For those of you who keep an eye on this little space of mine, you will have noticed that I've recently updated my logo. This has been the result of four months of practising my brush-lettering and learning how to digitise my artwork for online. I learnt all the steps including; what materials to use, the basic strokes, forming letters of the alphabet, creating words, cleaning-up in Photoshop and vectorising in Adobe Illustrator, from the very talented Holly McCaig and her online brush-lettering course which I discovered just before Christmas via Instagram.
I decided that I wanted a new logo to start an Etsy shop (still to do!) and quickly added the link to Holly's course to my goals list for 2016. I then set about making Tuesday (& sometimes Wednesday) evenings my time for learning brush-lettering.
I had some proficiency with this to start with as I started learning calligraphy last year after Steve brought me all the equipment for my birthday. I'd been teaching myself through Molly Suber Thorpe's book - Modern Calligraphy - and decided that to really hone my skills I needed either a workshop or course to get me going. Holly's self-paced and easy to follow video lessons were perfect! You start right from the basics of sourcing the right equipment, which sounds easy, but when you start looking into it you realise what a minefield it really is and just how many products are out there!
Brush-lettering is a more affordable alternative to calligraphy, as you can get away with one brush pen (I'd recommend the Tombow pen for beginners), a Rhodia dot pad (the dot pads are better than the grid pads for cleaning up in Photoshop), a light pencil and eraser. In many ways, I wish I'd started with brush-lettering and then moved on to calligraphy, but there's no rule book and I really have been learning as I go, making lots of mistakes and slowly finding my way!
What I learnt from 'Becoming a Brush Lettered Badass' and learning online:
- I learnt to be patient and to pace my learning (something that I'm really not very good at, I tend to be a bit of a bull-in-a-china-shop and want to be perfect at something from the outset). With Holly's course, I've taken things really slowly and lesson-by-lesson, practising the basic brush strokes even if I'm impatient to start work on a bigger project.
- I've re-ignited my passion for quotes. When I was younger, I used to keep a notebook of quotes that I liked (I really wish I'd kept it for brush-lettering inspiration). Now, I scour social media and Pinterest for quotes that I really like and hope to turn into mini brush-lettered artworks. My + quotes + board is growing!
- I've thoroughly enjoyed the process of brush-lettering and in a world where everything is online, there's something really beautiful about writing words in your own hand and with your own style. Despite being a newbie to it all, I've found that I can be completely absorbed in an evening of brush-lettering and the care needed to write each letter and each word is almost meditative and calming.
I'd really recommend Holly's online course if you want to learn brush-lettering. I created my own logo, but you could really do anything from creating your own typography, wedding stationery or brush-lettered artwork for your home. The list is endless!
PS - If you know any great quotes please let me know in the comments as I'm always looking for inspiration!