March 30, 2022
Lettering artist Belinda Kou on the facility of inventive neighborhood, following your ardour, and iPad Air
Lettering artist Belinda Kou by no means imagined her lifelong ardour for artwork would ultimately flip right into a profession. Raised within the Detroit suburb of Novi, Michigan, by dad and mom who immigrated from Taiwan, Kou felt an unstated stress to pursue a profession that felt secure and safe.
“Whereas I can’t converse on behalf of each Asian American neighborhood, I personally grew up in a single the place the engineers, docs, and different folks with STEM careers have been among the many most celebrated,” Kou describes. “This put inner stress on me to take a kind of profession paths, particularly since I didn’t know anybody else who regarded like me within the arts.”
However whereas pursuing a level in biopsychology on the peak of the Nice Recession, artwork remained a pastime for Kou. Throughout a stint with Train for America, she usually redesigned the lesson plans and worksheets for her science courses. “I used to be all the time dabbling,” she says. “It was all the time on the aspect, slowly constructing right into a fundamental factor.”
As Kou’s Train for America dedication reached its finish, she determined it was time to observe her actual ardour and made the leap to graphic design. Whereas working at a advertising company as an affiliate artwork director, an opportunity encounter with iPad unlocked a brand new world of potentialities for Kou, and despatched her down a path that will in the end lead her to launch her personal enterprise.
“Drawing immediately onscreen with Apple Pencil versus drawing on one machine and having to search for at a unique display to see the way it interprets has actually sped up my course of,” she says.
Working with an rising variety of purchasers, Kou is having fun with pushing her coloration exploration with iPad and Apple Pencil — one thing that will take her hours with analog instruments.
“As soon as I received my iPad and Apple Pencil, I created sooner than I’d been capable of with pencil and paper, which helped me to share constantly on social media,” Kou explains. “Between that and honing my voice and elegance, I began to draw purchasers. Immediately, so a lot of my purchasers rent me for digital artwork. I don’t suppose I may run my enterprise with out iPad.”
Past digital artwork, Kou can also be being employed to create tutorials on how you can use design applications — one thing her social media channels present she has severe chops for. Tapping again into her trainer mindset, she often shares her art work, together with ideas and methods for utilizing Procreate, the iPad-exclusive app she makes use of to create the vast majority of her illustrations.
Instruments like Apple Pencil and the brand new iPad Air have made graphic design extra accessible than ever, she says, lowering the obstacles to entry she encountered early on in her profession: “The folks I train know how you can use iPad, and now they’re able to stage up in Procreate. However the reality is that they have been capable of go straight in there and draw one thing, and not using a steep studying curve.”
Over time, she has cultivated a web-based neighborhood of like-minded, self-taught artists to share her work and artistic processes with. She’s now engaged on constructing out a community of mothers who’re inquisitive about pursuing a inventive profession for the primary time.
“It’s been a wrestle, particularly within the pandemic, determining how you can juggle all the things, and we’re restricted as to the place we are able to take our youngsters or search for assist,” explains Kou, who began her Instagram account as a inventive outlet after the beginning of her first youngster. “I all the time wished I had somebody to encourage me and in addition present me how to do that, and I’m keen to be that individual for different mothers who’re getting began at this time.”
Her message for anybody — from current faculty graduates to new mothers — considering altering fields and exploring the world of lettering? “It’s by no means too late to pivot,” she says, talking from expertise. “The worry is all the time going to be there; you simply must push by means of it to see what’s on the opposite aspect.”
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