Creative Conversations – Teresa Watts

Creative conversations: Teresa Watts

It’s always very interesting to sit back and watch the artistic growth of someone. That sounds a little creepy but I promise it’s not. Today’s CC guest, Teresa Watts, is a fellow Perthite who I’ve been following on social media for ages. She’s an accomplished graphic and digital designer but she recently turned her hand to calligraphy, brush lettering and hand lettering. And WOW what talent she has!

Here’s what Teresa has to say about incorporating hand lettering into designs. “Hand-drawn elements and typography give a tactile element to an otherwise clean and simple design, grounding it in the real world where ink splatters sometimes happen and not every ‘e’ looks the exactly same,” she says. “The attention to detail and organic feel can be completely tailored to speak to your target audience, imbuing your brand message with visual interest and authenticity.”

Read on to learn more about Teresa’s creative process.

What’s on your desk at the moment?
A million pieces of paper with ink and painted lettering on them. Ink splatters. A collection of pens and brushes. My desk is always a bit of a mess, except when I have to clear a space to take photos and pretend I’m less messy than I am.

Do you have peers who inspire you? Who are they and how do they inspire you?
I’m really inspired by printmaking artists, especially the team at Beau Est Mien and Ann from the Whitman Park Print Shop. Traditional printmaking techniques are so fun, tactile and messy, and always add unique texture to type and lettering. I like seeing how creative they get with it, and their efforts to share their knowledge with the community.

What project/design/book/etc that you created are you most proud of?
I recently made a zine for learning brush pen calligraphy, which I use in my lettering workshops. Everything is hand written/drawn, including a special font I made for this project. It’s the result of a lot of feedback from previous students and has all my best tips, so I’m really proud of it! You can see it here.

When did you first realise that you wanted to pursue a creative career?
I always dabbled in art but never seriously considered pursuing a creative career until in university, when I found out that design was a career option. In retrospect, my habits of rearranging things in colour order an doodling in textbooks should have been a clue.

What is the hardest part about being a designer/artist?
The hardest thing is paying just the right amount of attention to social media – not enough to be distracted or emotionally invested in like/follower metrics, but enough to get your stuff out into the world and get noticed.

What do you do if the creativeness isn’t coming?
I like to go for a walk, or at least get up to make a cup of tea when I get stuck – I find the movement and getting away from the screen or blank page helps bring ideas out. My other trick is to just get something on the page, even if it’s scribbly and unusable – one bad idea leads to a slightly less bad idea, and then the good stuff comes after I’ve gotten into the swing of things.

You can follow Teresa on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.