Interview with Cymone Wilder
  1. Does your identity influence your work in any way? If so, how?
    Yes, I think my identity does influence my work. It’s been interesting to look back on my work and see how it has evolved as my identity has evolved. Because I’m a lettering artist my work tends to feel a bit more on the nose. So, when my faith was a big passion in my life, my work was scripture based and bright. Now, my focus has shifted to some social justice/civil rights issues so the themes feel a bit heavier and look a bit darker. Looking back through my portfolio and social feeds you can see points that seem less consistent and more disjointed. Those were times when I was trying to figure out who I was.
  2. Who are some of your biggest influences? 
    I’m inspired by some Fine artists like Caravaggio and Mondrian. 
    Lettering artists like Erik Marinovich, Matthew Tapia, Adé Hogue, Jessica Hische, Mark van Leeuwen, Jackie Rivera Photographers like Gordon Parks, Vivian Maier. A lot of my work is inspired by Jazz and a lot of the visuals that came out of the 40’s-60’s
  3. What is it about lettering design that you like?
    I’ve never felt like a deep or wildly conceptual thinker, and lettering feels like it says exactly what it means. No more, no less. I’ve also just always gravitated towards drawing letters. When I was a kid sketching in my notebook in school, it was always letterforms instead of illustrations. 
  4. How long have you been doing lettering design?
    Officially since 2013. Scratching and sketching in my notebook since junior high.
  5. What project are you most proud of over the past year?
    This year I took a step back from freelancing so I could focus on my health, which is a project I’m definitely most proud of. But doing that allowed me to take on only projects that I’m passionate about like creating some merch artwork for the Elizabeth Warren campaign. It was a lot of fun because they gave me a quote and let me run free with the style and design. It always feels really good when a client gives you that amount of trust.
  6. How did you get involved with the Elizabeth Warren campaign?
    The creative director reached out to myself and a few other women artists and illustrators as they wanted to create an ‘artist series’ featuring the work of women. 
  7. Any advice for up and coming designers?
    Don’t wait for someone to show you how to do your job. Seek out the knowledge you need to excel at your work. Keep iterating, and never be afraid of feedback. Take time to rest. 

Background info: 

  1. Where are you from?
    Born in St. Louis, raised in Normal, IL
  2. How long have you been living in Nashville?
    I’ve been in Nashville for 5 years.
  3. College Education
    Bachelors of Science, Concentration in Graphic Design from Olivet Nazarene University

By aiganashville
Published March 9, 2020
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