An Interview With Instagram-Famous Calligrapher Sebastian Lester

From the man who can perfectly free-form the Nike and Coca-Cola logos by hand.

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Arts
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You may remember Sebastian Lester, better known as @seblester on social media, for his impressive ability to recreate iconic brand logos with laser-like precision (featured here). The talented artist and designer sat down with Jeff Hamada of BOOOOOOOM Design to give us more details about his early start with calligraphy, his favorite words to illustrate, and becoming an influencer of the art through his unexpected viral success. Below is an excerpt of the interview, but be sure to check out the full version here. Also, for more stories featuring a behind-the-scenes look at artists and their sketching process, check out our exclusive Pen and Paper series.

JH: How early did you become interested in drawing letters?
SL: When I was nineteen and doing my foundation course in 1992 I stumbled across a book in the college library called ‘The Graphic Language of Neville Brody’. I was immediately struck by the stark, graphic power of Brody’s work. He made letterforms look extremely cool which was a first for me. The forms exuded strength and had a simple beauty about them. It was the first time I thought about designing a typeface myself and so that’s what I started doing. By the time I left college Rolling Stone Magazine had used one of my typefaces for an article which was very encouraging.

JH: You have more than 600,000 people eagerly awaiting your videos on Instagram, what was the thing that sparked your insane following?
SL: It is crazy, a little overwhelming at times. I am approaching 1.2 million accounts following me online at the moment. That is respectable for a pop star, let alone a nerd with a lot of pens.

JH: What are you most proud of so far in your life?
SL: That is a difficult question to answer. From a professional perspective I really feel like I am getting a lot of people interested in calligraphy and lettering at the moment. It appears quite a lot of people are trying calligraphy either through seeing my work, or the work of people inspired by me. Being influential, as I am told I am, and shaping behaviour in such a positive way has got to be a good thing. I’d like to continue to try to evangelize about calligraphy. It has been a source of so much pleasure to me, I want to try to share that.

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