You may have heard the old adage from entrepreneur and motivational speaker—and early Tony Robbins mentor—Jim Rohn that says, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."
This is one quote I have written in my journal that I constantly look at. It’s a reminder to be selective with those closest to me, and over the years, I have become more strategic with this approach to re-evaluating who’s in my life. And for good reason.
When you surround yourself with big dreamers and creators, it’s transformative. It’s fuel for an intense fire. Surrounding myself with the passionate go-getters and creatives of the world has pushed me to strive for excellence instead of simply settling for mediocrity and complacency.
Think of the five or 10 people you spend the most time with. What are these people doing with their lives? How passionate are they? What are they creating? Do they inspire you? Do they represent the things you value and aspire to become?
I’m fortunate enough to have several amazing friends and mentors in my life who never fail to impress me with their achievements, or inspire, encourage, and motivate me to do and be greater. They also have very unique, distinct stories and talents to share with the world. They have the capacity to create the extraordinary.
One such person is my friend and co-worker Linda Lam aka Lamzidoodles. Linda is a master letterer, highly stylized illustrator, and lover of all cute things—creating and sharing her work even when there is no commercial goal or the all-powerful deadline. Linda’s personal projects have a very distinctive, playful quality, and typically delve into subject matter close to her heart. Every element of her art is an illustration in itself.
She’s definitely someone who doesn’t take her capacity to explore, discover, or create for granted. She authentically, artistically, and boldly expresses herself. She imagines and executes. She inspires others simply by being inspiring, having fun, and never taking herself too seriously.
I recently sat down with the talented artist to talk dream collaborations, lettering style, inspiration, and works-in-progress.
Here’s what she had to say.
What do you love illustrating more than anything else? My favorite thing to illustrate would be letters. Type. Phrases. I wish I could say it was doing caricatures but sometimes my hand-eye coordination isn't that great. With lettering, I get to constantly master my own handwriting. It wasn't until college that I learned that illustrating type was an actual thing. All those years of doodling on the side of my notes in class has finally come in full circle.
Dream collaboration? Great question! I would love to work with my favorite band, The Maine. They represent this bridge from the pop punk scene that I grew up in and happen to still be together, while many other bands have disbanded over the past few years. It also doesn't hurt that I'm a really big fan of their music.
A lot of my motivation in making work for people to enjoy stemmed from wanting to work on gig posters for my favorite bands. As a teen, I was constantly collecting posters or flyers from the OC underground music scene and plastered them over every inch of my room because it represented a fun memory or just looked really badass.
And then I would LOVE to be able to collaborate with Sanrio or Vans. It all keeps going back to the nostalgic feeling like when I'd take a Sharpie to draw on some slip-on shoes or when I'd save money as a kid to spend it on Pochacco stationery.
Describe your lettering style.
Dare I say, "curious?" My favorite lettering pieces tend to be the mash ups of combining a script with illustrated bubble letters or 3D type. The more personality in letterforms, the better. I'm always saving an insane amount of inspiration on Pinterest to learn new styles. It keeps my mind thinking about the next project.
What would be your six-word bio?
A lover of all cute things.
Who or what inspires you on a day to day basis?
I think what inspires me is being a fan of whatever I'm interested in. Whether it's a TV show I'm hooked on, somebody whose body of work I admire, good food or places, I think the heart of my inspiration stems from things that get me excited to make work. It can be a phrase or quote that keeps me laughing, intricate work that has me questioning the artist's process, or just a great memory where I'll remember the details. It's essentially moments or things that I can't stop thinking about.
Tell me about some personal projects or commissions you're currently working on.
Lately, I've been itching to practice doing some portraits. I am not on the level of doing realistic life drawings by any means, but I do appreciate a quirky doodle exploration. To marry it with a purpose, I'll probably practice referencing celebrities that I'm a fan of, and if it turns out decent looking, I'll throw it on my Instagram and tag them, haha! I'll always be the giddy fan.