Letterer and illustrator Gemma O'Brien in her studio






1. Describe yourself and your work. I’m a nocturnal artist and illustrator specializing in hand-lettering and custom typography. 

2. How did you get started? I’ve always been creative and have been drawing since I was young, but I only became fascinated with typography when I started studying design about eight years ago. I learned how to set type by hand in the letterpress studio at design school and have been hooked on typography ever since. 

3. What piece of work best represents you and why? I feel like it changes with each new piece of work I create. Perhaps at the moment it would be the recent typographic mural I created for my solo show in Melbourne or the illustrated piece Fear Less. 

4. What are you currently into? Color! After working predominantly in black and white for a while I’m excited to start exploring more work in color, so I've been building up a library of references. 

5. Three things you’ve learned that young creatives should know.

1. Put in the hard work, know the history of your field, and don’t become complacent. The art and design world is a moving target—you have to continue to adapt and change to be creatively stimulated and make work that is relevant.

2. Understand the business/commercial side of the art and design world, and know when to separate yourself from your work.

3. Be bold! Begin creating the work you want to. Don’t be scared to f**k up a few times. Not everything you create can perfectly align with the vision you have for it, but if you just start at least you’ll be heading in the right direction.

5¼. Fave color: At the moment…turquoise.

5½. Fave website: brown cardigan

5¾. Pet peeve: Conference calls! 

November 11, 2014

Original artwork Gemma O'Brien