Gillian Dinh started her business, The Marker by Gillian Dinh, just two years ago but she’s already amassed quite the collection of fans – myself included. She is a hand lettering artist from New South Wales who creates everything from bespoke hand-lettered names to wedding invitations and wall art. Gillian is super talented and I’m so grateful that she took part in this week’s Creative Conversation. Enjoy!
When did you first realise that you wanted to pursue a creative career?
I’ve always known I’d work in a creative industry as it’s been a passion of mine since I can remember. I’m an Artist by trade, but self-taught Designer and Letterer. I think it first clicked when I would constantly practise my signature in order to perfect it. During high school and university, I almost always re-wrote my study notes if my hand-writing appeared even the slightest bit messy, I was an absolute perfectionist when it came to that.
What artists do you admire most?
With lettering, design and murals in particular, I admire the works of Claire Foxton, Georgia Hill and Gemma O’Brien. But I’ve always been inspired by Australian Photorealistic artist, CJ Hendry since day dot. Her work encompasses so much beauty with seemingly simple hatching and scribbling techniques. It honestly blows my mind how someone can capture such intricate detail so accurately using a single medium and technique. She’s perfected her own unique style and sold an art piece to Kanye… which she presented to him in person! I mean, c’mon, she’s my idol on that achievement alone!
What is the hardest part about being an artist?
The fine line between inspiration and comparison.
What advice would you give to someone contemplating a creative career?
The creative industry is a great big world! So don’t wait. The time will never be right, and you’ll never be completely ready. I took the dive because I thought I’d much rather take risks than live my life with regrets.
What project or design that you created are you most proud of?
I’m proud of all my works, but I’d probably say my ‘All Night Dancing’ mural at The Grand Hotel, Wollongong is my favourite so far. A lot of blood, sweat and tears (literally) went into that project. The harder I work, the more rewarding the end product is. I hand-lettered the design, and due to projector failures I had to hand draw it onto the wall and then hand-painted it. I never realised how much patience and resilience I possessed until that particular project.
What are your words to live by?
Great things don’t come easy.
If you could be anywhere else in the world where would you be?
On the Amalfi Coast devouring olives, cheese, cured meats and drinking wine. Sign. Me. Up.
[Image credits: Alana Taylor Photography and Gillian Dinh]