Interview | Tygerstyles
For this month I wanted to showcase one of my oldest Instagram friends: Ty Johnson, I just did a “was-gonna-be-short” interview with him; he’s been an amazing supporter of my lettering and I just love his personal style. Ty is a lettering artist and art director working in New York City, he’s been doing Lettering a relatively short time but he’s developed a truly unique style to his letters. He describes himself as a highly creative person with a keen eye and with an ability to see and find potential in everything and everyone; he’s truly a really nice person and you can see that on his Instagram and his replies, he truly cares about other people and enjoys motivating them to go the extra mile.
Ty got into lettering as an outlet for his day job, as he works in advertising he confessed it takes a tole on you sometimes when you really can’t call all the shots in those type of environments, so he saw lettering as a way of escaping that and let his creative mind run free. At first he always figured people who did lettering were just masters or talented people that were just born with it and that he’d never become a brush pen expert, but as he began to learn for tutorials (mainly from Stebradbury Youtube Channel), he realized anyone can learn, and he also shared with me something amazing: The hardest thing with lettering is realizing there’s no definite style, you have to stop being afraid of messing up, just mess up.
He says what he loves most about lettering is the freedom on paper, quote: “I letter very slowly, feel every motion and it gives me a sense of what I’m doing. It’s painting with words and telling a picture.” Coming from a very strict and harsh College experience and then venturing into the cut-throat environment of corporate advertising, Ty told me he’s learned that we have to inspire people, not only by correcting them and offering feedback to improve, but also by telling them what they’re doing good too, offer feedback that shows you’re paying attention to them and that their efforts are noticed.
I asked Ty what decision affected his life the most and he told me it was quitting track back in his college years; being a competitive person he enjoyed the sports and the glory of winning, but as he became more focused on his studies he realized sports wanted him to disregard school and give more of his time to practice, so he decided to stop running track. He says now that despite not being in competitive environments nowadays, he finds that he’s put that onto himself, and that now he only competes with his past self, so he’s always looking for cool and creative ways to improve onto what he’s already done.
Ty hopes to eventually take his lettering toward bigger projects like lettering murals on walls or offices, and he hopes to one day have his lettering tattooed on Arnold Schwarzenegger! So, just follow Ty’s recurring advice and just “let yourself shine”. Check out all of his work on Instagram.com/tygerstyles.
Read me on the next one.