Duration: Three years.
Education: BA in illustration from Indiana Wesleyan University, in Marion, Indiana.
Location: Columbus, OH.
Artistic influences: I joke that I’m a professional dad, due to the relationship between my copy and my materials. I’d describe my work as cheesy and clever, a visual turn of phrase. While I’ve recently begun a pop culture project lettering Mean Girls’ quotes—meantrills.com—I do my best to stay away from Pinterest and trends, because I find they don’t ask the questions my work begs me to answer. I enjoy reinvigorating old jokes and trite ideas into fresh and interesting work. I enjoy inviting viewers to question objects and phrases they hear and see everyday with renewed purpose.
Favorite projects: I’m proud of the projects for which I’ve solved a problem in execution or improved clients’ enthusiasm for their campaigns. I’ve created lettering out of yogurt, which is tricky to wield since it separates quickly under hot lights. I’ve baked candy canes in the microwave and found the perfect temperature and timing to make them pliable enough to twist. My work for Tazo Tea Company makes me beam with pride; the client didn’t even wish to attend the shoot, but by the end, they were so thankful and enthusiastic with the outcome. Knowing that I can solve design problems and watch a client’s attitude transform over the course of a shoot is nothing short of a magical experience.
Work environment: My work environment requires me to feel free to experiment and possibly fail, as well as to feel upbeat and cheerful. I play happy music and outfit my studio with warm textures to keep my mood positive. Usually, I work out of my studio, which is a converted dining room with a few large windows and a wide-open space for my current projects.
Technique: Once I began playing around with food typography, I noticed that the few examples of food typography I’d managed to find were one-off attempts with a novelty vibe. No one treated food as a creative medium or applied a typographer’s touch to it. My approach relies on suggesting how the food should behave, rather than forcing it into an unnatural state. I’ve done my job if my lettering appears to almost fall into place. I want my work to exhibit the best letterforms I can create while acknowledging the inherent imperfection of working in analog.