Journey So far!
I get a lot of messages on Instagram asking about how I started, what did I study, how can one get into lettering full time. So I thought if answering all my questions in one blog post.
What did I study?
Let me take you guys say 5 years back when I was in a Design School and I don’t think I had any idea about ‘Brush Lettering’. I was learning typography in college when my sister (an Architect) asked me if I’d like to paint some menu boards for her upcoming interior design project – A cafe. I thought it would be an amazing experience to learn something new (which btw totally was). Some endless hours of work in chilly Delhi winters, about ten sleepless nights and fifteen days later we created these :
How did I start?
A year later, I happen to be lucky enough to go for an exchange to a university in London where the course was a lot focussed on ‘Finding your interests’. I happen to meet this Signwriter ( also an alumnus of my university) called Signwritingjack. I was as assistant to him in his Signwriting projects and we used to go around painting signs in the UK. Here is some of my work from my signpainting days!
View the entire project HERE.
Four months later, I came back to India, and finished my graduation in Graphic Design. I now had developed a passion for lettering and did my graduation project in that too. Even though I was fairly good at it, I didn’t want to pursue it full-time. Hence, I went to Bombay to work as a graphic designer with an events company.
Initially, it was very difficult to manage my career along with my passion. The turning point for me was when in 2018 I quit my job, moved back home and started taking workshops. I had always really enjoyed teaching and through that, I got to travel to different cities and share my passion with students and young professionals.
oon after this endeavour, in 2018 itself, I decided to study further and I was off to Italy for a year to do my masters in Business Design.
Throughout my journey, lettering always remained my happy-place. Even though I have never pursued it as my prime profession, I was able to make a name for myself in the field because of my prolific clients and quality of work.
Is lettering my full time job?
No. After I came back from Italy in 2019 (March), I had a master’s degree, but no job. I thought of doing lettering full-time for a while, but I realised that I might lose interest in it if I did it all the time - it was my solace, and I wanted to keep it that way.
In August 2019 on a rainy day, I met @suhasinipenna in Mumbai when we shared our mutual love for collecting stationery! A few hundred cups of coffee, podcasts and endless phone calls later, @ninegram.in was born. That's it - I became an entrepreneur.
It's been a good journey specifically this year, because I got to do work for a lot of brands like @google and @bazaarindia. Of course, managing it with Ninegram is a struggle, but for me the key is - keeping work and passion separate. It allows me to give both places their due commitment.