Renowned typographer and lettering artist, Craig Black, came to visit Flow Creative last week for a Lunch and Learn session, and we all soaked in his brill work. His talk wasn’t just about pretty work but about his process, how he finds new clients and what he has learnt over his career.
Here are a few things I learnt from his talk.
The draw of Craig’s work wasn’t just the finished product but the process. He works with his clients to document and film every step of the process and often this was just as successful on social media as the final piece. People love seeing the traditional craft of hand lettering and involving the viewer in the process gets them invested in the outcome.
Behind all of Craig’s beautiful work there was an interesting story of how it came to be. All of them had their obstacles and Craig took each one of them as they came. He adapted how he worked and was flexible. For example, when he was invited by Moritz to paint on a car in Barcelona for the OFFF design Festival, he wasn’t told the dimensions until he got there! It turned out that the B in his Barcelona design went over the wheel of the car. This could have been a disaster but he quickly adapted the design and it turned out to be his favourite project so far.
The people who want to work with you don’t just look at your work, they look at who you are as a person. Craig mentioned that a lot of his clients choose him because of his upbeat, positive presence and personality. He actively tries to not air out his grievances on Twitter as it looks bad on you and doesn’t help towards solving any issues.
How do you get to work with beer brands, have artwork exhibited in Edinburgh galleries and paint massive murals of Robert Burns? You get up off your butt, go out and meet people. Craig emphasized the importance of meeting people face to face, waiting around for the phone to ring or for people to come to you doesn’t work. Getting out to events or asking people if you can come in for a brew makes much more of an impression than a quick email.
The biggest thing I took from Craig’s talk was be nice! The creative industry is tight-knit and if you’re a dick, people will hear about it. Not only be nice as a person but give back to your community. Share your skills! Don’t worry about people copying you, if they do it means it’s time for you to push your work even further. Sharing only strengthens the industry and lifts up other creatives around you.
Everyone at Flow loved Craig’s talk and he left us all itching to run to the nearest blank wall and paint a mural. Thanks to Craig for coming in and talking to us – you can see more of his work here.