Learning

Lettering

I made a commitment to learning a new skill. For each of the 365 days, I conceptualized, created and uploaded a piece of lettering work.

Overview

Lettering is the craft of drawing words and letters, whether it be analog or digital.

I decided I wanted to learn a new skill and I chose lettering. For 365 days, I created a piece of lettering and posted it up onto Instagram. The only rule was that whatever I was posting that day, had to have been created on the same day.

Why did I start?

It started as a creative outlet from digital work. I wanted to do something physical and create something that I could actually hold in my hands and be proud of. I love trying new things and typography is something that I have a lot respect for. I was seeing other artists and designers on Instagram letter these beauitful pieces and I was inspired.

So I tried it out.

The learning process

The early bits were ugly. I didn't really know what I was doing, I went to Curry's (an art supply store), bought a bunch of different pens and started to experiment. Whenever I got into a rut I would start deconstructing other peoples' work and combining elements of their work with mine. This type of experimentation was very healthy for keeping me inspired and really made me appreciate the detail of other artists' work.

The first 16 days of the challenge

Steady Improvement

My first big milestone wasn't until about day 170, where I had my first post that broke 100 likes. I was starting to get more attention and it kept me going. I began investing more time, spending at least 2-3 hours every night ideating and sketching.

Day 160 to 171

Although I was seeing progression, I was very critical of myself and I really didn't start liking my own work until about day 220. Despite that, I was still having fun trying new curiosities and enjoying the creation process. Above all, what kept me going was the desire to keep improving and create work I could be proud of.

Day 218 to 230

A few more personal favorites

Highlights

Features

Instagram curation accounts like GoodType and TypeGang are staples for letterers who are looking for inspiration and to see what's current. I had the honor of being featured on these accounts several times throughout my 365 days. For me, it was very rewarding to see my work beside some of my favorite letterers.

My work featured on some of my favorite curation accounts

Murals

One of my favorite murals that I made with my friends Amanda, Amy and Mike.

12ft chalk board for the Flipp head office

Weddings

Lettering for weddings was an avenue that I did not expect to stumble upon when signing up for this. I had the honor of creating lettering work for a few weddings, which gave me a glimpse into doing this professionally.

A set of finished wedding chalk boards

Tattoos

The biggest compliment you can get is when someone loves your work enough to want it permanently on their skin. This is my favorite piece that I made for a friend.

From sketch to skin. For all the Game of Thrones fans out there.

Sign Painting

I took a sign painting workshop to learn more about the history and technique behind the traditional art form. Over the course of 4 days, I had the pleasure of learning directly from the legendary Mike Meyer and Scott J. Martin.

Photos from the Better Letters sign painting workshop in Hamilton, ON.

What now?

I love lettering and it’s something that I’ll be doing for the rest of my life. Throughout this project, I really developed a passion for is sign painting. I'll often spend entire days on weekends (only in the summer because of the fumes) just painting alphabet letters in different styles. My hope is to continue practicing and eventually start up my own sign shop.

Check out my Instagram for my entire catalogue of lettering work.


What I learned

I learned look for inspiration in different ways. Because I was pushing myself to create a fresh piece of work every day, I had to always be thinking of new ideas and ways to execute.

Keeping yourself motivated to accomplish something is very difficult, so it is important to create a routine. For this project, I blocked off 2-3 hours every night, which meant I had to sacrifice other hobbies and social obligations to see it through. With that being said, it's also important to have a little room to cheat so you don't go insane.

Resilience. I learned that you're never going to like the first 100 of anything you create, so don't wait and just start doing it. I've learned that repetition is necessary to hone any skill, so don’t be afraid of failing to improve.


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