Write Now: Hand Lettering Ideas and Inspiration

Have you ever gotten a thought stuck in your mind, one you can’t seem to get rid of? There might be days when the thought seems absent, but at a moment that catches us off-guard, it reappears. In my experience, there are a couple of ways to stop this endless reprise: by catching yourself and redirecting your thoughts, or by releasing the thoughts by saying them out loud or writing them down. This is where your art journal comes in handy.

Art by Joanne Sharpe

When I was reading through Joanne Sharpe’s The Art of Whimsical Lettering, considering what my next art journal page may be, I studied the way she uses colors and designs, and inspirational word and quotes. I was ready to try my own hand lettering styles on a page, but what words would I write?

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In addition to offering lettering techniques, Joanne includes a list of phrases that you can use to create your own art journal page. I was drawn to several of them (scroll down to see them), but wanted to tap into my own memories for fodder. This is where my repetitive thinking came in handy.

Since I began writing a novel, a side project of mine since 2013, a certain phrase has kept me company. It arises when someone asks me why I’m writing a novel. The answer is simple: I have a story to tell. I started my endeavor with this statement, which has become one of my mantras, a phrase that has pushed me to continue editing, deleting, rewriting, and believing. I decided to use these words to create my page (shown here). I started with my lightest marker colors, going over the letters several times. I then added light watercolor washes in analogous colors. When I added the penwork to the letters, I knew I was on to something.

As I worked, I continued to flip through The Art of Whimsical Lettering for ideas on how to embellish letters that seem so boring when I write them: L and O always seem to leave me wanting more from their shapes. By continuing to add layers to the letters with markers, a pen, and even a lightly dipped paintbrush, the letters and the phrase came to life. I hope you like it. But more so, I hope you find inspiration in The Art of Whimsical Lettering value pack, which includes Joanne’s new eBook, Letter Love: Embracing Your Handwriting and the Grafx Art Masking Liquid Pump Softliner–it’s a masking marker that makes it easier to add layers to your work. I refer to this book time and again for ideas, and it’s one of my favorites. I think it will be one of yours, too.

Post in the comments section below and tell us: What words and phrases will you use the next time you create a piece of art that celebrates your hand lettering style?



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Favorite Phrases and Quotations, from Joanne Sharpe’s The Art of Whimsical Lettering

• Live like you mean it.

• Change how you see, not how you look.

• Be kinder than necessary.

• Stand often in the company of dreamers. ~Mary Ann Radmacher

• Go the extra mile. It’s never crowded.




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