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Creative Chats with... Abbey Sy

Friday, 27 April 2018
Creative chats with Abbey Sy an interview discussing creativity art lettering and illustration

Welcome to episode four of Creative Chats, this time with Abbey Sy!

Abbey was one of the first artists I discovered when I started my lettering phase, as I started my lettering phrase using watercolours her art was exactly what I was aiming for. I have featured her Harry Potter collaboration with Risa Rodil before here, but I haven't featured her on her own so I knew when I decided to launch this Creative Chats series that I wanted to try and get Abbey involved. And here she is; artist, illustrator, lettering artist, and author from Manila, Philippines. Constantly on the go, whether that's with her art, touring one of her new books, or simply travelling and spreading her wonderful creative knowledge. Check out what she had to say:

Creative chats with Abbey Sy an interview discussing creativity art lettering and illustrationObvious first question, and one you're probably sick of answering but how did it all start? Where did your love of lettering come from?

I started lettering way back when I was younger since Penmanship was a fundamental part of our school curriculum. In my teenage years, I started to draw and doodle more, and eventually discovered lettering by accident. I loved lettering quotes from books and songs so it felt fitting to give them a more visual appeal, I guess? That’s how I found lettering.

At what point did you feel comfortable sharing and selling your work? Did you ever suffer from imposter syndrome? 

I suffer from imposter syndrome every day! I started selling my work early on in my career because I had a shop back then (online shop). I think it was by nature easier for me to sell my products, but at the back of my mind, I always felt like I lacked certain skills or wasn’t good enough. It took me a long time to accept myself as an artist.

Creative chats with Abbey Sy an interview discussing creativity art lettering and illustration

What's your favourite piece you've ever created and why? 

It’s too hard to choose from all the work that I’ve done! I’d like to think the lettering works I constantly post on Instagram are my favourites, because I letter them not for social media but really, a reminder for me that I need to take heart. It depends, but the quotes I letter are based on my personal experiences and my attempts to grow through it.

One thing I always struggle with is picking the colours. How do you figure out what colours to use? 

Over time I’ve learned to love a specific range of colors — mostly desaturated ones and in autumn hues. My tip for colors is to just choose 2-3 and play along with that. Don’t overthink the color assignments and keep your hues to a minimum, so that the focus is still on the words being lettered. I also like to train my eyes to look at pictures and layouts and gather colors from there—it helps build my personal taste.

Creative chats with Abbey Sy an interview discussing creativity art lettering and illustration typography type letters rainbow

Creative chats with Abbey Sy an interview discussing creativity art lettering and illustration harry potter hufflepuff badger finders ravenclaw gryffindor slytherinDo you think you stick out from the crowd of other letterers? If so, how did you manage it? 

I can say I stick out to some extent—people say my script work is very distinct and easily identifiable. Apart from that, I try to centre around doing meaningful work and making the best out of what I can, by sharing my art with others (through books, online, etc). I don’t know what aspect sets me apart from other letterers, but we are all dynamically different in some way, and I like that.

Who creatively are you loving right now? Feel free to pick more than one!

I have been checking out comics lately, and loving Yumi Sakugawa’s work, as well as Grant Snider’s book The Shape of Ideas! Love the little anecdotes and quirky illustrations that come in each story. 

Finally, if someone was wanting to pursue their creative dream right now, what would you tell them to remember?

To always believe in yourself, and trust yourself enough to do great things. When I was starting out a huge part of me was really hesitant and looking back, I realised that if I gave myself more room to be better and to believe in myself, I would have started out things at a better light. Of course, at this point, the way I look at myself and my art has improved greatly. But I’d really want to put it out there because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. You do you! And always be creating.

** I shouldn't have to say this, but just in case we have any keen eyes on this page, all of the artwork belongs to Abbey so please don't take and repost them anywhere without her permission!

But if you do want to check out more of her work (because it's fab right?) check out her links below:

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