Taking the leap into being a full-time creator is never an easy decision. While you may have experience with something, the act of going from casual hobby to career is a massive leap.
The reality for most entrepreneurs is their first businesses fail. As a creator, that is a realistic possibility as well. You might fail, you might suck, it might not be a straight ride to the top that you’re hoping for. But, if you don’t try, you’ll also never get there. This is something that Stefan Kunz realized when he took his leap into the world of creative lettering.
Stephan Kunz is a lettering artist with over 335,000 followers on Instagram. He takes words and turns them into beautiful art pieces - something that he monetizes by selling to businesses. Think of windows or billboards, but instead of posters, it’s hand-drawn word art. He started in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2016 where his business actually took off. Before that, the act of turning words into art was more of a hobby. Something he was passionate about and was learning to perfect his craft.
Inspiration for his work comes from everywhere. A sign on the street or a building, an old record or books in a library. Unique lettering is all around us, and that benefits him greatly. But he’s also a product of his mistakes. Stephan prefers to make things work rather than realize perfection. He talks about why using pencil leads us to make something look perfect because we can erase it and fix our errors. By using a permanent marker, his art becomes more interesting. He’s forced to work with his mistakes rather than repair them. That leads to his work developing more character and accidental intrigue for the final product.
Stephan has no art school experience. He has no diploma. There is nothing to fall back on to show someone ‘here are my credentials’. The only thing he has is his work. Today, that benefits him but early into his creative life, that’s where the possibilities of failure are most prevalent. When it comes to following your passions, sometimes taking the leap by quitting your job is not the right solution. Stephan suggests trying something for 30 days, or half a year. Find out if it’s something you’re passionate about. The reality is you might fail, you might suck, and it may not be the thing you actually want to be doing. So, give it some time before you jump in the deep end. Because the time you spent in the ‘hobby’ phase, will ultimately teach you a ton about what could be your future career.
Songs featured in this episode, and available on Epidemic Sound:
- Venus by Squiid
- In and Out of Love by Martin Hall Feat. Tigerblood Jewel
- Angel Dust by AGST
- Never as Lonely (Remix) by Niklas Ahlstrom Feat. Anya Gold
- You Got Nothing on Me by Loving Caliber Feat. Nikki Holguin
The Leap is filmed by Florian Land.