The Art and Letters of Julia Henze

I was taken by the spontaneity and energy of the work by Julia Henze. When I saw her piece with the ship in a bottle Lettering Guy had to contact her for a quick Q&A. Enjoy!

1. Your name and title/business name?

My name is Julia Henze. I’m a freelance illustrator / hand lettering artist working in my own studio called “Blue Ink Studio” (

2. Do you have a specialty or special style that makes you relatively unique? If so, what?

I specialize in creating t-shirt prints, posters with quotes and custom lettering. I love to draw letters, so I try to make different designs with words. Some of them are clean and simple, but most of them are decorated with different floral elements, colorful and textured. I enjoy to create many elements around the letters. It makes the lettering a whole illustration and that makes it complete for me.

Hand drawn vintage label with a ship in a bottle and hand letter

Hand drawn vintage label with a ship in a bottle and hand lettering. This illustration can be used as a print on T-shirts and bags.

3. What’s your educational background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?

I graduated from my bachelor Interior Design in St.-Petersburg in Russia. Later when I moved to the Netherlands, I studied Interior Design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. It was a very good experience, but I found out interior design wasn’t my thing. So I became an illustrator. There was something in my drawing that I missed – words. I started to learn how to use fonts and later how to draw the letters by myself. Since I took a couple of classes and participated in some challenges on Skillshare, I improved my skills quite well. Now I continue to attend Skillshare classes, different workshops and challenges to polish these skills.

4. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

It depends on the kind of lettering I make. I use a pencil to make sketches. I have a lot of brush pens for brush lettering. One of my favorite brands is Tombow. Sometime I use watercolor. Van Gogh watercolor is my favorite.

Digitally I use Cintiq 27” Touch . It’s quite an expensive device, but it’s worth every penny.

Vintage summer surf print with a mini van and 70s style hand let

Quote. The vintage surf. Catch the wave. Vintage summer surf illustration with a mini van and 70s style hand lettering on grunge background. This illustration can be used as a print on T-shirts and bags.

5. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?

Every day I take some time to scrolling Pinterest, Instagram or Behance. I get a lot of inspiration from vintage lettering, old calligraphy, modern design trends, chalkboard lettering etc. I also love to turn over the pages of Flow-magazine. It gives me another sort of inspiration and rest.


6. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.

After I found out that interior design was not my thing, but before I decided to become an illlustrator, I thought it was a very good idea to become a lawyer.:) I even graduated from my master in law and I worked a couple of months as a lawyer, but I stoped because I needed my freedom to do what I want and I missed the chance to expend my creativity. And now I have the best work I could ever dream of!

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