#GreenLabelGallery Curator Lienke Raben Gives Us Her #PiecesOfMind
This year Green Label Gallery returns to Amsterdam for the #PiecesofMind exhibition. The focus will be on bold typographical works and quotes submitted by a global community of artists using the #GreenLabelGallery and #PiecesofMind hashtags. All submissions will be sifted through by the exhibition’s team of curators, led by illustrator and designer Vonik, accompanied by Lienke Raben.
We reached out to Lienke Raben to get her #piecesofmind. For more information about Green Label Gallery and how to submit, see here.
Most artists work with images. Why were you attracted to letters?
I think it is because I’m attracted to images. Just plain text looks boring. Good hand-lettering or typography results in a nice-looking image. Way more interesting to look at and you can give your words an extra dimension because of the visual “layer” you add to it. Besides that, when I was young, I really liked calligraphy. My father gave me a calligraphy pen and I practiced a lot. I really enjoyed writing letters to friends or to my grandparents, so I always have been interested in it.
What’s the most important thing to remember when creating a new letter design?
Practice a lot. I mean, really, a lot. I watched many of those gifs where people are writing with a brush pen—I can watch them over and over again. And I tried that myself, with pages full of the same letters or words, trying to get the right flow. And also sketching is important: draw lines to decide how the different words fit into each other, like a puzzle.
When in your studio or creative space, what are some of the tools you cannot be without in order to execute to your best ability?
For a quirky and handwritten look, I use Tombow brush pens. I just love the way the pen glides across the paper. For a more graphical look, I use a B pencil or a Caran d’Ache color pencil to sketch, and then Posca or Molotow markers for coloring or outlines.
If you’ve ever been mentored, what was one thing that was instilled in you that you would pass on to an emerging artist?
I don’t know. I didn’t really have any lessons in hand-lettering or typography, only in calligraphy when I was young. It’s one of my big interests and I just practiced a lot by watching videos or typographical works. So when it comes to hand-lettering with a calligraphy pen or a brush pen, don’t give up and keep practicing. If you finally get the right “flow,” it feels really good. It also helps you understand how hand-lettering works if you want to draw them with a pencil or marker instead of a brush pen or calligraphy pen.
How have you used the internet or social media to advance your career, and what have been some of the outcomes?
Dribbble and Behance were really important for me to build a network and also resulted in some nice projects. I did a mural in San Francisco last year and those people found me via Dribbble. I like to see what others are creating so I like to share my own work too. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram. Especially Instagram is such an easy way to share things. There’s a lot of crap but if you follow the right people, your timeline is one big feed of inspiration.
Why would you encourage people to submit to Green Label Gallery using the hashtags #GreenLabelGallery and #PiecesOfMind?
Because it’s awesome to be part of this art project by sharing words but also by writing and designing them. I think it’s also a nice cooperation. I mean, it sounds weird, but I’m not really good with words myself. I can design them, but I always have difficulties deciding what to write. So now I can draw awesome quotes from people who are probably way better with words than me.