Ilana Griffo

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You're reading an interview with an alumni from the Better Lettering Course. I'm sharing several of these stories on the blog to encourage and inspire anyone who has a desire to learn hand-lettering but who might be intimidated or fearful of diving in. Click here to read them all or, if you're a BLC alumn, submit your story here to be featured!

What made you want to start learning hand-lettering?

As a graphic designer, typography has been a passion of mine as long as I can remember. I used to write, and rewrite my class notes until they were as close to perfect as possible. I learned so much about the art of type as a design student, and I interned at a letterpress studio to learn more about the origin of type. I wanted to learn more about hand lettering because I knew it would bring a unique and personalized touch to the work I was doing with my design clients.

What were some of your thoughts as you started out?

I took the class as a creative outlet. While it related directly to the work I do daily, it was a step away from the computer, a new challenge. I was excited to have some direction, and someone to inspire and motivate me.

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

How did the Better Lettering Course help you grow in your hand-lettering skills?

Without the structure and challenges, I would have become overwhelmed and probably given up pretty quickly. It was nice to set a goal, and challenge myself to try something different. The freedom also let me develop my own style, that felt true to my brand.  

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

What surprised you most as you learned and practiced hand-lettering skills?

I love that each person’s lettering style is a reflection of themselves. That’s what makes it so unique - your personal touch. It’s been a great tool in adding to my client work.


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Ilana is a designer and illustrator in Upstate New York where she lives with her bike enthusiast husband, and their playful pup, Dizzy. She’s the force behind the product line, Sugar & Type, and a self proclaimed chocolate-aholic. www.sugarandtype.com / www.ilanagriffo.com / instagram.com/sugarandtype


 

Sarah Van Der Linden

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You're reading an interview with an alumni from the Better Lettering Course. I'm sharing several of these stories on the blog to encourage and inspire anyone who has a desire to learn hand-lettering but who might be intimidated or fearful of diving in. Click here to read them all or, if you're a BLC alumn, submit your story here to be featured!

 

What made you want to start learning hand-lettering?

Two years ago, my partner and I decided to leave the city for a house in the countryside of France. Being close to nature awakes a lot of new feelings, I was amazed by all the beauty around me, all the little details I had forgotten about. It triggered something in me, it gets me interested in being more creative in my daily life. I wanted to express what I was seeing, the splendor of the natural world and the joy of the simple things. At that time, I didn't know how or where to start.

My first passion is photography, but, in that case, I felt that taking pictures was not enough and too restrictive. I wanted to use colors and words in order to convey some thoughts and findings, and more important, to share some magic. I found that hand-lettering was for me the best way to combine all those ingredients, and to have some fun in the process.

Lettering by Sarah Van Der Linden on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Sarah Van Der Linden on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Sarah Van Der Linden on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Sarah Van Der Linden on Hand Lettering for Beginners

What were some of your thoughts as you started out?

I started the Better Lettering Course on the first day of January of 2016, to initiate the year with a goal and a fresh start. At the beginning, hand lettering seems to be really hard because there are so many questions : what am I going to write? How do I draw letters? Shall I use colors? Sometimes, I have a tendency to overthink and it prevents me from doing and trying things.

But, I realized that I progressed quickly. I didn't like my first attempts, however I always had fun doing them. It's very important to play, experiment and learn. I used all the tools provided by the course, participated to the monthly challenges and got inspired by the other students. Moreover, my partner helped me by offering me advices, he is really talented with letters. All that helped me push boundaries and develop my creativity. Gradually, ideas replaced questions, and I was eager to try new shapes and styles.

 

How did the Better Lettering Course help you grow in your hand-lettering skills?

For me, this course is the perfect starting point, it is just what I was looking for. It provides all that a beginner needs to know, and answers a lot of questions. It's impossible to remain stuck because it's an endless source of inspiration and information.

Moreover, it helps me to understand that no fancy tools are required and that the goal to aim is experimentation, not perfection. This course is an invitation to play with letters and to have fun. A hand-lettering class does not have to be strict, the important is to open your mind to the beauty of drawing letters, to the art of playing with words, styles and shapes. Then, when you know what you like and dislike, you will be able to focus on specific features. I find what suits me more (for know!) and enjoy it without constraints. Practice is the only way to learn and evolve.

On top of that, Caroline conveys enthusiasm and motivation, making the whole process entertaining and playful.

Lettering by Sarah Van Der Linden on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Sarah Van Der Linden on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Sarah Van Der Linden on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Sarah Van Der Linden on Hand Lettering for Beginners


What surprised you most as you learned and practiced hand-lettering skills?

More than a year has passed since my first piece and I love hand-lettering more than ever. I can see I have made a lot of progress and that I'm able to use my skills to express myself. Caroline always says that "practice makes it perfect" and that's really something worth remembering. I noticed improvement quickly by doing a piece each day for a few months. I tried various styles with different mediums to see what suits me most and which tools I preferred. There are infinite possibilities.

Not only have I learnt hand-lettering but I noticed that I need creativity in my life. This course has opened a lot of doors. Since then, I started painting again, I discovered watercolor, tried block-printing and started a botanical sketchbook. I was surprised that one little decision can have so much repercussions.

Now, I always carry a sketchbook and some pens with me when I go outdoors, whether it be a small walk or a few days hike. I like to sit outside and enjoy the moment. I listen to the world around me, open my eyes and observe. I always find so much inspiration there and I usually draw a feeling, an atmosphere or a landscape. Hand-lettering is really a practice that can be done everywhere and that's why I like it so much. A ballpoint pen and a paper are enough to create something magical.


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I'm Sarah, a photographer, painter, hand-letterer and a lover of nature. I live in Seine et Marne, France, in a small house in front of a wood. I'm most myself and happier when I'm surrounded by nature, in a forest or in the middle of nowhere. I marvel at a bird singing or a beautiful sunlight shining through the leaves. I believe that all these little moments are precious. I love the color green and collecting beautiful natural finds. You can find me on Instagram @mirglis.

Lisa Criswell

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You're reading an interview with an alumni from the Better Lettering Course. I'm sharing several of these stories on the blog to encourage and inspire anyone who has a desire to learn hand-lettering but who might be intimidated or fearful of diving in. Click here to read them all or, if you're a BLC alumn, submit your story here to be featured!

What made you want to start learning hand-lettering?

It was January 2015, and I was in the middle of an extremely stressful full-time internship. I found myself craving some sort of creative outlet - something to help me feel more grounded and joyful in the midst of the daily grind. While browsing the internet, I stumbled upon the Better Lettering Course by chance - I honestly don't remember how I found it! - and was immediately drawn to the idea of learning lettering. I'd dabbled in calligraphy as a preteen and have always loved beautiful handwriting, so I thought it would be fun to pick up a pen again and give it a try. Also, as a lifetime lover of words and language, books and writing, I sensed that bringing powerful words to life through beautiful letters would be a great source of self-care for me.

What were some of your thoughts as you started out?

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, so when I started out I was fixated on making my letters and compositions look a certain way. I would look at established lettering artists like Caroline with awe, feeling frustrated that my work didn't look like theirs. But it also began to sink in that imperfections and variations are what differentiates hand-lettering from a font - they are the very things that make a lettering piece interesting and visually appealing! That helped me to just continue practicing and trusting my instincts as I developed my own style.

Lettering by Lisa Criswell on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Lisa Criswell on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Lisa Criswell on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Lisa Criswell on Hand Lettering for Beginners

How did the Better Lettering Course help you grow in your hand-lettering skills?

I was a TOTAL beginner when I took the course, so it really gave me the foundational skills I needed to get started. When Caroline touched on how to create "faux calligraphy," I was totally mesmerized. That got me hooked. It was so helpful to walk through the process of creating a composition from draft to final product. Her digitizing process was so accessible, and I use many of those tips to this day. And I think one of the biggest things that inspired me to continue to grow my skills was the community Caroline built around the course! I started joining the monthly Instagram challenges and was so inspired and encouraged by the other students. I felt super motivated to keep practicing and growing!

From early 2015 when I first started doing Better Lettering Course challenges.

From early 2015 when I first started doing Better Lettering Course challenges.

This lettering piece was done two years later, in early 2017.

This lettering piece was done two years later, in early 2017.

What surprised you most as you learned and practiced hand-lettering skills?

I'd hoped lettering would be relaxing and fun, but I underestimated just how meditative and satisfying it would be. I've never considered myself an "artist," but as I continued to immerse myself in hand-lettering, I began to realize there was all of this untapped creativity inside of me just waiting to be released. I would say that I now consider myself a lettering artist - something I never thought I would say! I've also felt incredibly empowered by the ability to earn money through my lettering. My Etsy shop has helped supplement my income and is currently helping me through a cross country move & job transition. This was something I never planned or anticipated, but it's been such a fun and rewarding experience.


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I'm a psychologist and part-time calligrapher/letterer from California, currently living in New Jersey. From a young age I've been enamored with the beauty and power of language, and now I love bringing words to life through the lettering arts. Lettering and calligraphy have become a refuge from stress and a source of empowerment in my life, and I share my creations with others through my Etsy shop, The Lively Pen.

Connect with Lisa on Instagram & Etsy

 

Amelia Rusbar

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You're reading an interview with an alumni from the Better Lettering Course. I'm sharing several of these stories on the blog to encourage and inspire anyone who has a desire to learn hand-lettering but who might be intimidated or fearful of diving in. Click here to read them all or, if you're a BLC alumn, submit your story here to be featured!

What made you want to start learning hand-lettering?

I’ve always loved that fine line between perfection and handmade. Those subtle differences in handmade things that make something real and personal and honest. Hand lettering lives at that intersection. I love that it embraces quirks and individuality, while being still being useful and repeatable.

I had design courses in college, so I was already comfortable with a variety of art supplies, but after I graduated, that “mandated creativity” ended, and there wasn’t something that stuck around to fill that creative void for me. After college, I was working retail jobs, definitely not the most creative thing, and staying creative was really important to me, so hand lettering seemed like a perfect fit. I could carry a little notebook around and when it was slow, I could letter.

 

What were some of your thoughts as you started out?

Starting out, it feels like you are relearning how to write. It’s amazing how much you assume you know, but you really have no idea. Connecting letters for example! My normal handwriting is mostly caps, so I don’t connect most of my letters, but then my lettering style was very fluid, so there I was, relearning all this basic stuff.

Another thing that I still get stuck on is just thinking of things to letter! Here we are, communicating all day long, but as soon as I sit down to hand letter, none of the words feel right, or worthy, for the page. The daily prompts are a huge help when you really need to practice, but don’t have the brainpower left to think for yourself.

Having Caroline guide you through the first baby steps, just to make sure you are facing the right direction, was hugely beneficial. It’s easy to get distracted with all the options out there! Pens, brushes, markers, papers, notebooks, oh its just too difficult to choose. It’s like I needed someone to give me permission to start with “whatever you have on hand”, and that made a huge difference in how I quickly I progressed. Starting right now is 300x better than waiting for your fancy new notebook to be delivered.

Lettering by Amelia Rusbar on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Amelia Rusbar on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Amelia Rusbar on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Amelia Rusbar on Hand Lettering for Beginners

How did the Better Lettering Course help you grow in your hand-lettering skills?

The community Caroline built around Made Vibrant, and the Better Lettering Course, became the “testing grounds” for what I was trying to do. I would scroll through all these other students trying their best at the daily prompts, and I guess I got competitive. I’m not competitive with anything, but here I was turning “being creative” into a competition. I was always like, “Oh, I can do that. I can do better than that. Let’s try this instead!” I guess it was really my training coming through, from back when I was competing with classmates in college over the best design or layout. Creativity is subjective, but having people you can push against helps you grow!

I can confidently say, the single biggest thing the Course did for me, was to push me out of my comfort zone and try new things. After about a month of prompts, I was feeling pretty bored. I had fallen into a style I was comfortable with. But then here comes New Medium May, and I “got permission” to try something new. I picked up a brush, a bottle of black ink, and never looked back. It’s like brush lettering was what I was always meant to do! It’s expressive and fluid, but not as strict and confined as calligraphy. It’s easy to start, and endlessly variable. I just adore the way ink plays on the page!

Lettering by Amelia Rusbar on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Amelia Rusbar on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Amelia Rusbar on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Amelia Rusbar on Hand Lettering for Beginners

What surprised you most as you learned and practiced hand-lettering skills?

Getting variety in your work is A LOT harder then you think it is! I always though of myself as this creative chameleon. Sure I had my favorite styles, but I thought I could do everything! I was very wrong. There’s this invisible wall between the stuff you are comfortable with, and literally everything else. It takes a lot of work, and I haven’t broken down all those walls, but I’m definitely more confident with a sledgehammer/brush now.

At the same time, you have to give yourself permission to experiment, to grow, and to fail. Especially to fail! There is this fine line between being confident and being comfortable. The more you can toe that line, the better you'll get.


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When I’m not designing at my day job, you'll find me playing with ink and watercolor. I believe in messy desks, creative experiments, and curse words. Website |

Check out Amelia's workbook, Hell Yeah Brush Lettering, on Gumroad.

 

Alma Hoffmann

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You're reading an interview with an alumni from the Better Lettering Course. I'm sharing several of these stories on the blog to encourage and inspire anyone who has a desire to learn hand-lettering but who might be intimidated or fearful of diving in. Click here to read them all or, if you're a BLC alumn, submit your story here to be featured!


What made you want to start learning hand-lettering?

I had always dabbled in lettering and calligraphy. But the resurgence of it in the last few years kind of made me feel intimidated. There was a certain style and skill I quite did not get yet. I came across Caroline’s Best Lettering Course in 2014. It was $20.00 and I could not believe it. So simple and so affordable. I thought, why not? Bought it and in one night went through all the videos. But still felt like something was not right.

As a design professor, my time is tight but after taking the course, I heard of Caroline’s monthly challenges on Instagram and I was hooked. I started posting things that yes, now I look at them and I am less than impressed. But someone always liked it. And those little likes gave me encouragement to keep going. And Caroline is very supportive. As I kept practicing and observing, I kept improving.

In the midst of this I had to prepare for a solo show. I thought I will use lettering for them. I wrote several poems and created pieces that were 2 feet wide by 5 feet long. And I had a blast. One of those pieces sold, another one won a runner up in an international competition, and another one was in display at the Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL. Little by little I have made improvements. I have not made it into a full blown business because I guess I have been more interested in lettering for its aesthetic and conceptual value so far. But I am making plans to be more business like? :-)

What were some of your thoughts as you started out?

Patience. Patience. Patience. Practice. Practice. Practice. Drills. Drills. Drills. Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. And do it all over again. That was all in my mind. I would look at the work of people I admire and I was like, I want to do that or learn that. Then I would observe their videos and/or pieces and pay attention at how a letter curved, folded, or slanted. And I would do it. Again and again. I would take a sketchbook with me and letter everything: the restaurant’s name, the names of everybody, or I would do drills, or words, over and over. I have this little box that I take with me everywhere and I practice. Anything I had to do that required waiting, I would practice.

I downloaded and/or purchased a bunch of practice sheets from many, many people. But barely used them. I wanted to create my own voice. I think that practice sheets are great but I feel I gained more by observing letters and how they would move their arm and hand and trying to replicate it. And doing the drills. Those practice strokes are to me, the real foundation of letter formation. Once you get those down, you can really fly. I do drills still and I am obsessed with achieving a very delicate transition or creating letterforms that communicate their intended purposes.

Lettering by Alma Hoffman on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Alma Hoffman on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Alma Hoffman on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Alma Hoffman on Hand Lettering for Beginners

How did the Better Lettering Course help you grow in your hand-lettering skills?

It gave me diving board. She, Caroline, made it so easy, simple, and attainable. I got hooked and then I had to do it. Every. Day. Every. Moment.

I would take more courses from her but well, time. I have many projects I am working on that need my attention.

I would say this, Caroline has a way of connecting with you even though it is online, that it is not often seen in other instructors. She is transparent. And she gives her heart. I still remember the email newsletter about how she handled the situation of someone stealing her branding. It left an impression on me.

Her course, as inexpensive as it is or was, gave me the steps I needed to get started and to keep going. It was like, I can do that! I want to do that! I will do that! And of course, the sense of community she builds. That summer of 2015 was deep for me. Many things emotionally collided and the show, making each large piece, the lettering, the practice and the monthly challenges she posted gave me encouragement but it also gave me accountability. Every so often, my work was highlighted and it encouraged me. Or when I won the monthly prize! WOW! I was so excited! I never win anything and I loved my markers!

Lettering by Alma Hoffman on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Alma Hoffman on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Alma Hoffman on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Alma Hoffman on Hand Lettering for Beginners

What surprised you most as you learned and practiced hand-lettering skills?

The meditative power of it. When I do it, I go to a state of deep work. Time goes by and I can’t tell. On the summers mostly, I go to my studio and I am there for hours until my husband or kids call me for dinner. My response: “already?” Case in point, I recently had a solo show of lettered pieces done in a mix of watercolor and ink titled Visual Prayer. I used verses from the Bible in English and Spanish and lettered them. I could do this all day. I have to stop myself actually because well, things like carpal tunnel, get in the way. ;-)


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Alma Hoffmann is a bilingual designer, design educator, and writer who believes the power of visuals to persuade and create change is an enormous privilege and responsibility. She is married and has two teenaged children. Her husband is a physicist and college educator who loves to spoil her by building tables and spaces for her art practice. For more information about her see: almahoffmann.net | almahoffmann.com

You can also check out her two part article for Smashing Magazine about brush lettering, which is what she focuses mostly on. part one |

Check out Alma’s shops on Etsy and RedBubble or sign up for her newsletter here.

Regie Bariuan

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You're reading an interview with an alumni from the Better Lettering Course. I'm sharing several of these stories on the blog to encourage and inspire anyone who has a desire to learn hand-lettering but who might be intimidated or fearful of diving in. Click here to read them all or, if you're a BLC alumn, submit your story here to be featured!


What made you want to start hand-lettering?

I was always fascinated with letters when I was younger. I found myself drawn to some famous logotypes of different brands. You'll find me sketching these logos at the back of my notebook when I have nothing to do in class. When I was introduced to basketball, I was always excited to look at how their uniforms are designed. I specially love the different styles of the letters on their team logos. There was also a time where I would do lettering of my friends' names which are based on their personalities. Then we also had some basic lettering classes and it was one of my favorite subjects back then.

I studied electronics engineering in college because that's one of the "popular" courses when I graduated high school. I didn't consider taking a graphic design course since I didn't know that something like that existed. Unlike now, not everyone in the Philippines can afford to have Internet access back then. When I was already working I started to notice I was always drawn to great typography. I started researching online and then I found out about Graphika Manila. It is the biggest design conference here in the Philippines. I decided to attend as I got curious and I just wanted to learn more. One of the speakers was Jessica Hische. That was the first time I heard the term Letterer as a type of career. I was blown away because I found out that what she's doing was the thing that I was into when I was a kid.

I was hooked with lettering after that. I started researching and got to know more about typography and also calligraphy. It's like a whole new world was introduced to me. The conference was in 2014. A year later I didn't manage to do anything and procrastinated on without the actual doing. At around that time I was already following Jason Zook back then and then I naturally got to know Caroline. As she was also a creative, I started relating to her and then found out about the Better Lettering Course. So in February 2015, I joined the course and then participated in the 28-day challenge. There's a prize raffled after the challenge. To be eligible for it, we had to post a lettering piece on Instagram for the whole month. Which means we needed to create 28 lettering posts. I finished the challenge but I didn't win the raffle. But I'm thankful because it ignited my passion with lettering.

 

Lettering by Regie Bariuan

Lettering by Regie Bariuan

Lettering by Regie Bariuan

Lettering by Regie Bariuan

 

What were some of you thoughts as you started out?

When I was doing the challenge I was not that confident. It had been years since I did lettering and I felt like my work suck. To be honest it did suck. I told myself everyone started out as a beginner. So when I post my early lettering work I could use this to inspire myself when I eventually get better. I allowed myself to put out imperfect work. Now when I look back I can now see how much I improved. For me, it's important to share when you are starting out. I can also show this to the other aspiring letterers that I also sucked when I started and it is normal to be that way. It takes time and hard work to get better.

 

How did the Better Lettering Course help you grow in your hand-lettering skills?

Since this was the first lettering course that I had taken, all the basic terms that you need to know, I learned from BLC. I also got some great tips from Caroline about digitizing your work. What helped me was the monthly challenges I participated. The first challenge was special because that kickstarted everything. Some of my favorite work right now came from doing the monthly challenges.

 

What surprised you most as you learned and practiced hand-lettering skills?

I'm surprised at how much you will improve when you spend a lot of time doing it. I also tried a bit of calligraphy but I find that I have more freedom to play with my letter forms with hand-lettering. I do love using brush pens and have been practicing with it for a while now. Another thing that surprised me was the fact that it was possible to have a career as a lettering artist. I'm not there yet but my dream is to eventually introduce myself like this: "Hi! I am Regie and I draw letters for a living." :)

 

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The top piece was done when I was still taking the Better Lettering Course and completed the lettering challenge for the month. The after version was done a exactly a year later.


 
Regie B - Better Lettering Course Student Spotlight

I'm Regie Bariuan, an Engineer specializing in Lettering and Design. I love bacon and I'm fueled by coffee.

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Dani DiPirro

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You're reading an interview with an alumni from the Better Lettering Course. I'm sharing several of these stories on the blog to encourage and inspire anyone who has a desire to learn hand-lettering but who might be intimidated or fearful of diving in. Click here to read them all or, if you're a BLC alumn, submit your story here to be featured!

 

What made you want to start hand-lettering?

From the time I learned to write, I've been obsessed with handwriting. I can remember some of my favorite moments as a child were hearing someone (especially an adult!) say, "I love your handwriting!" Back then, I didn't know what lettering was (and it certainly wasn't the trend that it is today), but I was always passionate about it.

When I started my blog, Positively Present, in 2009, I was primarily using stock photography to add visual interest to my blog posts. Once I left my job in marketing to pursue the blog full time, I became more interested in graphic design and exploring how to create my own images and illustrations to enliven my blog posts. As I took more and more courses online, I gained more and more skills and my mind was opened to all kinds of creative concepts -- including the idea of hand-lettering, something I'd always been doing on paper, but never knew how to translate onto the screen. The more I saw others doing it, the more I felt inspired to give it a try.
 

Lettering by Dani DiPirro on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Dani DiPirro on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Dani DiPirro on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Dani DiPirro on Hand Lettering for Beginners

 

What were some of you thoughts as you started out?

As I began my lettering journey, I saw amazing artists like Jessica Hische and Mary Kate McDevitt making careers out of lettering, but I knew I wasn't quite like them. I didn't have the patience or desire to make things precise and perfect. As I was working on my own style -- more handwriting than hand-lettering -- I came across Caroline's work and thought, wow, this is amazing! It's so beautiful and makes you feel so connected to the words, but it's not the traditional lettering that I'd seen.

Not only was I inspired by Caroline's work in particular, but I was inspired by the idea that lettering can be more of a creative, free-form art, with the restrictions of grids and sketches. Inspired by artists like Caroline (and Adam J. Kurtz and Kathy Weller), I started working on my own kind of lettering. At times it was incredibly frustrating because I didn't quite know what style I wanted to have, and I didn't want to restrict myself, but I felt I had to have a "look." It was around this time of frustration that I discovered the Better Lettering Course.

How did the Better Lettering Course help you grow in your hand-lettering skills?

The Better Lettering Course wasn't the first lettering course I'd taken, but it was by far the best. It was the only I felt not only taught me, but inspired me. Other courses I'd taken were more about learning the terminology and getting the concepts (which was great), but BLC took this further, making me want create and practice. It inspired me to think outside of the box, to explore different kinds of lettering, to investigate what I did or didn't love about my own handwriting and elevate that from handwriting to hand-lettering.

The great thing about the BLC course (and any other course I've taken from Caroline) is that it pairs her knowledge with inspiration. Knowledge is important, but it doesn't do a ton of good if you don't feel inspired to use it -- and that's what the BLC does. It teaches and inspires. It's that inspiring part that is so crucial because, if you're not inspired to get creative, to think outside the box, to actually practice, you're not going to get very far in anything.

What surprised you most as you learned and practiced hand-lettering skills?

As I learned and practiced my hand-lettering skills, I was surprised by the progress I made. I've been writing my whole life, but I'd never given as much thought and attention to it as I did after I took the BLC. It made me more aware of the choices I made with my lettering and, importantly, it made me more playful and open-minded. Rather that feeling every letter had to be perfect, I learned to embrace (and actually love!) a lot of my little lettering flaws. As someone who is very Type-A, this was incredibly freeing and it's made me a better letterer (and creative person in general).

I've also been pleasantly surprised by how much lettering has impacted my business. I sell stickers and pins based on my lettering, I've grown my following on Instagram substantially, and my next book -- all about self-love -- is going to feature dozens of hand-lettered pieces!

 

Lettering by Dani DiPirro on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Dani DiPirro on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Dani DiPirro on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Dani DiPirro on Hand Lettering for Beginners


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Dani DiPirro is an author, blogger, and designer living in a suburb of Washington, DC. In 2009, she launched PositivelyPresent.com as a way to share her personal experiences and insights on positivity, awareness, and self-love — things that didn’t always come easy to her!

Dani is the author of Stay PositiveThe Positively Present Guide to Life, the Effortless Inspiration series, and a variety of e-books. She is also the founder of Twenty3, a design studio focused on positive products and inspired illustration.

Connect with Dani on PositivelyPresent.comPinterestFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.