In the past few years, the world has become OBSESSED with the hand lettering craze. You see it everywhere: Pinterest, Facebook image quotes, craft stores, home decor, magazines. Let me tell you: I don’t think this trend is slowing down anytime soon. Some say it’s so 2016, but I think we’re just getting started.
The Beginning: An Accidental Hobby
Hand lettering was an accidental hobby for me. But naturally, a perfect fit. I’ve been an artist my whole life, and a graphic designer for 10 years with a strong affinity for typography. I’m surprised it actually took this long for me to get hooked on it.
For years, I admired others’ hand lettering and modern calligraphy works of art. Three years ago, I tried pointed pen calligraphy (the old fashioned pen, nib and ink kind), and it just did nothing but discourage me! Splatters everywhere. So I gave up for awhile.
Tombow: The Gateway Drug
Then in early 2016, I discovered Tombow dual brush pens. I ordered a pack from Amazon, and after just 30 minutes of doodling, I was INSTANTLY good at lettering!! Now, you wouldn’t think this if you saw my first piece, but I sure felt like I was getting somewhere compared to what I was doing before. Tombows completely changed the game.
For days on end, I became a woman obsessed. I would doodle, doodle, doodle. I lettered ALL the things. Anything I could think of. I filled a sketchbook in a matter of days.
I was hooked. There was no going back.
I got my hands on more Tombows and tried out the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen. And ooohhh was that the best thing ever. Yet another way to feed my addiction. There I went: doodle, doodle, doodle!
And the fact that my friends and family enjoyed the videos I was posting, really just enabled me!
Then I moved on to Watercolor brush pens and that opened a world of lettering madness for me:
I Had to Try Everything
Every marker, every brush pen. Then I saw someone on Instagram lettering with Crayola Markers! It was nothing short of magical. Turns out, they are the perfect lettering tool. Using either the Crayola SuperTips or the regular ol’ fat ones we used to use in grade school, they have a great pressure for thick and thick lines, vibrant colors, and best of all: They’re cheap!!
Never. Stop. Experimenting!
My Holy Grail: Lettering with Heat Embossing
I discovered heat embossing a few years ago while perusing a Paper Source store in town. I never thought of combining this technique with the craze of hand lettering until I saw a video on Instagram. This girl was using a glue brush pen (What?! I didn’t even know that was a thing!), sprinkled embossing powder on, used a heat tool, and it was magic right in front of your (virtual) eyes! I can’t recall that video that changed my life, but I’ll show you on of mine: ?
^ This video exploded with over 14,500 views!! I couldn’t believe it. Good thing I’d done my nails.
On Instagram, I went from having 10 posts and 100 followers (yes, just my friends and family) in the beginning of 2016, to over 1,700 followers in a matter of a few months. I began to devote my page just to my hand lettering art. It exploded! Okay, 1,700 followers may not seem like “insta-stardom” to you, but it sure was a lot for me!
People just couldn’t get enough. I was ecstatic that folks from all over the world of all ages were interested in this as much as I was and wanted to know where I got all my supplies and how I got started.
Start Where You Are
I end this post with some advice for those interested in starting their own hobby, whether it’s hand lettering or anything else: Start where you are. You will NOT become an expert overnight. Practice makes progress. And progress makes you better!
YOUR Turn to Learn Hand Lettering!!
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