I stumbled upon Nim Ben-Reuven’s work in a recent issue of Bon Appetit. It was amazing so I searched for more of his letters on Instagram. Not only was I knocked out by the quality of his lettering work, I was floored by his wit. He’s a funny guy! Nim was gracious to answer five questions from a stranger and lettering nerd. Thanks, Nim!
1. Your name and title/business name? Specialty?
I am a freelancer working under my own name, Nim Ben-Reuven. I specialize in elegant, flourished lettering design but also do video production for music videos and art direction for events and installations. Mostly, though, I excel at staring out the window when I should be working.
2. What’s your educational background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?
I studied Sociology with a focus on conflict resolution as an undergraduate and much later started pursuing graphic art/design at a Masters program at the Pratt Institute. Most of my lettering is self taught with a great deal of influence by and some apprenticeship with the lettering legend, Tony DiSpigna.
3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?
My preferred tools are a super thin mechanical pencil, a super thin paint brush for inking pieces and lots of music.
4. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?
I get a ton of inspiration from old calligraphy specimens, failed experiments, ridiculous design trends, talented friends, empty cardboard boxes, frequent outdoor walks and also dreams & nightmares.
5. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.
Once I had a job picking moth grubs out of huge piles of old fabric in someone’s basement. Also, until I was about 17 I was convinced I would either be a professional baseball player or a drummer for Björk’s touring band by the time I turned 25. Well, neither of those worked out.