Curiosity Draws Rebeca Anaya to Typography and Letterforms

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

My name is Rebeca Anaya and I’m a freelance lettering artist and founder of Typebasics.

I’m currently based in Mexico City, but I grew up in Torreón Coahuila, a city in northern México.

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

I was originally trained as a graphic designer, but I was always drawn towards letterforms.

Working as a designer I realized what I enjoyed the most was working with typography. I started getting really curious about the process behind typeface design and lettering, so in 2013 I decided to apply to the Type@Cooper condensed program at New York City. Besides typeface design, the course included lessons in calligraphy, history, and theory, which helped me become fully aware of the styles and shapes that I’m passionate about. I started focusing on script-style lettering and in 2016 I returned to Cooper Union to attend a set of workshops by Ken Barber of House Industries. There, I also met Barbara Calzolari which became a huge personal inspiration.

3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

I think I’ve gone through a couple of stages: I’ve worked with traditional tools like ink, pencils, paint, and paper, and one of my favorite things is to work with an HB pencil on tracing paper. I love the feeling of it, I think it feels like spreading butter on a warm toast! Recently, I have been working with needle and thread. I really enjoy the “crafty” vibe of it, and I like how non-limiting it can be. For instance, whenever you’re editing a lettering piece on paper, you often need to start over in a new sheet, and with needlepoint, you can simply undo a certain part and fix it.

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

Coffee. I lived in New York for a while a couple of years ago, and I fell in love with the coffee culture there. I’ve always enjoyed it, but the whole process of walking to a coffee shop in a tiny hidden street, listening to new music on every shop you go to, seeing new people, trying new flavors, that felt really inspiring somehow. I think routine is a big creativity-killer so now that I’ve relocated to Mexico city I’ve started visiting coffee shops 2-3 times a week to feel recharged.

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

I’m a big history geek. For some reason it is quite fascinating to me to learn about certain events that had happen through out history. I get obsessed with specific events and I start reading and learning everything I can about it. Currently, I’m reading a lot about the history of the British Royal Family, but I have also studied art history, specially the movements of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, WWII, the history of the Tzars, and Amelia Earhart.

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