goal or emotion do you want people to have when they see one of your pieces?
I think it’s important to have different reactions to my work, positive or negative, it’s interesting to see how people perceive a visual message and how they respond to it. But most of my illustrated words are things from daily life, some are more emotional, some are more ironic, others slightly funny or erotic; I want people to feel the honesty and roughness of it.
4. Art can be a big expense, and something my clients ask the WHY question about a lot. Can you briefly describe the amount of time that goes into making each piece?
It really depends. On some of my works I combine traditional media ( inks, watercolors, markers ) with digital manipulation. I feel often that working with my hands has a more organic, natural touch to my work. It can take up from one hour to several hours, or days for an artwork, depending on its complexity, purpose and so on.
Often I wrote notes to document my ideas, and I can instantly picture how it would look, and the process can be very fluid, and the artwork can be created really fast, less then 1 hour for a lettering piece, if it’s an ink kind of feel.
5. Pearl Paint closing was a bummer to the artist community as well as well as Lee’s closing uptown. Where do you shop for your supplies? It seems there are so many options online now, but something about going in person and walking the aisles is great wouldn’t you agree?
I loved Pear Paint and the whole area! I enjoy shopping in person at an art store supply, it’s a therapy for me…I go a lot to Blick Art Materials in Bowery, they have a great selection of items, also I visit their location in Union Square and 23rd street. That’s really my go-to place!
6. You mentioned your were at the beach last week, how important is travel to you and where do you like to go?
I had the opportunity to visit different areas of Hamptons, from East Side to South, Sagh Harbor and Montauk. I try to look at everything around, type, shapes, colors, textures, people, environment, it fils me with inspiration that I can then infuse in my work and creative process. I post on my Instagram apart form my own work, visual inspiration from things I discover; from a city collage to a weird colorful corner on a street.
I think travel is really important, I wish I could travel more and I have in plan to visit Japan, I love their culture and design. Also the nordic countries for the same reasons.
7. Anything else you would like to share? What’s the best way to see your work?
I am currently working on an exciting new website which will have updates on design, illustration and lettering work, but my daily lettering project can be seen at the following links, along with my Behance folio;
Thank you Ionut, for taking the time to be featured on The Home Capsule. A series of stories and interviews spotlighting inspiring people.