Just a little inspiration...

 Inspirational calligraphy quotes

What inspires you?  For me, it's the creative process.  Figuring out the perfect way to express an idea...it keeps me up at night - in the best way.  When you come to me with an idea, I will draw,  sketch, write, cut things out of paper and rearrange them...until I find the the way that expresses your idea in it's finest form.  On this project, three inspirational quotes, nothing seemed to be working *quite* right...so I took a different route.

Enter the dip pen.  The heart and soul of pointed pen calligraphy.

 Pointed pen calligraphy

I'll be honest - I was absolutely terrified when I first picked up a dip pen. Terrified, and wide eyed with wonder.  I love everything about calligraphy - the thick downstrokes, the fine, hair thin upstrokes, the sound of the nib scratching on the paper, the smell of the ink.  

That first workshop over a year ago was a near disaster.  I was awful.  I couldn't make a pretty letter if my life depended on it.  But I was hopeful.  And I went home and continued to scratch my way through an entire ream of paper within the next week.  

I think that's the whole point - I was INSPIRED.  Next thing I knew, I was in-depth studying letter forms, typeface anatomy, all forms of typography, following calligraphers and sign writers on Instagram, and practice, practice, practicing.  I'm a huge advocate for furthering your education in any manner you can.  I tend to take workshops, because I will inevitably come away itching to try what I learned.  

I hadn't picked up my dip pen for a while, so it was another workshop I took (from the lovely Claire of Inkling Calligraphy - check her out here, her stuff is absolutely stunning) that had me revisiting the dip pen and pointed pen calligraphy...and I knew it was the right thing for this job.  

I am in love with how these quotes came out.  It's no easy feat to take three quotes of varying word length and make them look cohesive.  And those little watercolor flowers and leaves?  Dreamy.  

As usual, now I want to watercolor ALL THE THINGS, after handlettering ALL THE THINGS!  (And if you aren't already a fan of Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a Half, do yourself a favor and check her out here - she's one of my spirit animals.)

So, what inspires you?  And how can we turn that into a piece of art I can make for you?  Because like most artists, I need creative inspiration as much as I need air to breathe, food to eat, and wine to drink.



For the Love of Letters...

I recently took a workshop from the lovely Courtney of Courtney Casper Letters on using the aqua brush.  And I fell in love.  I love everything about the aqua brush, from the loose, almost messy way it writes, to the fact that I feel more like I'm painting letters than painstakingly trying to make them perfect.  And then she said the most magical thing:

Handlettering is a HUMAN art.  

If you want perfection, use a font.  And suddenly my inner perfectionist sighed with relief.  All those free and messy and real letters I see out in the world that I love...I love them because they feel human.  They feel raw.  They feel like a tiny peek into that person's soul.  

I will draw you the most beautiful letters I can.  And we can revel in the humanity within them.  I'm still a perfectionist.  The style and layout will be on point.  But like a photograph can't quite capture the tangible, touchable beauty of a person's face, a font will never be able to capture that uniqueness of a letter drawn by hand.

Then...just as my mind was blown by the impact of actually being human in my art...she told us about the project of her heart.

The Love Note Project.

And I realized I want to take up the torch.

It's such a simple thing.  We all know someone who is hurting.  We all know someone who can use a tangible, hold-in-your-hand reminder that they are LOVED.  Reminded that there is someone out there who is thinking about them.  Maybe it's you.  Maybe it's a family member.  Maybe a co-worker.  Maybe it's John at the checkout counter at your local grocery store.  The point is, we all need that reminder.

How does it work?  Click that button up above, and submit a name, address, and a couple words about the person, and I send them an anonymous love note.  It looks like this (though each one is done by hand, so they are all different):

It's that easy.  Who in your life can use a little extra love?

You can see more love notes and their stories on Instagram with the hashtag #ourlovenoteproject.