Often when we think of design, we think of beautifully patterned templates complimented with a bold emblem or brand name, but little do we think in between the lines. The literal lines, that is, and the intricacy of lettering that makes the brand truly pop. For Irina Nosova—the sole proprietor of her own empire Lettering by Irina, “It all started from my idea of creating something by my hands,” she says.
Calligraphy was the conduit to what lettering could produce amid a sea of highly talented lettering artists and graphic designers from all over the world, and it was here the artist found her niche. “The real kick start of me becoming a designer was when I found on Instagram lots of beautiful artworks and started following them. It was a real inspiration for me, and I wanted to start creating something unique myself. I took some lettering and graphic design courses and spend a week in Porto, Portugal in a lettering course by Anna Rolskaya, where I met lots of talented people and made good friends,” she tells us.
Irina finds inspiration through natural wonders such as wild parks or stretches of countryside. She says: “I love traveling and visiting old towns and modern cities; nature, architecture, history... [they] are endless sources of inspiration for me.” Other influences on her approach to design can be found in the philosophies of other talented professionals. For example, “Jessica Hische, because she works in various styles and creates different and always beautiful artworks and Louise Filli, with her eye to precious pieces for inspiration,” says Irina. When it comes to more hands-on inspiration the Calligrapher relies on books on motivation and self-development by authors such as Barbara Sher and Stephen Covey. Reading and keeping up with trends in print keep Nosova on top of her game, for when it comes to staying in the moment the designer, “Check[s] magazines on design, read[s] interviews with designers” and stays up to date with current client demands.
Working with clients involves a lot of patience and often thick skin, but for Irina Nosova she takes criticism well. “First of all - working on my own gives me the freedom to choose the projects I want to do and the people I want to work with,” she says. “I think it's important to feel comfortable with a person. I am not against the criticism, it's something that is essential for growth and I am open to critique and can make changes and other variants to meet client's expectations, it's a normal part of a working process. However, harsh criticism I do not accept and just stop working with such client,” adds Irina. As for convincing a client to trust the better judgment of one who knows best, the Designer has got it covered: “I usually present my design in a way so that the client can see how it would look like on objects, in environment etc., so the client would have a whole picture of my idea. Sometimes I also show similar reference-- usually it works,” she says.
With all the pressures that come from such a demanding job, Irina reminds us that the challenge is what keeps her on her feet. Referring to her responsibilities as an artist, she notes, “It's never easy but I see it as a challenge for myself. A challenge that helps me to grow, overcome my fears and find solutions.” If that isn’t key to helping the design pro stay creative under pressure, it’s the words of wisdom she often lives by, that is— “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it takes to accomplish it,” she says. To get a better understanding of one of Nosova’s proudest pieces to date, a poster for Pottery Barn’s Kids & Teens art challenge comes to mind. The work with the inscription “Be Brave” was chosen as the editor’s pick among a myriad of substantial submissions and according to the designer, “It was the first time I participated in an art challenge and it's very inspiring! I love the lettering there with the background with stars and planets.” What are some personal and professional goals to come? Irina says: “My goal is to open a design studio to sell my artwork around the globe, the artwork that will make a difference, that can motivate people to make the world a better place.” Which Irina has recently accomplished and now she's an owner of an online shop an design studio LemonLav.com.