The Road to Hand Lettering
No one wakes up one day, puts pen to paper, and is the most amazing artist of all time. Even those with natural talent still have to work at it.
I have been writing since I was 3 (and they were beautiful works of art back then), I have been doing bubble letters and all sorts of different fun lettering since I was seven, and I’ve even recently started doing fauxligraphy. My whole life I’ve been training to be the greatest hand letterer there has ever been (100% not true), and yet I still wasn’t prepared for the wonderful world of brush lettering.
My first attempt into brush lettering was a few weeks ago when I saw that you could do it with a Crayola Super Tips marker (which I have a bounty of left over from a design class that I took in college). I was really excited to try it out. To make a long story short, I did not like having to change the angle of my hand to switch back and forth between upstrokes and downstrokes. The problem is that the Super Tips aren’t brush pens – they’re chisel tip. This means that instead of applying pressure to get a thicker downstroke, you have to turn the marker onto its side and use the broader part of the tip. If you don’t like moving your hand back and forth in the middle of lettering (transitions were the worst), then Crayola markers are not the lettering tool for you.
Not scared off quite yet, I decided to try out brush pens. My sister got into brush lettering a few months before I did and had a few that she let me borrow. This experiment went much better, although I still was not happy with the type of pen. The brush tip was too flexible and spread apart too easy. This did not give me the control I desired and was definitely not a good pen to start out with.
Around this time, I was also getting further into hand lettering and modern calligraphy artists on Instagram. Every day I would scroll through my feed and get inspired by all of the amazing art that I was seeing. In the videos that people posted, it looked so effortless. I made the decision to try Tombow Dualtip Brush Pens, as they were a product that I saw used often, and I loved all the lettering they produced.
Fast forward to today. The Tombows have greatly increased my confidence in my ability to brush letter – but I’m still so much a beginner. Despite having a general to slightly-more-advanced-than general knowledge of calligraphy and brush lettering, I still struggle with the simplest of strokes. This is why I decided to join The Happy Ever Crafter’s (Becca) #ShowMeYourDrills initiative. Though I’m late to the party (the event was running for the entirety of January), I still plan on going through the entire thing day by day – I’ll just finish later than everyone else. I now have something to motivate me to practice lettering every day, and it’s a great guide for beginners like me (who have that slightly-more-advanced than general knowledge).
I would really love some people to go through this road to lettering with. So many of the people I follow are already well established calligraphers, and it would be awesome to work through this with people who are closer to the same level as me. If you’re interested, please comment! I would love to get to know you all. Also, if you’re not interested, please comment. I’m lonely here.