Every now and then, I tell myself I should “settle down” with one major creative outlet. But who wants to “settle down” these days? Isn’t settling down the end of the line? Aren’t we all slightly crazed multi taskers? Cooking while watching Netflix and taking Snapchats, exercising live on Facebook while checking the news and chatting with your BFF? And what’s wrong with that? Well, if you read my post about travelling solo in the Grampians, I have discovered why multitasking can have disastrous consequences. But the reality is, we all do it, and trying new things is a way to keep learning, in my view. As Emily Wapnick says, we can all be multipotentialites! So I’m always looking for new creative pursuits, and I keep an eye out for things I haven’t tried before… Work-Shop is a good place to discover new and quirky things I might want to try. And when Alena from Moonlight Creation hosted a workshop at the Saporium in Sydney, I went to have a sticky beak… If you want to go beyond the “just because” of creativity, I have 5 reasons to learn hand lettering for you to think about.
If you like creative activities, hand lettering is an easy one to get started with. Indeed, all you need is some paper and a set of pens. And it’s a bit like drawing, you proceed with trial and error, repetition after repetition, and eventually, you create your own style. What I like about it is the definitive handmade feel: you work with your hands, with simple tools, and you explore a different way of using a felt pen. It’s no longer “writing”, it’s exploring the shapes and dynamics of letters and words.
It’s a Challenge
When I sat down to get started, I made an assumption. I’ve been crafting for a while and I’m quite good at it. Also, I have touched on many different crafts or creative pursuits: card making, embossing, knitting, embroidery, sewing, colouring… Understandably, I feel quite confident when it comes to trying new handmade practices. But when I sat down and started tracing lines on the paper, I felt like a mere beginner… What’s so hard about tracing lines on a sheet of paper? It’s not hard but you do have to train your hand. The trick is to control the movement of your hand so the pressure you apply when tracing varies, in order to draw thin or thick lines.
It’s not easy at the beginning but you get better at it quickly. The printed guides on the workbook are a great help! In order to draw thick lines, you need to add more pressure on the pen and “break” the tip. I admit it, my dainty colouring self struggled with that initially… The Artline pens provided at the workshop glide softly on the paper so it’s easy to go with the flow.
I look to handmade activities for relaxation. Indeed, we live in a busy, digital world, where typing on a computer is now more mainstream than scribbling on a bit of paper. And whilst progress is great, it is sometimes necessary to move away from all the devices in our lives and go back to the basics of handwriting.
The repetition of tracing lines quickly becomes a meditative act, a bit like colouring or knitting. Hand lettering is a very good way to retreat from the digital world.
Initially, hand lettering is about following the guides, switching between fine lines and thick lines. It sounds boring but as you get more confident, you have the opportunity to create your own style, and even develop your own cursive type.
And after that, you can apply your skills to creating beautiful stationary and writing kind words to your loved ones…
As a crafter and maker, I feel that in a lot of handmade pursuits, I have to acquire a lot of gear, sometimes even before I can get started. As someone who has tried a lot of different handmade techniques, I wonder about that every time I’m interested in something new. Every new craft seems to require a whole new kit… That has stopped from trying new things, like jewellery making for example…
On the other hand, hand lettering only requires some paper and a handful of pens, so it’s not too much of a commitment if you want to try it and see if it suits you.
I occasionally like to take a bit of crafting when I travel, but I don’t have many options. Even colouring is tricky. The colouring book is one thing, but the big bag of colouring pens doesn’t really work if you want to travel light…
Good quality paper and a few pens will easily fit into a bag !
Not only did I find 5 reasons to learn hand lettering, but I also discovered The Saporium. It’s a newly renovated warehouse, with food shops and organic cafes. There is also an interesting “space within the space”, dedicated to cooking classes.
Have you tried your hand at brush lettering? Tell me what you make using this technique in the comments below!