FEATURE: Loryn Engelsman - Creator of Kiwicorn's Unique Hand Lettering
We are beyond spoilt to have collaborated with Loryn on our new Kiwicorn book. Her amazing creativity and skill for hand lettered typography is what brought the text in the story to life! She not only hand lettered the title & every word in the book, she also created a one of a kind Kiwicorn font for us. The uniqueness of Loryn’s work perfectly parallels the ethos in the book. Check out our little interview below...
Did you study? If so, what did you study and why?
I studied at Wintec, in their Media Arts department, right out of high school. I didn't really question studying at the time as it seemed like the ‘obvious’ next step. I chose Wintec because I saw some really amazing illustrators coming out of their school and thought to myself that I needed to learn what these people were learning there. I probably didn't realise it at the time but in hindsight, this was the best decision; studying gave me three years of freedom to create whatever I wanted, experiment with new things, and it surrounded me with people that were challenging and shaping my voice as an artist.
How would you explain your job to a 5yr old?
People come to me and say, “Hey Loryn, I need a picture of a thing. Can you draw it for me?” and I say, “Yes, I can draw that thing for you!”. Then I go to my desk and say to myself, “Oh no, how the heck do I draw that thing? I have no idea how to draw that!” But I just pick up a piece of paper and start drawing. I draw that thing 100 times and most of them are really bad, but in that big stack of drawings, there will be one good one. I take the one good one and I go back to the person who asked me to draw a thing and I say, “Here is the thing you asked me to draw, do you like it?”...
Why do you do what you do? And what motivates you?
I love the challenge of taking complicated ideas and stories, pulling them apart, then creating an image that communicates that idea in an instant. I am really motivated by following other artists, seeing the amazing work they do and knowing that I have not made my best work yet.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I have a drawing that I did when I was 7 of me as a “cartoonist”, so I guess I always wanted to be an illustrator!
Not so much a talent at all, but I have been gifted with the ability to cry while I am laughing... I need a very strong waterproof mascara.
What’s your favourite part of the day and why?
Most afternoons, where I have blocked out a couple of hours of undisturbed time to get in the zone and draw for hours.
What is your latest obsession?
Like everyone else on social media; Stranger Things 2.
Name a hobby you had in the past, one you have now and one you would like to pursue in the future.
Past - For a while, I was sewing a lot of toys, using fabric to ‘draw’ in a way. I did this for quite a while, but every piece took so long to finish.
Presently - I have been playing around with clay recently, making a lot of vases/pencil holders/utensil jars/planters, all very experimental at the moment but so much fun.
Future - I just picked up a stack of oil paints that I want to experiment with!
As you can see, they are all hobbies that help me to get away from the computer and make something with my hands!
What’s the weirdest thing you have eaten?
I was recently in China where I ate some duck intestine, it was very chewy.
What does your ideal working environment consist of?
A space to throw around some paint and pencils, a computer ready to edit all that stuff, loads of natural light, coffee on tap and a good lunch to look forward to.
Describe your artistic style in 10 words.
Not girly or boyish illustrations, fizzing with overly honest humour.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how weird are you? Justify your answer.
I’d happily put myself at a 7. Defo not in the middle of the weird-scale, more to the weirder side, but let's just say that I have met some category 10 weirdos in my time and I am safely not in that category, although my friends might say something otherwise...
What was your favourite picture book as a child?
I really loved all of the illustrations, by Quentin Blake, for the Roald Dahl books. One particular book that I loved was 'The Twits'. In this book Quentin drew ugly people with spiky hair, crooked smiles and warts, all in a really loose pen and ink illustration style – it was like nothing I had ever seen before. I was lucky enough to see the original illustrations in London!
If you were stranded on a deserted island, and could only take three stationery items, what would you take and why?
Only three??? I have drawers full of pens and pencils though! Firstly, I'd take a sketchbook (obviously), my fountain pen, and a chunky 2B pencil.
Name three songs you know all of the lyrics to.
Oh no, this is going to be very revealing. Justin Bieber - Baby (we all do right???). Kanye West - Golddigger. Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm
What is the dumbest way you have been injured?
Do bruises, from dropping your phone on your face, count?
Which Kiwicorn personality do you most identify with?
Wild, Wispy & Whiffy.