My Calligraphy / Lettering Journey

Updated: Apr 20

I have always loved words, typography, lettering. I doodled all over my binders in school with the typical teenage bubble letters, wrote my name in fancy cursive over and over a million times, and felt jealous when my brother received a calligraphy set for his birthday (which he never used). Fast forward a few years and I enrolled in Graphic Design at a community college and studied typography, among other art classes. My only foray into brush lettering was for a project on wine label design, but that was the extent of my experience lettering by hand. (Please forgive the photo of a photo taken in 1991!)

After college, most of my interaction with beautiful lettering was with computer fonts. I loved pairing fonts together and using beautiful scripts as background images in my graphic design work.

About five years ago, I stumbled onto an online class about watercolour lettering. I gave it a try and I was hooked! But doing lettering with an actual paint brush is quite difficult so I did a little more research and discovered Tombow brush markers. I filled pages and pages with every word I could think of. Often the pages were filled with "chair", "window", "bed", and any other nouns I could spot the room. As you can see below, I threw in the occasional adjective. Now I keep a long list of flower names in my sketchbook for calligraphy practice.

These markers are great but I found that, because they write quite large, I was using SO much paper. I am a very frugal person so I began looking for another lettering solution. I had tried the small Fudenosuke Brush markers but I found them hard to use. I kept trying though and one day it dawned on me... I was trying to write super tiny in proportion to the large words with the large marker. Once I realized I could just write a little bigger, I got the hang of it in no time! And so I filled page after page after page... (Bird names are fun to practice too.)

There are so many calligraphy and lettering resources on the internet, it is really hard to know where to start. After teaching brush calligraphy on Zoom a few times earlier this year, I realized that I had a really simple system for teaching, and that I could package it into an online course! So that is what I am in the process of doing. The course should be out some time in Summer 2021. The course will include my easy five step system for adding botanical illustrations to any card, envelope or journal page. You will be creating your own projects and gifts in no time! Click here to get on the waitlist!

In the meantime, grab my fun tutorial below which will give you an idea of how to use the Fudensoke Brush Pen. You will also learn how to make a quick greeting card by drawing a cute leaf to go with your writing.

Please check your local art store for this pen if you can. #shoplocal If not,

it is available on Amazon USA and Amazon Canada. (I recommend the hard tip for beginners. There is a soft tip and a hard tip - the barrel of the hard tip is navy blue.)

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