The Graceful Lettering Designs From Beth Rufener

1.  What’s your name and title/business name?  Where are you located, city,  state, country location?

Hey! My name is Beth Rufener, and I run Creatifolio Design Studio (which includes my digital shop, Ornaments of Grace). I live with my husband and two children in Orrville, Ohio- which you might know better as the hometown of Smucker’s jam.

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

After getting my Associates degree in Digital arts from North Central State College, I interned as a graphic and web designer at a car dealership, then worked as a designer at a local sign shop doing signs, illustration, and vehicle graphics. After doing freelance graphic design for a few years, I realized my dream of selling design assets online when I happily opened up a shop on Creative Market, where I still sell fonts, digital textures, and Illustrator brushes. After finding a home in the creativecommunity there, a daily lettering challenge encouraged me to start hand-lettering in 2014. Though I’d always been interested in typography, I hadn’t actually drawn letters extensively, aside from dabbling in font development. Hand-lettering quickly graduated from its first halting steps to become a very satisfying hobby. Now, I work on the Creative Market Support Team, supporting customers and helping Shop Owners on the marketplace- who are creators just like me- succeed! Hand-lettering is a hobby I do for the sheer joy of it, along with the occasional commission and product release for my online shops.

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3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

I enjoy the graceful rusticity of pencil and chalk, but I sincerely enjoy the flexibility of my iPad Pro / Apple Pencil / Procreate App setup. My iPad really helps me streamline the creative process from layout to concept sketch to final, but I usually Dropbox the files over to Photoshop for final tweaking and color work. My greatest challenge in any creative project is, strangely enough, choosing colors. I find it much easier to come up with compositions! Lately, it’s been a personal challenge of mine to strengthen that “color theory muscle” by exploring a wider variety of color schemes.

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

I consider my career in Customer Support at Creative Market surprisingly complementary to my artistic endeavors: when I’m not using my Right-brain during a design project, it gets to rest while my Left-brain gets a workout helping customers! When I get off work, I’m usually eager to start creating something, and when my creative battery is low, my career helps me recharge.

I also recharge by simply looking at a lot of letters every day. Of course, Instagram and Pinterest always provide a wealth of inspiration! My happy place is sketching on my iPad, listening to baroque music or a good Jane Austen novel, while peeping at some floral pattern or illuminated manuscript for inspiration.

Most importantly, a huge source of creative inspiration comes from the Bible itself: my Bible app is filled with highlighted verses- and I want to letter them all! The poetry and light of God’s Word never fails to refresh and spark my creative muse.

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

Though I’ve been an artist for as long as I could remember, I planned my high school classes around a career path towards Radiologic Technology, filling up spare elective credits with art classes only just for fun. In theory, becoming an X-Ray tech was a practical plan… until I learned during college orientation that there would be a 5-year waiting list to start clinicals! I decided to switch to a business major in Digital Arts instead- which had been my back-up plan- and I’m so glad I did!

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