Laura Kaucher, Letterer & Designer

Laura Kaucher is a letterer and designer from Chicago, Illinois. Previously an art director for Spoonful Magazine and ForYourParty she now freelances full-time. Her work has appeared in Brides Magazine and she has collaborated on many projects with the editorial team at Martha Stewart Weddings. Thanks for chatting with us Laura!

What do you do?

I’m a letterer and designer.

What did you want to be when you were a child?

I always wanted to be a doctor or vet (like every other kid), but after growing up watching ER, I quickly learned that I’m a bit squeamish. Luckily, my parents noticed that I loved drawing and creating at a very young age and continued to encourage me down that path.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a freelancer.

It was completely unplanned. I left a longtime job for my dream job of art directing a new independent food magazine. Unfortunately the odds were stacked against the magazine, but I realized how much I loved the freedom it allowed me and decided to take the plunge and work for myself.

When you first started, how did you find clients?

Word of mouth or recommendations from friends/past clients. After that I began pitching myself to people/companies I wanted to work with.

Do you have a motto that you work by?

You’re worth it. It’s really easy to panic and take any job that comes your way no matter how little they’re willing to pay. Your time, experience, and skills are valuable and clients should pay accordingly. The ones that don’t aren’t the clients you want.

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How do you stay productive?

It can be a struggle for sure! The biggest downside of freelancing is that it all falls down to you, so if you slack, you’re the one that is going to suffer.

Having a designated workspace in my home and a schedule definitely helps keep me on track. I will also try to go out and work from a coffee shop 2-3 times a week for a change of scenery.

What are you working on right now?

I just finished up a few projects so I finally have some downtime to work on a couple personal projects. I did some custom lettering and social media templates for a longtime client and just wrapped a 300+ page beast of a catalog for a new client.

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Always keep moving forward. Never stop networking, planning, getting inspired.
What is your dream project?

I love working on magazines and catalogs. If I can work on more projects that allow me to work with food and photographers, I will be a happy camper.

What one piece of advice would you give to a freelancer just starting out?

Always keep moving forward. Never stop networking, planning, getting inspired.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given?

It’s okay to not have all the answers immediately. You’ll figure it out eventually.

Tell us about a time in your career when you struggled.

It was really hard when the magazine I was working for folded. I left a comfortable job that I liked, but I had gone as far as I could go at that company. Then suddenly, I had the dream creative team that also happened to be some of my closest friends. Throw in the ability to work remotely travel, and have complete creative control and I was a happy camper.

Even though it didn’t work out though, it was the best decision I’ve made. I realized I had become complacent in my designs and it showed me how much more I could push myself. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to go full-time freelance had I not had this experience.

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What are you listening to, reading or watching that is inspiring to you lately?

I recently watched Paddington and Paddington 2 and loved the aesthetics. I would highly recommend them for a good feel good watch with charming visuals.

What is your favourite piece of clothing?

I went a little overboard when I was in New Orleans and bought a bunch of super comfy hoodies from DNO. It’s winter in Chicago, so it’s definitely time to bundle up. You know I’m really in the zone when I’ve got my headphones on and hood up.

What is the strangest thing about you?

I adopted a pair of guinea pigs named Tofu and Bento because my building doesn’t allow dogs. And I may or may not have bought them little Santa hats to wear for Christmas.

Who would you most like to answer these questions next?

I’d love to see fellow Chicago designer Kyle Letendre’s answers.

How can we find out more about your work?

You can stalk—I mean—follow me on instagram @laurakaucher or see my work at laurakaucher.com