When my heart exploded with joy

I decided to stop trying to imitate beautiful fonts because I want to have my own style and have the freedom to write what I want without following strict patterns. My hand is heavy, and I suffer too much trying to create thin upstrokes; this kills all the joy that hand lettering should be giving me.

I can start a thin upstroke, but I cannot create a thin upstroke when it a continuum of the thick downstroke:

It isn’t natural to me to release the pressure of the pen when I create an upstroke.

So, yesterday, I drew lines on paper to give my lettering some inclination (italics) and give me some freedom to hand letter in my natural way:

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 10.47.47 AM
These two images were posted on my Instagram.

After spending more than three hours practising letters and strokes, thin and thick strokes to be more specific, and feeling frustrated, lost, and nervous, I decided to follow my heart. I freehand wrote these three words:

AMOR (love)   |  NEVE (snow) [in Portuguese]

I felt free! I loved it! I wanted to freehand write more! The pleasure of writing these three words was instantaneous. This is what I was looking for when I decided to learn hand lettering!

I had planned to rewrite this to see how much my hand lettering got better after 30 days of intense practice. So, without following any rules, I wrote this:

This one is to compare with this one – 30 days apart.

Isn’t this “EC&I 831” beautiful? This is what I want: to be able to write with passion and be happy with the results.

In few minutes, I had a smile on my face and lots of pieces of paper in front of me. I decided to challenge myself and write a word/phrase a day in the next 30 days. “Good morning” seemed a good phrase to post on my Instagram feed on a Sunday morning. So I wrote lots of “Good morning” to try to find the best shape for each letter and the best look for the art. Then, I wrote Sunday. ☀ DAY came right after, naturally. And I said, that is it! This is what I want to do with my hand lettering!


I scanned my word art, published it on Instagram, made a wallpaper for my phone and the header image for this blog and my Twitter.



Screenshot of my phone

Sometimes the word will be beautiful on its first strokes, like the art above, and other times I will have to practice and rewrite the word many times, such as the word “hope”, below. I am okay with that; at least now I see where practice can get me!


I am not done with the word “hope” yet.


Another thing to remember is that I am not good at drawing. So, the majority of my “word art” will be made with letters only. The “Sunday” with a sun was easy to create, and I know this is not going to happen every time I want to create art with letters.

I don’t regret spending two months practising thin and thick strokes because I am sure this helped me understand how to better write with brush pens and to find out what brush pens and papers I prefer.

Lately, some people asked me what I want to do with my hand lettering skills in the future. I started this learning project because I want to create personalized cards and online brushes for my photo albums and give them as freebies to other scrapbookers. I use the Project Life system for my photo albums so I can create any 3×4 or 4×6 card with my word art or use it as an online brush to stamp on my photos before printing them.


Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 11.35.54 AM.png
“It’s the simple things” is an online brush stamped on my photo!



Now I want to challenge you: write a beautiful word in the comments (or a very short quote – 3-5 short words). I may create a card with your suggestion!

Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 11.51.09 AM.png

Coralee and Shelby already gave their suggestions here! Put your word on my 30-word list!

List of words (to be updated):

  1. Sunday
  2. hope (by my husband)
  3. shine (by Coralee)
  4. smile (by Shelby)
  5. duck (by Chris‘ daughter)
  6. playful (by Chris)
  7. hero (by Christina)

Update: isn’t this adorable?

Screenshot 2017-11-11 12.07.02.png

As you probably noticed, I won’t be able to write a word a day. That’s okay. This is life :D

5 thoughts on “When my heart exploded with joy

  1. I just love this post! I like how you have your comparison from when you started to now. I think they both look great but I can see the difference too. I’m glad you are enjoying it, it looks like a lot of fun and it really makes me want to try it myself!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that you have found joy in your lettering and that you didn’t stay confined to the “rules” of lettering. As with anything creative, learning the basics and making it your own in the way to go! I can’t wait to see all of your words!


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