In this post, I share an introduction to brush lettering that I wrote for my Brush Strokes Workbook. However, I also wanted to share it with you here on my blog to encourage you in your journey!
I love lettering. Let me count the ways.
When I first discovered lettering in 2016 it became a form of self-care I did not know I needed. As a Type-A personality, art helped me to slow down and learn to release control. Lettering can be so relaxing and meditative.
Plus, I love words. As an author of over 40 books and a professional speaker, words come easily to me. Therefore, to discover an art form centered around words was like a dream come true.
I also love the instant gratification of achieving a beautiful outcome in a relatively short period of time. I tend to work small and can typically finish a piece of artwork in one sitting.
Lettering is also portable and does not require a big studio space. You can literally practice it anywhere. I typically carry a small notebook and a brush pen in my purse wherever I go.
Finally, I love the freedom that comes with modern brush lettering to create my own style. I am a creator and discovering my own unique letters and alphabets is so much fun. I have shared many of them with you in this workbook.
Plus, there is no one right way to create modern brush lettering. You can create what you want and not be pressured to replicate any one style perfectly.
Consistency, not perfection, is key. Therefore, there are certain tips that will help you avoid the most common mistakes as you learn brush lettering. I share my top twelve mistakes to avoid later in this workbook.
Don’t Be Afraid to Create Ugly Art
The truth is we have to create a lot of ugly art to develop competency and skill in any artistic medium. Don’t be afraid to create art that you throw away.
All artists have days where nothing clicks. I had one of those days recently where I threw away every piece of artwork I made. Afterward, I didn’t create for several days. During my prayer time one morning, I sensed God saying to me to try again. The second time I was successful. I am so glad I did not give up because of one bad day.
No one is an instant expert.
Don’t believe me? Let me share a few pieces of artwork from the beginning of my lettering journey in 2016. I did not keep most of my early art because I gave most of it away. However, I did find a few pieces to share with you. You can also scroll back to the beginning of my Instagram account @yourcreativeadventure to see where my journey started.
At this point in my journey, I can critique every one of those pieces and tell you what is wrong with it. But, at the time I created them, I was simply thrilled to be making art.
Will these pieces ever be in an art show or sold in my online shop? Absolutely not. But they were an essential part of my journey. And now they are here to inspire you.
The painting, “Progress Not Perfection,” was one of my first lettering pieces and it was created with acrylic paint. I rarely use acrylics anymore, but as I was finishing this particular piece, I smudged the white paint. Immediately, I threw it in the trash and stormed off mad.
I was telling my husband the story and he pointed out the message I painted on the artwork. Wow, I was convicted! And so I walked over to the garbage can, retrieved my failed artwork and posted it on social media with the message that life is truly about progress, not perfection.
Can I get an amen?
My Promise to You
I promise that if you practice consistently, you will improve. Learning brush lettering is like learning to play an instrument. It takes time.
I am not promising that you will be proficient in lettering immediately. However, I am promising to give you all the tools you need to succeed. That is why I created my Brush Strokes Workbook.
This is the workbook I wish I had when I first started brush lettering. And now I have created it for you.
Look Inside the Brush Strokes Workbook
Here’s a quick flip through all the pages in my 170-page workbook. It’s top spiral bound and printed on super smooth paper that won’t fray your pens or bleed through.
Get your copy here: https://yourcreativeadventure.com/workbook/
The Most Important Thing
The most important thing to remember is to have fun! My husband often reminds me when I am too hard on myself, “Shelley, if it’s not fun, why are you doing it?”
And it is so true. We tend to be the hardest on ourselves. Give yourself the permission to be a beginner. Create a lot of ugly art. You don’t have to post it anywhere or show anyone in the beginning.
I did find it very helpful to post my artwork on Instagram. There is such a strong, supportive and encouraging lettering community on Instagram that will cheer you on even in your first days of learning.
Whatever you do, keep creating, keep trying and keep learning. And most importantly, have fun!