We had the good fortune of connecting with Lanie Whitby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lanie, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am Filipino-American, born in Los Angeles and raised in the Inland Empire. The combination of these 3 things has definitely shaped who I am today through my art and personality. I am cognizant of the role that my culture/upbringing plays in my everyday interactions and because of my urban background, I often feel that I don’t belong in upper social class settings. This is a personal issue that I am consistently working through and ultimately, I want to show others that no matter what your background is – YOU BELONG.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Lettering Artist that focuses on monochromatic color schemes with an urban feel. Many confuse Lettering with Calligraphy, but they are not one in the same. Lettering is the art of drawing letters (think sign-painters) while Calligraphy is the art of writing letters (think dip pens, etc). I fell in love with handwriting, in general, at an early age. My dad, who passed away last year, taught me how to write in cursive before I was in kindergarten. He always stressed the importance of having a remarkable signature. ‘Til this day, my dad had one of the best signatures I’ve ever seen (which is now tattooed on the side of my left forearm in his memory). In 2014, I started @laniletterdesigns on Instagram as a creative outlet for myself. But with the support from family, friends, and online strangers – my passion project quickly grew into a profitable business, ranging from finished goods (available on my website at: www.laniletter.com) to custom commissioned pieces. I also share my love for letters with others by teaching online workshops and recently taught Arts & Crafts to kids (ages 4-14) at an online summer camp. Sharing my passion with others has been so fulfilling and I hope to continue to inspire others through my creative hustle.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
In my view, the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles is where it’s at. From food to culture, there is an abundance of choices. I’m not sure what the available food choices currently are (due to COVID), but you’ll be sure to find something good to eat – just by walking around. If you drink beer, there are really cool breweries in the area as well.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As corny as this is – I want to shoutout my husband, Allen Whitby. He seriously is my rock. Without him, I’d still be wandering through life without any direction. He has been nothing but supportive throughout my journey as a lettering artist and encourages me to explore every avenue of my artistic career.
Vanessa Gonzalez Photography & JVV Photography