The Law Wasn’t Enough For Mary Kate Ritzo

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

My name is Mary Kate Ritzo and I’m a lettering artist at American Greetings. I’m currently located in Westlake, Ohio, USA.

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

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and grew up lettering, but not knowing what lettering was. I earned my degree in graphic design from Texas Christian University, where I found out that my love of lettering could actually turn into a career. After graduating, I spent two years in Dallas, Texas working as a graphic designer before I got my dream job at American Greetings. Now, I get to letter every day and learn from some of the best lettering artists in the country!

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3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

My preferred tools include a trusty mechanical pencil, a Pentel Fude Touch Sign pen and my iPad Pro.

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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.?

Since I’m constantly bouncing between projects at work and after work, I typically charge my batteries by just taking a break! I find that going for a walk and listening to good podcast really does the trick for me. Sometimes, I’ll take a full weekend and not create anything for 48 hours, so by the time I get back to work, I have a lot of ideas to get down on paper.

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

Oh boy, I’ll admit this took me an embarrassingly long time to think of an answer. I have to go with the fact that if I hadn’t studied art in college, I would have studied law. I still think it would be really cool to go to law school just to be able to put “Mary Kate Ritzo J.D.” on my business cards for no reason.

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