Lately, it seems, more and more people I meet/know have been asking me if I would teach a lettering class/take & make class. I would absolutely love to do this and am currently working on the logistics of it all. But, in the meantime, I'm compiling some resources for you so you can start some practicing on your own!
Here are the first three things you need to know about hand lettering beforehand:
- Your handwriting is different than mine. You and I aren't going to have the exact style of writing. You may hold your pencil in a different position or apply a different amount of pressure. Maybe I've been practicing this for a little longer? This is a learning process (emphasis on the word "process"). You have to figure out how to turn your handwriting into art that makes YOU happy.
- You will mess up. And, guess what?!? It's perfectly fine. The best of the best at this hand lettering stuff have done the same and will do the same. My advice is to get over it ASAP and keep going. We aren't machines. There will be mistakes.
- You have to practice. Remember when you were in middle school and you could beautifully write the name of your BFF/crush because you had written it a billion times on your book covers? Or, in early elementary school days when you had to do writing practice worksheets of the alphabet for homework? Well, we're bringing it back! Make time to sit and practice handwriting in different styles. Practice helps. More practice really helps. You'll quickly see how your writing style develops when you consistently practice (it's pretty awesome to watch)!
Hopefully you are still reading and interested after those 2 tidbits of info because there's more! Here is a time lapse video of some practice I did recently:
To begin this process, I've written some basic information in the next 4 sections that will help you get started and build your confidence in this area!
- Draw out your letters with pencil first.
- Add curves, connectors and flowing tails.
- Trace over with marker
- Thicken areas
- Erase any stray pencil marks (which I forgot to do in the video)
- Keep going (try longer words, different words, different embellishments ...)
What to write:
Practice random letters first, then move to short words (so you can connect your letters and work on embellishment). When you feel confident, move onto longer words and phrases. Eventually you will be combining different lettering styles (fonts) to make uniquely designed phrases.
What to use:
You have plenty of options depending on the media you wish to use/your level of comfort.
- Sharpie pens
- Sharpie fine tip markers
- Brush markers
- Calligraphy pens
- Notebook paper, copy paper or pre-printed practice sheets (Crafty Ginger printable pdf practice sheet)
- Stylus with a tablet
More resources & inspiration:
- Follow my "Modern Calligraphy" board on Pinterest for resources I find and use often. I'm constantly looking for something new to try with this or ways to make my lettering prettier. And, I am always adding to this board.
- Check out these folks on Instagram: Stefan Kunz, Zachary Smith, Cymose Wilder, Amanda Houston, The Hand Lettering Co., Melane, & Jeremy Tow. Each of these artists has a unique style and delivery. But, they each add a beautiful touch to what they create! (Disclaimer: these artists are NOT for comparison purposes - go back to #1 of the "first three things" at the top of the page if you need to remember why. I want you to look at HOW they each hone their craft and let that inspire you keep going!)
Now, it's time. Go get some markers, pencils, paper or your iPad and get started! Please email me if you have any questions and I will gladly help you out (or at least point you in the right direction). And if you are local to the DFW area, watch The Crafty Ginger's Facebook page for information about the Lettering/ Make & Take class in the near future!