"A D V E N T U R E R S" - A Hand Lettered Tutorial

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Hello ladies!
I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself first, my name is Kristen. I am passionate about hand lettering and typography. People often ask me why I do what I do and I think what its really about for me is giving people a visual way to be encouraged. I want to be an artist that elevates my audience and inspires unexpected thoughts and dreams, dreams you didn't even know you had.

 

 
What you will need:
-Paper
-Ink (India or Japanese)
-Brush Pen or Paintbrush
-Small bowl

Start by selecting a favorite quote, verse or lyric. I usually then pour a small amount of ink into a bowl. I have used re-fillable ink brushes before, but found dipping, instead of squeezing the ink out, gives more consistency and control with line widths and also ensures your brush wont run dry in the middle of a stroke.

 The great thing about hand lettering is theres no wrong way. Its your own hand writing so it doesn't have to look like someone else’s. Its ok to have a style in mind, my inspiration is Chelsea Petaja, just don't beat yourself up if it doesn't come out exactly like your inspiration, uniqueness is what gives lettering its charm. 

 

When I'm lettering, I really don't think too much about how the letters will look, you don't want them to look too contrived. Forget all the lessons on cursive from elementary school and relax your hand, let it flow as you write the word. Let if come out of your hand however it wants to, whether its wispy and thin, thick and bold, swirly or round, remember its your style. 

TIP: You want to dip your brush with each downstroke to create contrast and bolder lines. (see mine on the "g") You can also go back over a line that may have been too thin the first time. 

 

 One thing I have found very interesting about lettering is that we all see letters different in our minds. When I first started lettering my "S" looked short and wide, more like the one we all learn while beginning cursive. As I developed, it started to look more long and wispy. Take some time to really look at how you see letters, this is another way to differentiate style within your art. 

One thing I do put a lot of thought into while lettering is placement, I like the words to have a certain flow and stand out instead of blending all together. I achieve this by choosing certain key words to emphasize. So for this one I really wanted to pull out the word "adventurers", so I dipped the brush for every letter to create bolder strokes and a larger appearance. 

There you have it! 

I hope this little tutorial inspires you to try a new art form and discover a new part of your creativity.

I feel like many people are intimidated by hand lettering, even in the creative world, many steer towards pre-made digitally created fonts in Photoshop or Illustrator. Unless its a very specific design project or something really professional, I rarely use digital fonts. Whether I am designing prints, business cards, posters, or even a resume, I always find a way to work in hand lettering. To me its so expressive, it has movement, even though its not moving, it interacts with the canvas in a unique way that excites me and I hope it begins to excite you as well! 

-Kristen 

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