Student Of The Internet, Lucas Dand

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

My name is Lucas Dand.  In the past, I went by Heritage Hand Lettering and Design, but these days I just go by Lucas Dand Design.  I’m originally from the Boston area, but I currently live just outside of Nashville, TN.

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

I don’t have any formal art/design education. I am primarily self-taught and a student of the internet.  I took a few art classes in high school, but I tended to rebel against the structure of art-as-an-assignment. I was most happy when I was doodling car or shoe designs or superheroes in my notebook when I should have been paying attention in class.  I had a small identity crisis after I graduated high school, and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life so I decided not to waste money and put off going to college right away.  That was over 20 years ago, and I am so fully committed to my procrastination that I still haven’t gone back to school.  I work a full time job (not in the design industry) in order to support my family, and I do design and lettering on the side in my spare time. Ideally I would love a career in design, whether working for an agency or a greeting card company or something like that, but I also believe that God has me on the path I’m on for a reason and I have to be willing to trust His plan.

 

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3. Preferred tool and medium

I always swore I would be a pencil-and-paper purist for life, and then someone gifted me an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, and I haven’t looked back.  I still sketch out basic structures and ideas in my field notes every so often, but I find the iPad just makes things a lot easier and efficient, and can cut my project time in half.  I fully admit that I am woefully undertrained when it comes to all the Adobe tools associated with design, but at the moment I’m able to get away with what little I do know.

 

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

Usually I’ll take a step back from whatever I’m working on and spend time with my family.  I enjoy listening to music or looking at other people’s artwork.  One thing that helps me creatively is fellowship.  I believe that iron sharpens iron, and being around other creatives is usually a really good way to help me push through the cobwebs and get some fresh perspective.  I just got back from Creative South, which is an amazing design conference that takes place down in Columbus, GA every year.  It presents an amazing opportunity to get around other creatives and hang out with prominent designers and discover that they struggle with the same things.  I usually come away from that conference ready to take on the world.

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

I don’t know how surprising this might be for some, but my wife and I have six children.  My oldest three kids are triplets, and we felt called to continue on and have a large family.  My wife actually just gave birth to our sixth child last month, so I blame any typos here on a lack of sleep.  My kids were my inspiration to get back into art.  I hadn’t picked up a pencil or paintbrush in several years, and when the triplets were about four or five my wife and I were reading bedtime stories every night, and we came across some awful children’s books.  So I looked at some of the stories that my kids and I loved from artist/authors like Oliver Jeffers and Jon Klassen, and tried to discern what made them so enjoyable.   It inspired me to come up with a few stories of my own, and to illustrate them myself.  They are still sitting on a shelf somewhere in my house, but that was what initially inspired me to get back into drawing and, eventually, lettering and design.  I’m not sure where this path will take me, but I do love watching my children draw and create amazing artwork on their own.

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