Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn is the go-to illustrator for vibrant, hand rendered type and she’s honed her wonderful chalk-board aesthetic down to perfection. Based in Orlando, Florida, her talents go well beyond brilliant lettering. She has a classically trained voice and is also a figure skater. When she’s not in her studio, there’s a good chance she’s at the local rink turning triple axles with her friends.
Her musical tastes change by the season – in the warmer months it’s usually Bon Iver, Death Cab for Cutie and Zero 7, but in autumn or winter she’ll listen to Pat Metheny, George Winston, Gordon Lightfoot, Mannheim Steamroller or Josh Groban. She loves old advertising and packaging, particularly fruit crate labels and art deco lettering.
Shauna went to the University of North Florida, originally to study opera. However she switched to graphic design, took classes in painting and screen printing, and discovered a love of illustration. After graduating she did an internship in an agency in Jacksonville, and worked in graphic design in Orlando before becoming a freelance illustrator.
You’ll never believe this, but Shauna has only ever worked on a chalkboard once. Despite how incredibly chalky her projects look, they are all digitally produced. Having said that, she does begin in her sketchbook working in a pink pencil because it’s pale and allows her to refine the letterforms as she goes over them with a 2B. An image is then scanned into Photoshop and worked on using a Wacom Cintiq.
It’s Shauna’s custom brushes that really make the difference. She’s spent ages creating them and they ensure that her chalk-look work is as realistic as possible.
In terms of colour, her instinct is to go wild. However, as she points out she doesn’t want her work to look like a rainbow has exploded on it, so she usually cuts her palette back to four bright colours.
Many have called Shauna’s work whimsical. While there’s certainly fluidity and freedom about it she’ll also fill background areas with fine detail. Little words squeezed in here and there allow the client the opportunity to augment and refine a message – or just get more in there! But the secret to Shauna’s style is her desire to please her inner five-year-old. Happy and positive is what she does best and if her work isn’t those things she won’t be satisfied with it.