Abbey Sy: Artist & Author
With her ABC—Always Be Creating philosophy, artist Abbey Sy has inspired many with her beautiful lettering works, art workshops and talks, and her book The ABCs of Hand Lettering, a lettering guidebook for beginners published by Summit Media.
In this interview, she shares her journey to doing art full-time and her creative process as an artist.
How did you get started with art?
I started as a kid, and it was always a hobby until I ended up turning it into my job (unexpectedly).
I realized it was the best way to combine work and doing what I love.
What made you take the leap to pursue art full-time?
I just wanted to try it out and allow myself a year to do so. My one-year trial involved writing a book and working with brands. I decided to continue because I realized it was the best way to combine work and doing what I love.
Describe your typical day. Do you have a daily ritual to keep you productive and motivated?
I keep my work schedule like traditional office hours—9am to 5pm. I sneak in some me-time in between and I like to spend time doing other non-creative things like catch up with friends, watch films, dance, etc.
What does your workspace look like?
A visual mess of how my brain looks. It's homey, vintage-y, and everything is made of wood. I actually work in an attic which I eventually turned into a space of my own.
Tell us about your art. Has your style evolved since you started making art?
I have a tendency to stick to autumn colors and retro-inspired hues. It has definitely evolved from my beginnings of drawing florals and colorful elements. Now it's usually very layout-heavy and mature.
Take us through your creative process. How do you go from a blank page to a finished piece?
Lots of drafts, ideation and research. Then I start drawing, editing, and work on the final piece. It doesn't seem much, but the research part is pretty intense because I like to keep things planned and well-researched.
Share your favorite milestone in your journey as an artist.
Publishing a book, and inspiring people to start their own creative journey.
Can you share one important decision you made that led you closer to where you are now?
I gave a TEDx talk on making things happen. I realized I wasn't living up to the advice I gave during the talk—that led me to quit my job and pursue what I really love.
What are you excited about today?
I'm working on two big projects. I can't share it yet but it's definitely exciting!