I recently attended CreativeMornings’ breakfast lecture series for the month of June featuring Adé Hogue, a designer and lettering artist. He delivered a personal reflection on this month’s theme of “Craft” and what that means to him, outlining three key steps of creating a craft for yourself to pursue: define, develop, share.
What struck me as most interesting was the emphasis he put on the define step. Adé made it a point to clarify that defining your craft is the process of selecting something you aspire to be good at—not something you’ve already mastered. For him, that was hand-lettering.
Typography by Adé Hogue for PRINT Magazine 2017
Upon hearing this I took a step back to reflect on my own pursuit of craft. I realized I gravitate towards creative outlets that are outside of the computer-based world I work in each day. Over the last five years, I’ve spent time learning to sew and create costumes, dipping my toe into hand-lettering similar to Adé, and more recently, illustrating.
While it’s unlikely I’ll use any of these skills on a day-to-day basis, hopefully the abilities I develop from pursuing new crafts on a personal level can inform my professional work. This was most recently put into practice on a project that required a significant amount of illustration. I truly don’t think I could have executed these pieces without having logged all those drawing hours over the last year.
My interest in different art forms comes from being inspired by the artists who are able to create incredible things outside of my creative field. Social media is the perfect tool for following artists these days. I rely heavily on my Instagram and Twitter feeds to keep up with the work of my favorite cosplayers, letterers and comic book artists.
Artist’s from left to right: Kamui Cosplay, Kyle Letendre, Babs Tarr
Yes, it takes hours upon hours to practice a new skill, but when you’re passionate about something, the enjoyment you get from it makes those hours seem like seconds. The point I’m making is, the more you can engage in creative activities that are cool to you, the more they begin to bleed into your professional work.
“Your craft is unique and special to you. It’ll never be the same as someone else’s.”
This melting pot of skills is what makes us each our own special creator. We all have our own processes and perspectives and that’s exactly what I love so much about being a creative.
Do you have any personal creative outlets that help you to be a creative professionally? How have they helped you evolve your craft? Drop us a note in the comments and let us know.