When Lisa Lorek was a young girl in Mentor back in the ’90s, her parents concocted a brilliant plan to entertain her and her siblings while simultaneously keeping them out of trouble. A plethora of animated Disney movies did the trick, and also sparked a creative drive in Lisa.
After watching videos on the making of these films, Lisa became fascinated with the idea of becoming a Disney animator. As time passed, she grew out of Disney and into her style with a passion for art and an uncanny knack for bringing letters and words to life.
Music was perhaps the greatest inspiration for Lisa’s brand of calligraphy. Lisa admired the melodic wordsmithing of songwriters and specifically loved the lyrics. Like a sort of stenographer karaoke, Lisa captured the essence of the lyrics onto paper in an emotive portrayal of the words as she envisioned them. One of her favorite personal projects is a textbook turned epic sketchbook, in which she inscribed the lyrics to Rilo Kiley’s “A Better Son/Daughter,” each on a different page in a different font. It was this project that further propelled her down the path of lettering.
In 2015, Lisa was backed by Free Period Press to illustrate their book Hand-Lettered from A-Z: an Alphabet Coloring Book. In the book, Lisa kicked the alphabet up a notch with a new mix of simple and elaborate designs of the classic ABC’s. Around a year later at the end of 2016, Lisa undertook one of her grandest projects yet: a large four-wall lobby mural for Findaway, a content collective out of Solon, Ohio. Finished in January 2017, each wall is plastered with sleek black and white words and images that represent the culture of the company, free-handed in Lisa’s signature style of seemingly endless textual variety.
Part of the beauty in Lisa’s craft is her ability to flow between styles with ease, adapting to the context of any given project. Whether she’s depicting a quote or lyric, or working on commission for a baby or wedding shower, each of her font choices reflects the mood of the piece with shining attention to detail. For her, part of the fun is matching the visual direction to the project, which boldly shows in each example of her work. As she hand draws with expertly proportional precision, Lisa manages to give character to every character on the page.
Living in Ohio City, Lisa works as an art director by day and continues to hone her craft by night, all while preparing for her upcoming wedding to fiance and go-to critic for her Instagram posts, Mark Quine. It’s been a busy year so far, but Lisa hopes to work on more chalk murals in the Flats and arrange group meet-ups with her peers in the budding Cleveland art community, which she reveres as a source of creative motivation. You can check out an array of Lisa’s work at www.lisalorek.com, and follower her on Instagram @lisalorek.