August 5, 2014

Pride, Work, and Necessity of Side Projects: Shauna Panczyszyn’s Three Word Stories



What are you working on—on the side?

My side project is called Three Word Stories. Late 2013, when I was doing lettering warm-ups in the morning, I realized that creating three-word lockups* seemed to be the easiest for me, especially to get my hands warmed up and ready to work. That eventually progressed into the idea of lettering three-word stories, or three-word sentences. From there, I’ve invited several friends to participate in the project and work on adding more myself.

How do you manage to work
on your side project(s)?

I try to find about an hour in the mornings, ideally once a week, to create a new three-word story. However, there are some days I will start working on one, and the next thing I know, it’s lunchtime. I try to not work on any Three Word Stories beyond the sketch phase on days that I have deadlines, since I often find myself taking longer to create them than I expect. So I save the digitizing for days I don’t have a heavy workload or deadline, so that I can make sure I don’t rush through them.

Why have side projects?

I think side projects are a fantastic way to exercise your creative muscles. It gives you something to be passionate and excited about outside of your professional work. Since they only have limitations you have set yourself, it’s a great way to really push your skills and try new things. I love trying new techniques and lettering styles in my side project.


* Refers to how the words interact with each other and their placement.

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Diptych courtesy of Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn.


This series, devoted to side projects, is delivered in association with Chicago creative agency 50,000feet—dedicated to helping brands and businesses soar.


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