1. Your name and title/business name? City, Country location?
My name is Karen Inthinavong and and I am a freelance lettering artist as well as a chalkboard artist at a local grocery store called New Seasons here in Portland, OR. I have been living here for 6 months now!
2. What’s your educational and professional background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?
I got a BS in Kinesiology at San Francisco State University with the intentions of going to graduate school to get my doctorate in Physical Therapy but here I am now back in school but in a certificate program for graphic design at Pacific Northwest College of Art! It’s been a blast so far and I am so happy I made this change.
Everything I have done has been self-taught and I have picked up many commissioned projects for mostly people I know along the way, and now it is time for me to get a formal art education to flourish and be able to make things with better skill for more and more people, I hope!
3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?
My preferred tools, I cannot say. But I do know that everything I make starts with vellum paper, a t-ruler, a 4b pencil, and a magic rub eraser. ALWAYS. From there, the opportunities to make it a better piece are endless. Lately I have been really into using my iPad pro and using Procreate. It’s so fun to use the brushes you can find on Etsy or even on the Procreate forum. Finding brushes others have made and experimenting with them is always fun.
4. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?
Where I recharge my battery is at the gym for sure, being one of the options, yet the top option. Other ways I like to recharge is to go out and explore a place (antique shop, gift shops, museums, parks, hikes), or even just taking a nice quiet bath at the end of the day with pen and paper and draw something for myself.
5. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.
As much as I love lettering, I also have a passion for knowing how the body moves, so I am really interested in sports performance! I am studying for my speed, agility, and quickness certification…I don’t know if I’ll use it to help others in a close-to professional way, but definitely for myself and learning how I can enhance my wannabe powerlifting (surprise!) skills. Maybe then, I’ll have a drive to compete in a completion, otherwise, I just want to be an overall badass!