Professional Profile: typography and graphic design by Will Holmes

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Will Holmes is an English illustrator and letterer based in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Norwich School of Art (UK) in 2008 with a first class degree in graphic design, and a specialism in typography.

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How did you get to where you are today?
I studied Graphic Design with a specialism in typography at Norwich School of Art, and then moved to Portland, Oregon. Then London. Then New York. All the while I was meeting interesting people and learning from them. And now I annoy those interesting people into giving me commissions.

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Where do you work, and what does your daily routine involve?
I work from home in Brooklyn Heights. Having a place away from where I live would be great: less distractions from the TV anyway. But to be honest, living two blocks from Brooklyn heights Promenade and the Waterfront Park aren’t too bad at all.

Video: Squarespace recently commissioned Will to create a piece for the Celebrate Brooklyn music festival, and they also asked him to document the process.

What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day work?
Making stuff. I just love making stuff. Working with nice people and helping them realise a vision is a good feeling. Sitting back and looking at something that you made is even better. Crafting. I like crafting.

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What are your long term ambitions for your business and your career?
The future is scary. I spend far too long worrying about it. Really, I just want to make more and more stuff for more and more people. I love lettering and I love illustration, so if I can continue to get more commissions and do more of what I love, I’ll be as happy as a clam. One of those really happy clams. You know the ones.

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Any tips for Creative Digest readers?
Frustration is a great tool. If I’m getting a bit upset or frustrated about one aspect of my life, I find that I get more creative with my work. I don’t know why: I think it’s because, for me, making stuff is a release. I don’t want to sound like a total knob, but that’s how I feel. Part of me worries that if I become too happy, my work might suffer. I’ll try to operate at a healthy 90% happy.

Also, there’s nothing like finding out that you’re going to be a dad to put everything else into perspective. My wife and I have our first baby on the way, and those future thoughts that I mentioned earlier are suddenly more pressing.

Learn more about Will on his website.

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