Lettering artist, illustrator and designer extraordinaire Amanda Raymundo has worked in a number of Hallmark’s creative studios. Most recently she’s been bringing her skill and passion to our Cultural Identity Team. Read on for a fun Q&A with Amanda about what she loves, both on and off the clock.
Coffee or tea?
Neither. I dislike all hot beverages and anything that remotely tastes like coffee or tea.
Sweet or salty?
Salty. If I eat too much sugar I get a headache. And become sloth-like. And start to hallucinate. Just kidding. Maybe.
When did you decide to pursue a career in art and why?
That’s a really big question. For starters I’ve always, always been a doodler. I started drawing all over myself in junior high and high school. What did I draw? Lettering and patterns mostly—just the crazy, weird brain dump stuff that keeps me going creatively. In high school I decided that I wanted to be a designer. After that it was never something that I wasn’t sure of.
How long have you been at Hallmark?
Eleven years. I’ve had the same title my whole Hallmark life, but outside of greetings I’ve worked on many different things. Product design, greetings presentation, packaging, a user-interface for an app, logos, t-shirt designs, calendars, social media designs, and lettering for e-cards and animated specials.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
A highly trained CIA agent or a pastry chef. If you know me, you know that both of those careers make total sense.
What’s your current favorite artist, writer or author?
I’m horrible with names of artists I like. The only one I can remember without looking it up is Josh Agle. I own more of his stuff than any other artist. His cool retro illustrations make me wish I lived in a different time.
First drafts by hand or mouse?
Depends on what it is. Lettering is almost always first done by hand, whether it’s sheet upon sheet of tracing paper or just one-and-done. Sometimes creative clarity happens right away; other times it’s a scattered mess—that’s the problem-solving part of the job. I both love and loathe it. Equally. At the same time.
What tools do you use when creating your work?
Besides paper and pencil? Research for inspiration. Water, to keep hydrated. That’s important. Music…silence is stifling to me when I’m in creation mode. Adobe Illustrator, my old friend. We’ve known each other for many, many years. We’ve both changed and grown, and we both keep getting better and better. The part of me that loves Adobe Illustrator is the part of me that loves math.
How do you feed your brain, your creativity, and your soul?
Feeding my brain: games. I love using games to exercise the brain muscle.
Feeding my creativity: Pinterest. It’s really one of the great inventions of our time. I used to spend hours and hours hunting through Google searches and blogs and magazines for nuggets of inspiration, but now I can get my fill on one website. It’s magical.
Feeding my soul: trying to stay positive (sort of). Also, trying to be helpful (sort of). Taking breaks, like lying in a quiet room (this is when the silence is helping me not hurting me) and trying to release all the thoughts my brain is holding onto. Also, sometimes I do some creative writing.
Do you have a current trend obsession?
I don’t really get obsessed with anything. I try to soak up lots of things at the same time. I’m more of an observer. If someone goes crazy about something they like, I try to figure out why.
What’s your favorite Hallmark product to date?
The Hoops & Yoyo Tervis Tumbler I designed. It has sprinkles and donuts on it. I use it everyday. It makes me want donuts.
What’s your favorite thing about working for Hallmark?
The flexibility is really nice, and the creative energy is motivating. And maybe the people. Probably the people. They can be delightful.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
My family has always been completely supportive of me and all of my weird artsy-ness, which has been an immeasurable gift that I do not take for granted.
For more about our Hallmark creative community, find our Artist Spotlight series here.