Art & Type: Megan Romo

Megan Romo is a graphic artist with a master’s degree in creative writing. The confluence of words with art is the cornerstone of her popular typographic work.


For our Summer 2014 issue of Surround Yourself , we talked to Megan about her artistic process, her views on typography, and who she is making her art for.


What inspires you to work with words or make words part of your art?
I call myself a logophiliac—a lover of words. Words and writing is my medium to create. I wanted the words I loved so much—quotations, scriptures, sayings, snark—on my own walls, but I couldn’t find any word art that appealed to my personal aesthetic, so in a stroke of pure reckless ego, I decided to learn to make it myself.
You blend words, layout, color, contrast, and attitude beautifully. Do you have a regular process that you use to create your work or is each piece very different?
Creating is a messy process for me. Where I start with a piece is generally worlds away from where it ends up. I never start with the font or style.Words are the point; typography is the means.
How many of the rules of typography influence your work and do you find yourself being resistant to these?
I essentially ignore most rules. The only ones I pay attention to closely are about alignment. Nothing should be on the page arbitrarily. Recently, I used 16 different fonts for a 30-word piece. Somehow, it worked. Years ago I wouldn’t have believed I’d ever be so shameless about breaking well-researched rules! But I was, and I did, and it worked.

In typography, do you think that less is more?

Generally, yes, I think in typography less is more. But I break that “rule” too. I recently finished a poster of 50 marriage tips. It’s a super busy piece, really copy heavy, but it’s playful in design and keeps the eye moving through the whole piece, which is what I was going for. I wanted each tip to be distinct from the ones around it and still lead into the next. That and the amount of text I had to work with led me to make a piece that’s definitely not of the “less is more” school but is still something I’m proud of.
Outside of commissioned work, how much do you find yourself making art that you think will sell versus making art for art’s sake?
The truth is I’m terrible at making art designed to sell. I’m too selfish for that. If a quotation grabs me, I’ll work it into a piece, because I like it. Sales be damned!
As an artist, your work can change as the journey of life goes on. What do you find yourself wanting to create most now or where do you want to take your art?
I’ve been told that “You can make art or you can make money. You can’t do both.” There are times in my life that I’ve believed it and times where I’ve said, “Forget that! I can do it all!” While it’s very satisfying and flattering to have people purchase and hang my work, and it makes me feel a heavy sense of gratitude, I most often create with me as my end consumer. It’s rare that I take on commissioned work because my art is a place where I want to relax. I hesitate to sully the enjoyable experience of making art with the pressure of pleasing a client.
Two years ago my husband had an affair and I went through a nasty divorce. While slogging through that trial I simply couldn’t create. I couldn’t find it in me to write. I had no inspiration for visual art. But as my heart has healed and I’ve found happiness, I am able to create once more, to write and design. I experienced what it’s like to not have it in me to make anything, because of that I’m just so grateful to be able to create anything at all. Right now, I’m satisfied with keeping my new art on my own walls at home and keeping my promotional efforts directed at my work that’s already out there.
View more of Megan’s work on her Imagekind page here! Also, be sure to follow her blog, Remarks From Sparks.