The start of a new year always prompts me to scribble out list after list of things I want to accomplish and nine times out of ten, I start strong and fade fast. While I love the amazing things that can result from spontaneity, I also love my lists and I want to challenge myself and add new skills to my repertoire. Thus, the Get Inspired part of Heartland Happily Ever After was born January 1 and I look forward to sharing some awesome new experiences with you as the year goes along!
My January challenge is something I’ve wanted to try since Jordan and I spent hours addressing wedding invitations and thank-you notes: hand lettering.
I love the simplicity that comes with a pen, paper, and phrase, which I suppose is the writer side of me, but I also love the crispness that creeps into your handwriting after you’ve been working on lettering for a while, which I assume is the pragmatic tech-lover side. And so far, the two seem to be married together quite nicely and make for an enjoyable hour of practice each day.
Here’s what I’m using:
Rikota brush markers from Barnes and Noble – get some here!
Studio Series micro-line pens from Barnes and Noble – get some here!
I’m really just having fun with it, so I’m getting started with tools I already have instead of buying new ones, so don’t let that deter you if you want to try this out. I’ve seen some incredible work with just Crayola markers and a Sharpie! However, if you’re looking to really up the ante on your hand lettering game, you can’t go wrong with Tombow pens (click here and drool) and some heavier weight paper.
Day two of the challenge:
And here’s what I’ve learned so far:
One of the greatest gains I’ve made so far with this challenge is the discovery of so many inspiring hand lettering artists on Instagram – it’s so worth it to explore #handlettering if you want to try this out! Follow your favorites for awesome updates that will keep the creativity going throughout the month or however long you want to practice hand lettering.
MESS UP FIRST
It’s a new skill, you’re just getting started, and that means you’re going to flub up your beautiful hand lettering pieces. But try to practice the kinks out of letters that are a challenge for you by starting with the alphabet or a few short words – trust me, the tough letters will pop out and you’ll know which ones to pay extra attention to (lowercase B, Q, and Z are killer for me so far!)! This will also give you the freedom to tackle more challenging pieces when you know what to expect.
PIN, PIN, PIN
There are some really incredible tools on Pinterest for you to explore as you’re starting out, including printables, exercises, and recommendations from expert hand lettering artists. Take a look! At minimum, you’ll see things that don’t quite jive for you and that will help you further hammer out your own style.
I hope you’ll join me in trying something new this month to add to your creativity and carve out some time for yourself. Which skill(s) do you want to gain in 2017?
PS – follow along on my social media if you want to see my day-by-day progress (or regression) in hand lettering!