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:
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:
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:
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!
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!
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.
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!
List of words (to be updated):
- hope (by my husband)
- shine (by Coralee)
- smile (by Shelby)
- duck (by Chris‘ daughter)
- playful (by Chris)
- hero (by Christina)
Update: isn’t this adorable?
As you probably noticed, I won’t be able to write a word a day. That’s okay. This is life :D