This month we partner with illustrator Cami Zea, who can be found anywhere along the West Coast of the USA. Cami is an artist, writer, and feelings feeler expressing herself through digital lettering. She says, “It takes true resilience to show up to this life- present, eyes ahead, taking it all in with your feet firmly planted. Not rushing what surfaces by the day- when circumstances are a chopping wave can you keep yourself in place and wait?”
For a little more about Cami, here’s a short Q&A:
Where is home for you?
Anywhere along the West Coast of the United States.
What is your definition of a successful life?
A life that was lived with great curiosity and commitment to staying present. I go to bed feeling the most successful when I am really awake within my day. I tasted my coffee, I looked into someone’s eyes, I soaked in my surroundings and listened with my whole self. A life I paid great attention to is one of great success.
Describe your perfect day.
On my perfect day, I wake up with curls that are working for me and zero trace of a grumpy attitude. Somewhere along the way I get to see a lot of dogs. I have slow coffee, and write for hours. Every single word is inspiring!! It ends with dinner around a table of people I love. There is wine and, if I’m being honest, I probably cooked the meal and every bite was delicious! People couldn’t stop talking about how buttery the mashed potatoes were. We drink many bottles and talk until we are tired. I go to bed so full of life and love and carbs.
How did you get into design?
I’ve always been a creatively driven person. I took art all of high school and my teacher (I love you, Sherry Windham!) discovered that I had great handwriting. She asked me to design all of our prom posters from freshman to senior year- but I didn’t know at the time that it could be a substantial career path.
Where do you find inspiration?
A connecting conversation almost always draws something beautiful out. Tall trees. Books with great characters. Music.
What’s your dream design project?
I would love to write a book full of hand drawn lettering quotes and longer form thoughts.
Which designers or thinkers influence/inspire you?
Alex Elle and Glennon Doyle provide deep soul stirring thoughts. I’ve been leaning toward art with a lot of texture and motion lately, so the work of Lolly Lolly Ceramics and Caroline Kaufman textiles have really pulled me in. My favorite lettering artists/illustrators of the moment are Lisa Congdon and Laci Jordan.
What was the inspiration behind this design?
My thoughts were swimming in the process of grief when I sat down and wrote this. It’s so human to be put off to pain. Who wants to feel it? My instincts want to shut off to it, but we must feel it through to heal. We are worth the grit and guts it takes to heal.
How does Resilience play out in your life?
I wouldn’t be where I was today if I didn’t learn how to sit with what was difficult and heavy. Allowing myself to experience the gift of thriving after trauma and grief has required great resilience and tenacity. It has been the gift that cost a hefty price, but has also given me an artistic voice and led me back to myself year after year.
At the moment, what is your favorite…
Color: Black + Crisp red always
Food: Canelle et Vanille’s banana bread
Song: Eyes Are Red- Deep Sea Diver
Quote: “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”- Mary Oliver
Thanks for sharing with us, Cami!