1. What’s your name and title/business name? Where are you located, city, state, country location?
I’m Kyle Letendre, and I’m a lettering artist and illustrator. I freelance full time from home office in Chicago, Illinois.
2. What’s your educational and professional background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?
My path to design was a weird one. I initially went to study singing and French at a very small school in rural Iowa. I had considered going to school for some version of art, but there were virtually no scholarships for it, and when I got one for voice, the decision was pretty much made for me. I only lasted three semesters in Iowa before moving to Chicago to attend Columbia College, and after one last semester in music, I switched to design. I’m very glad I did — I’m way too anxious to be a performer, and there’s probably not much of a career for big dudes who like to sing the Spice Girls.
3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?
Almost all of my work is made digitally, so I rely on my iMac, my Wacom tablet and a collection of mismatched mechanical pencils.
4. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?
Truthfully, I’m very bad at this. I feel super guilty if I’m not making work of some kind — even when watching TV, I have to be drawing, embroidering, or doing something with my hands. But my partner and I are big travelers. I work a lot, so it’s nice to be able to drop things and get on a plane for a change of scenery. It’s a forced recess because I don’t take a computer with, and it’s also really inspiring to see signage and visual systems in another culture.
If I’m not traveling, I’m watching an embarrassing cocktail of reality competition tv. Every Top Model season from the US to UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. See also: Project Runway (Australia’s is amazing), Drag Race, Top Chef.
5. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.
In the sixth grade, I broke my foot on a Skip-It in gym class. I’m not very graceful, despite my extensive modeling career.