Artist Casey Ligon Talks Lettering and Life
Meet the girl behind the words.
Livingly's Inspiring Artist series asks talented women of all creative mediums to share their work and how they live life beautifully.
If you're not already following Casey Ligon on Instagram, don't wait another second. Her work is not only beautiful—it's inventive, charming and guaranteed to make you smile. Famous for her creative lettering, she turns everything she touches into a work of art, whether it's petals or chalk, a strudel or sprinkles.
Eager to learn more about the girl behind the words, I was delighted when I had the opportunity to ask her some questions about the art form, her favorite pieces and the secret to her 30k followers (and counting!). Her answers will not disappoint.
What drew you to lettering?
While working in Hallmark's Marketing Design Studio (as a writer!), I learned some traditional ink-and-nib calligraphy techniques from the artists in the building. They made it look SO effortless. It was all incredibly lovely, yet structured. A lot of modern hand lettering can be messy and uninformed, but I was very much interested in where lettering started and what made it so inherently beautiful.
Your work is endlessly creative, what was your most unusual medium?
The allergy pills, I think. I had been suffering for a few days, totally unable to breathe, but still wanted to be creative and post something fun to Instagram. In my exasperation, I realized I had two slightly different sizes of pills and got to work creating that little piece (if any pharmacists are reading, don't worry–I threw out the pills I used to create the piece!).
What is your favorite project to date?
This giant chalk mural (video here). I started a new job at an advertising agency and I wanted to make sure people knew who I was, what I was capable of, and that I was ready to work my butt off. I incorporated portraits of the CEO and a few other employees into the Creation of Adam (cause it was big, eye-catching, and everyone was basically naked, though I added green leaves after clearing the project with HR). I started working first thing Saturday morning and didn't stop chalking until Sunday night. The reaction was incredible. The CEO found me shortly after to introduce himself, and just about half the company introduced themselves as well. People on teams throughout the agency started requesting me for projects and my productivity exploded.
You have an incredible Instagram following, what's your secret? Aside from being insanely talented, of course.
Consistency. As soon as I dedicated myself to posting only lettering-related work and posting something once a day—no more and no less—my following increased steadily and hasn't stopped since. In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing when it came to lettering. Posting once a day forced me to practice and get better. The followers came naturally as my work improved. I've unfollowed plenty of great artists for posting selfies and blurry dinner plates on the regular. If you really want your Instagram to flourish, if you want it to serve as a foundation for your business, find a separate outlet for your personal posts and funnel all your creative energy into your Instagram. It will take time, but you'll start to see a huge difference in the quality of your artwork between something posted today and something posted months ago!
Do you have a favorite quote?
"That others may live," is the mantra of the US Air Force Pararescue, and it's hauntingly beautiful. I think that selflessness is the loveliest quality that a person can possess.
What's something people might not guess about you?
I initially went to college for Dentistry. Yawn. I got through Chem I and Chem II, a few chem labs and bio labs, but my heart wasn't in it. I took one drawing class, just to ease some stress, and it came so much more naturally to me. At that point, I knew I had to do something creative with my life, so I transferred to Ringling College of Art & Design.
What makes you giddy?
Cleaning. Organizing. Finishing a shoot and then packing away every tiny bulb and tripod and bit and bobble. Making art is chaos, so I like the balance that comes with having an immaculate workspace.
What's the last thing you Googled?
How to spell "disingenuous." I like fancy words.
What artist or song are you hooked on at the moment?
Duet by Penny and Sparrow. It's on repeat every morning about 20 times.
Our motto at Livingly is "live life beautifully"—what does living beautifully mean to you?
I think that living beautifully is raising others up whenever I have the chance. Making and giving gifts on an average day, not just birthdays and holidays. Telling a person how awesome they are. Asking myself "what would make this person's day?" and then doing it!