This Illustration Took 300 Hours and Millions of Handmade Dots and Lines to Create

Design doesn’t happen in an instant. The creative process takes time, patience and discipline to bring the best design to light– qualities that artists Xavier Casalta and Rémy Boiré know all too well in their incredible “Patience & Discipline” piece shown below. It took more than 300 hours of work, and millions of handmade dots and lines to create the 22″ x 30″ illustration using Rotring Inkpens over the course of several months.

"Patience & Discipline" Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

“Patience & Discipline” Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

"Patience & Discipline" Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

“Patience & Discipline” Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

"Patience & Discipline" Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

“Patience & Discipline” Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

Boiré, a freelance graphic designer, and illustrator Casalta– both hand-letterers– bonded over their passion for typography when they decided to collaborate to learn from one another.

“I have been practicing pointillism for over a year now and discovered this technique by chance while I was learning typography and wanted to experiment with something else other than solid black letters. This time-consuming technique (4-8 dots per second) is interesting because you need to look closely at the illustration to realize that it’s made of thousands of dots,” says Casalta who also shared his advice for aspiring graphic designers with the FIDM Digital Arts Blog adding that “patience, hard work and confidence” are the qualities needed to succeed in the industry.

Boiré also shared advice with FIDM Students saying “be curious and talk with a lot of different people, but most of all, work hard.”

"Patience & Discipline" Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

“Patience & Discipline” Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

As a freelance graphic designer and hand-letterer, Boiré says what he enjoys most about his career is the time spent away from the computer– using his hands to create, whether it’s sketching or inking. Hand-letterers who he admires include David A. Smith, Gemma O’Brien and Mateusz Witczak, as well as calligrapher Luca Barcellona.

The lifestyle of a freelance artist is pretty great, too, says Boiré.

“Being free to choose your schedule, your client and your workplace is really satisfying,” he says.

The Process

"Patience & Discipline" Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

“Patience & Discipline” Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

It’s clear that Boiré and Casalta aren’t wasting any of their creative energy, as demonstrated by their process photos for “Patience & Discipline.”

The letter “P” by itself took three hours to complete as shown in an Instagram post by Casalta.

“Through this collaboration, we wanted to express the importance of careful planning and craftsmanship. But ultimately, we wanted to show that anything was possible with hard work, time, and commitment; hence, Patience and Discipline. To create this illustration we met several times over the course of several months and worked for over 300 hours. Once the sketch was done on the 22×30 inch sheet (56×76 cm), I started the dotwork while Rémy worked on the linework,” says Casalta.

Last day before the full project :) This simple “P” took 3 hours to complete !

A video posted by Xavier Casalta (@casaltaxavier) on


Credit: Xavier Casalta on Instagram

"Patience & Discipline" Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

“Patience & Discipline” Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

"Patience & Discipline" Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

“Patience & Discipline” Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

"Patience & Discipline" Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

“Patience & Discipline” Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

"Patience & Discipline" Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

“Patience & Discipline” Hand Lettered Illustration by Rémy Boiré and Xavier Casalta.

Limited edition prints are available to purchase here. Browse more inspiring typography and illustrations by Rémy Boiré at remyboire.fr and Xavier Casalta at casaltaxavier.com.

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With four California campuses located in the heart of the fashion and entertainment industries, FIDM is a leading, accredited college offering specialized Associate of Arts and Bachelor’s of Arts degrees. FIDM has been educating students with creative and leadership skills for the global industries of fashion, visual arts, interior design, and entertainment for more than 45 years. Learn more at www.fidm.edu.

The FIDM Digital Arts Blog is dedicated to professional and aspiring graphic designers and filmmakers, illustrating the range of career opportunities within these fields written by FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. See more at www.fidmdigitalarts.com.

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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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