Truths You Once Knew, But May Have Forgotten | Mixed-Media Art and Quotes

I’ve always been drawn to quotes, long before they became commonplace memes on social media. Often comprised of just a few words, they enlighten, inspire, and motivate. Have you ever noticed a running theme in the quotes that you or your friends are drawn to? In addition to moving us in some way, they tend to speak to who we are.

Lesley Riley, author of Creative Lettering Monoprinting (now part of an exclusive collection of mixed-media resources), has been moved beyond words to incorporate special phrases and quotes in her mixed-media art, along with unique lettering and layering techniques that you, too, can learn. The lessons in Lesley’s book will help you turn your favorite quotes into art that reinforces your beliefs, goals, or dreams. Below, Lesley shares with you her love of words and art, and how her book will teach and inspire readers.

Mixed-media art inspiration | Lesley Riley,
“Open your eyes. Are you satisfied with the life you are living?” —Bob Marley. Art: “Eyes” (Stick-on letters were used as a resist prior to adding green paint, as well as cut-and-paste text printed on scrapbook paper, 6×6) by Lesley Riley (Pin this!) 

More Than Just Words by Lesley Riley

Recently a friend posted this John Green quote on my Facebook page: “Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than the people we’re quoting.” I instantly began looking at my quote collection with new eyes.

Just like the art we create and the artists we admire and seek to emulate, I have come to realize that the quotes we collect reflect who we are and how we make our way in this world.

Mixed-media art by Jessica Herman Goodson |
What’s the Use of Worrying? (Mixed-media journal page, paper, acrylic paint and thread on paper, 6×8) by Jessica Herman Goodson

You find an inspirational quote, and something about the words rings true. You collect these small truths because they are ideas, symbols, or memories of life’s truths you once knew but have forgotten in the daily whirlwind our your days.

Mixed-media art inspiration | Lesley Riley,
Wood vs Books (mixed-media art) by Lesley Riley

A good quote brings a smile to my face and a sigh to my heart. “Ah, yes,” I say, “that’s why I’m here. That’s why I do what I do.” I’m sure you can relate.

I have been incorporating quotes into my mixed-media art since the very beginning. When I was trying to discover my voice, I simply asked myself, “What do I love?” My answer was quotes, images, color, and fabric. Playing with those four elements, I was able to reinterpret or give new meaning to the quote or the image, just by changing up the other three elements. It was a delightful art game but, more importantly, it taught me how to add greater meaning to my art using the principles and elements of art.

These lessons are exactly what I explore and share in my book, Creative Lettering Workshop. When I teach, I offer my students exercises that help them find a way into their art, to help them find their voices. One of my favorite additions to the book is the Why This Workssection accompanying every project. It breaks down the compositional elements to further your understanding of art principles and elements. I dedicated five pages to this in the chapter Art, Quotes, and Composition,including a Composition Checklist (available for download

Start with words that stir your soul. Explore more than 30 projects, techniques, and inspiration for adding quotes to your art from me and 19 contributing artists in Creative Lettering Workshop. Oh, and did I mention it contains more than 50 of my favorite quotes, illustrated?

This is not a book about perfectly lettering your words on your art. It’s so much more! Creative Lettering Workshop shows and explains creative ways to incorporate special words into your art so that they become an integral part of the art. The quote amplifies your art and your art enhances the meaning of the quote.Together they pack a powerful message.

When you find a quote you love, one that has special meaning for you, it creates a bridge between you, your art, and the viewer. To find ways to visually express what lies in your heart is to create work that others will respond to. Your art is your soul made visible. ~Lesley


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