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Have you seen our new Pencil Pocket Protector tees?
They’re nerdy and cute and soft and I’m obsessed with them. I’m also obsessed with the designer behind the exclusive tee — Rhianna Marie Chan.
As an Austin-based designer, illustrator, and letterer, Rhianna creates one-of-a-kind designs — while raising awareness for important causes.
Today, Rhianna’s chats with Longhand Pencils about passion, the creative process, and where she finds inspiration. Everyone, meet Rhianna!
How did you get into your field?
I got into graphic design/illustration kind of by accident. When I graduated from college I knew I didn’t want to use my degree, so I took up calligraphy as a hobby while I figured out what I wanted to do next. I started selling product and getting hired for freelance work. I wanted to expand my skills and my business, so I taught myself how to draw and the basics of graphic design. The rest is history!
What inspires you?
I mainly draw inspiration from women of all shapes, colors, and sizes. I love to draw the strong, stylish women I see in real life or (especially this year) online. It’s easy for me to draw inspiration from everything though – music, a fun color palette or pattern, other artists. You name it!
What is your creation process like?
It differs from project to project. If it’s client work I usually start with a mood board then go into a pretty intensive sketching process before getting feedback and cleaning things up. If it’s something for me I’m a little more laissez-faire. For personal work I usually have an idea of the colors I want to use or font/style of lettering I want to use. Sometimes I sketch out a drawing before going into the final product, but sometimes I dive straight in. Hand-lettering is a little more methodic only because I use grids and letter guides to make sure everything’s the same size. Then I play around with flourishes or changing things up until it feels right.
What makes you passionate about art?
I saw the quote “the role of the artists is to make revolution irresistible” recently, and it’s been my driving force for 2020. As much as I like creating lighthearted pieces I’ve been more passionate about creating activist work for myself or for causes and organizations I believe in. It’s been rewarding to use the money I create from selling art to support nonprofits as well as provide information and encourage involvement in a fun way.