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Life and Work with Joanna Muñoz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joanna Muñoz.

Joanna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I taught myself calligraphy in October 2010, shortly after I got engaged. I’m an Art Director by day and have been creative all my life. I especially love drawing and figured calligraphy wouldn’t be hard to learn (it is) and would be the perfect personal touch for our wedding. I ended up creating all of our print collateral (save the dates, invites, menus, table numbers) and our day-of signage by myself and really enjoyed the process.

From there, I found and dove head first into the world of hand lettering with brushes, brush pens and chalk. It’s the perfect intersection of typography and hand-drawn art and gives me that much-needed break away from my computer.

My freelance clients started rolling in once I began sharing my work on Instagram. It’s still my favorite social media platform because it allows me to experiment, share my process and post final pieces while engaging with people who love the same things I do.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’m guilty of sometimes taking off more than I can chew and have a natural inclination to procrastinate, which is never a good combination when juggling a day job and freelance gigs. My journey has been smooth sailing but only because my freelance career is for fun. I have the flexibility to turn down projects that don’t align with who I am, what I believe in or how much free time I want to give up… and, I have the safety net of a steady paycheck and benefits from my full-time job.

We are always in control, even if we don’t feel that way. Take a break when you need it. Bust your butt to produce work. Everything you do comes with a choice (i.e. give up your Friday to work or party with friends and pass on the project) and once you find the balance that makes sense for you things start to fall into place.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Wink & Wonder – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Most people know me through my hand-lettering account on Instagram under the name @winkandwonder. My style tends to lean towards script (or cursive) lettering with big flourishes.

Every project is different, but I’m most proud of having worked with clients to create something they love and want to share with others. My projects range from personal pieces for individuals to greeting cards at international Papyrus stores and from book covers to live hand lettering events for Monique Lhullier and Pottery Barn.

I think one thing that sets me apart from other letterers is often the message I relay. Whether it’s through my post caption or actual hand-lettered piece, I try to stay true to who I am and what I’m about… even if that means I use profanity or absurd ideas to get the message across. People can see through BS and authenticity is easy to achieve when you don’t feel like you have to be someone else.

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
In general, I think people flourish when they speak to something that resonates with themselves. For women, the easy answer is that we’re well versed in what it’s like to be a woman – our challenges, our fears, our insecurities, but we can also share and speak to the things we excel at – knowing what we want, overcoming adversity, being strong and independent.

Women are inherently more emotionally intuitive and open. I believe that when we talk about things that other human beings can relate to our words resonate so much more. Be a feminist. Embrace your culture and heritage. Share what it’s like to be YOU because someone out there will relate to how you feel or think or what you struggle with.

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