Last May, one of our favorite creative talents—Hallmark Signature collaborator, typographer, designer and all-around inspiring human being Raul Alejandro—was one of the speakers at our Hallmark Creative Leadership Symposium. There he told his personal story of courage and loss, perseverance and love, inspiration and dedication. Simply put, we were blown away. And lucky us…the day before the CLS, Raul spent a few hours at lettering workshop with members of our Visual Studios and our Signature Cards Design Team. The small group swapped techniques and roughs and learned some of Raul’s favorite tips, tricks, processes and creative philosophies. We sat down with Amber G., Hallmark Senior Artist and workshop attendee to learn a little more about this inspiring exchange.
Were you familiar with Raul’s work before the workshop?
I’d seen the work Raul did with Hallmark Signature and had just started following him on Instagram.
What struck you about Raul and his work?
I really like the positive tone of the words he chooses to work with. I was also struck by the complexity of his hand-drawn craft, especially after learning that he’s self-taught.
What did you do during the workshop?
The bulk of the workshop was watching Raul letter a word, and studying his tools and original pieces to learn about his process. We each shared our own work with him and then each of us lettered his name as a thank-you.
What was your favorite part?
I loved looking at his originals and seeing his tiny lines and attention to detail. Hearing different perspectives on your craft is always fun and gives you new ways to see things.
What surprised you about the workshop?
How Raul keeps and preserves all his original drawings! And that he was willing to give us several of them. He was very generous.
Any nugget or words of wisdom that stuck with you from your time with Raul or the workshop?
I loved what Raul said about his process: how no matter what mistakes he makes when creating a drawing, he will not allow himself to start over. Instead he remains committed to what he started, and figures out a way to turn his mistake into a considered part of the final artwork. He said, “Life is like that – there are no do-overs.” According to him, being committed to seeing a drawing through no matter what has made him a much better artist and forced him to try things that he never would have tried. I thought that perspective was unique in this age of command+Z, and it stuck with me.
What’s it like to collaborate with other artists in a workshop like this? Lettering artists always love to hear other lettering artists talk. So many times you hear someone articulate part of your process in a way you hadn’t thought about before. And it’s fun to be with other people who speak your secret language.
Love Raul’s work? Head to your nearest Hallmark Gold Crown store and check out his amazing Hallmark Signature Collaboration collection. Or shop the collection online. Be sure to tag us if you share your favorites on Instagram. (@think.make.share @hallmarksignature @draw_ul)