28: Jon Contino – What it Takes to Be a World Class Calligraphy Artist

Creativity, Full Time Hustler, Money & Business, Personal Growth, Podcast, Weekend Warrior

“If you want something, the only way you’re gonna get it is by taking it.”

Creativity is sexy.

Jon Contino started getting paid for his calligraphy and design work at the tender age of 14. He carried that through for years, but it all came to a halt in 2008 when the economy tanked.

It’s easy to throw in the towel at a point like this… but creativity is sexy. For those who are passionate about creating, surrender is not an option.

He dug his way out and continues to live in New York, create breath taking images for brands and for personal projects all while thriving in a marriage and raising a daughter.

If you’re seeking to become a professional calligraphy artist, you’ve got to listen to this podcast. If you’re seeking to be a professional artist in any sphere, the lessons from this show will definitely be worth paying close attention.

“If you really want to do a lot of stuff, you just gotta do it fast.”

Some things we learn in this podcast:

  • Why all creatives (like Jon Contino) are designers
  • How to identify passion as a calligraphy artist at an early age
  • Calligraphy and why it touches everything
  • The transition from passionate work to getting paid
  • The ambition and gumption to go after those dreams
  • Thoughts on where the driving creative force comes from
  • How a world class designer views his own work
  • The story of how Jon recovered after the 2008 economy crash
  • The graceful dance of telling a client “no” and still project them in the right space
  • Monumental moments that shaped Jon’s massive drive
  • The typical day and daily rituals for Jon to get into the creative flow
  • How having a daughter effected Jon’s productivity as a creative professional
  • About the inspiration and love behind documentation
  • Maintaining and adjusting for the transition from design to apparel
  • Digital vs. Analogue
  • The crazy thing about the size of Jon Contino’s illustrations


Links mentioned:

  • Check out the awesome stuff at Contino Brand
  • Connect with Jon Contino

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website

  • Contino’s Illustration Process:
  1. Reams of Cheap Printer Paper
  2. Staedtler Pencils – Draw it
  3. Micron Pens – Ink over it
  4. Scan it – “Good to go”
  • Music Credit: I See Fire by Ed Sheeran (Kalev Remix)

Connect with Jon: Instagram | Twitter | Website

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