Originally from Catalonia, Maria Montes first moved to Australia in 2006. She has since studied a Postgraduate Course in Advanced Typography in Barcelona, and a condensed Type Design Program at Cooper Union. Working from the Rotson studio share space Maria is a freelance designer, letterer, illustrator and calligrapher, taking on commissions for artwork, textile design, lettering and murals. Maria also shares her love of all things typographic by teaching regular calligraphy workshops in Melbourne (and occasionally Brisbane and Sydney).
Her current self-initiated project is keeping shit real (literally). 'The Shit Series' employs different writing styles to communicate common Australian expressions using the word shit. Maria has thrown herself into the project producing over 60 pieces so far... how does she find time for this shit?! It is an admirable effort and I am really enjoying following along her progress because the potty mouth language and clever colloquialisms apeals to my sense of humour while her exemplary calligraphy, lettering and layouts delight the eye!
I wrongly assumed that the aussie vernacular language was the original inspiration for the series but Maria explained that it was her Catalan heritage that was the first catalyst "On Christmas Eve we celebrate the “caga tió” (Christmas log that shits presents). We also feature the “caganer” (the shitter) in the Christmas nativity scene." In the lead up to the holidays this festive spirit has manifested in the shit series with a collection of shitty Christmas cards.
Each post is accompanied with a caption which narrates the thinking and or process behind the piece. Maria generously shares tips and tricks about which tools and techniques she uses. I particularly love Maria's Neuland hand - but the genres she is writting (and drawing) are really diverse.