You may recognize Carmi Grau (also known as the woman behind Super Nice Letters) from the ultra-relatable messages she illustrates that make all of us feel a little more human.
So what does life look like on the daily for this superstar lettering artist? Read on to check out Carmi’s studio space, learn where she draws inspiration from, and hear what she’d like to improve on as a creative.
Where do you work? Tell us about your space(s).
Hi, I’m Carmi and I’m an illustrator and hand-letterer based in Berlin, Germany. I have a studio space at home but I work wherever I am. When I am travelling I work on the train, in a hotel room, in my mom’s garden, or in a cafe.
Where does your inspiration come from and what does your design process look like?
I am inspired by everything and anything in everyday life. Sometimes it’s something like a phrase from a song, an experience whilst traveling, or taking a walk in the woods. Colors and shapes are everywhere, in every single place you look — in real life or in a picture book.
Usually, I start with rough pencil sketches on paper where I define a basic structure and letter shapes that I’m going to use. After that, I start to work digitally. I mainly use Procreate to refine my illustrations. I like to go fast, listening to some music and staying focused.
Tell us about your routine (or lack of one.) How do you structure your days to get things done?
On a typical day, I get up, make coffee, check my emails and make a to-do list to get a sense what my day looks like. Then, I prioritize tasks and start working. I try to get urgent things done before lunch time. To me, it is also important to take breaks in between — having a coffee, going for a walk, and coming back to work with fresh eyes.
What’s something in your lifestyle that you’d like to improve on?
I would like to get better with taking breaks. Sometimes I get so soaked into my work that I just forget about the good habit of taking breaks.
Carmi Grau is an illustrator and lettering artist based in Berlin. She has always been passionate about drawing since childhood. Inspired by the beauty of nature she creates bold visuals using her own vocabulary of colors and shapes. Her work combines illustration and letterforms to deeply evoke emotions and bring meaning.