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FUN WITH FOOD WITH CASEY LIGON

An interview with creative lettering artist Casey Ligon

BY: TATUM SNODGRASS | JANUARY 24, 2018


We recently partnered with lettering artist Casey Ligon (@caseyligon ) to create a social graphic for our Chinese New Year Sweepstakes. I recently interviewed her to learn more about her fun foodie approach to lettering.


Casey Ligon Working on Chinese New Year Lettering
 

How long have you been lettering?


I’ve been freelancing for about 3 years. Before that I worked for some ad agencies and my lettering was more of a side hustle.


How did you turn that side hustle into a full-time job?


I kept posting every day on Instagram. That challenge gave me this little box to fill. When I give college students advice I’ll usually tell them their box is way too big. It’s like eating an elephant one bite at a time. When I gave myself that challenge it felt more attainable because I just had one thing to focus on. It could just be a sketch on a page. One week I remember I lettered all the days of the week.


How did you get into lettering with food?


When I was practicing calligraphy and lettering, I eventually got bored with ink and paper. One day I just picked up an avocado that I was going to put on my toast that morning and lettered the word yum. I was just sick of the same materials so I started playing with food.


When you start a new project, what’s the first thing you do?


I start with a sketch, so the client can see exactly what the final product is going to look like. Once we agree on what it will look like, I set up the backgrounds and lighting and then I shoot. With P.F. Chang’s, there was a lot to get me going, but I was also able to bring my own ideas to the table.


P.F. Chang's fun with food


How do you create the stop motion movement?


There’s some math involved. For example, if you want the final piece to look chunky, I know from experience that’s roughly 6 frames per second. It’s a matter of pacing the video knowing how fast and slow you want things to go. If you want the piece of food to bounce across the screen, and you want the video to last 3 seconds, then you’re going to need 24 frames.

Plus, you have multiple sketches. It’s like a storyboard. Once the sketches are done, I set up my space and my lighting and start going. There was one project when I would only move 6 seeds, take a shot, then 6 more seeds, take a shot. It might seem tedious, but I find it very meditative.


What’s one creative tool you can’t live without?


Candy. Because I love eating it and I can letter out of it. My husband brings me candy instead of flowers. Yep, I can live without paper, but not candy.


Currently, what’s your favorite podcast?


I just listened to every episode of a podcast called We Have Concerns. They’re very funny and they just riff on modern things that are happening. And Radiolab. In March, NPR was doing a podcast promo and I lettered a couple different podcasts out of breakfast cereal.



Thanks Casey! Check out the final lettering video on our Instagram page.