#SurelySimple Inspiration: Letterer Missy Briggs

Hello folks. You’ll be meeting different lettering / calligraphy artists as a part of the ‘meet the teachers’ series on @surelysimplechallenge. You can find their ‘main’ interviews on surelysimple.com, however the ones posted here are more personal and you might enjoy reading both, so please enjoy a glimpse into the creative folks featured here!

Please tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m Missy Briggs of M2B Studio. My work is primarily wedding and event calligraphy and signage. My personal life is that of a stay-at-home mom to two amazing kiddos, wife to one incredible husband, and dog-mom to two geriatric shih-tzu. If you’ve seen me on Instagram, you know that I’m the left-handed calligrapher that letters backwards. I love to share my art and inspiration on Instagram, and special tips and tricks for those just starting their lettering journey on missybriggs.com.

What is this sorcery? 😳 @m2bstudio Missy is one of the teachers in the #SimpleAlphabets challenge- and she's representing all us lefties out there! I have no idea how she can write so well backwards though in drill formation- and I'm a lefty too. Amazing, Missy! 🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸 🔸🔸🔸 To find out what she's going to teach, be sure to stay in the loop here : by following @surelysimplechallenge and @surelysimpleblog ▶️The Simplealphabets challenge- which starts on June, will have us lettering an alphabet a day and also will be showcasing some teachers who will be sharing a bit about themselves and tips to help you get started too. And of course your work has a chance to get featured – so keep lettering! 🎉 Check out the prompts page on @surelysimpleblog and tell us if you're joining! #surelysimplelettering #handlettered #brushpen #leftycalligraphy

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How would you describe your lettering/ calligraphy style?

First of all, it’s not backwards! When I’m working in my studio on a commission, I do not write backwards. I post videos where I do this little party trick and people assume that’s the way I work, every day. All day! I began writing backwards while practicing my lettering as a way to better understand letterforms and evaluate spacing. I continue to do it in videos because (1) it’s fun and quirky and (2) I’m a lefty. Lettering backwards means you can see what I’m writing in a video. Otherwise I have to use an odd side camera angle. When you look at typography or lettering, you assign a feeling to that type style. If it’s swirly, and dots are replaced with hearts, you would say it’s lighthearted and happy. If it’s full of grand flourishes and swashes, you would call the style romantic. When I WRITE, I keep the project at hand in mind, and work accordingly. If it’s fun and romantic, I make the letters dance above and below the baseline or spread out the spacing to add interest. If it’s more formal, I’ll adopt a slant. My typical hand lettering is not slanted, it’s fairly fun and lighthearted, and it has a little bit of an edge.

What makes you motivated enough to keep on keeping on with your work?

I spent many years in a typical 9 to 5 job, and during that time I created very little. I wasn’t sure of my style and I no longer identified with being an artist. When I became a stay-at-home mom, I began my journey back into my art by… introducing myself as an artist! The simple action of defining myself by my aspirations became a way to change my overall mindset. Soon I went from planning to making! I’m at a point where I’m grateful to say that I have no lack of inspiration. I keep an album in my iPhone of inspiration and I keep a notebook full of verses and motivational quotes to get me started every morning. Would you rather go the freelance way or do you prefer a more regulated and secure way of work?

Freelance. I’m very blessed to be able to spend as much time volunteering and doing my own freelance work. I wouldn’t trade my current jobs for anything. What makes you the happiest when it comes to looking at your progress? I see work that I did several years ago and can appreciate exactly where I was. I can honestly say, “That was terrible,” and not feel the need to destroy it. That’s huge for me. I don’t keep a lot of work. I take photos, scan it, and/or give it away. I don’t feel the need to keep so much around. Half glass full or half glass empty? What’s your attitude in life in general?

Full. For sure. Life’s too short to dwell on the empty half. Who do you look up to in your field? Or in life as a whole?

I am fortunate to have found many mentors along the way. And many amazing #calligrafriends. If you look at my Instagram feed, I follow people whose work I truly admire, and who inspire me. They are sharing their truth, their work, and they’re not overly promotional with their message. They’re just putting it out there. I email and text, and talk to many people I’ve met since I began sharing my lettering on Instagram.

How many hours do you put in for your work everyday?

I work as many hours as I can squeeze into the day. I would put a bed in my studio for naps if I could. Some days, it’s an hour. It really varies.

What book/ podcast are you currently reading/listening to?

This is embarrassing. I’m usually in the middle of a non-fiction book. Biographies are my jam! It’s summer, so I’m going to be honest and say I’m reading a beach-worthy, coming-of-age novel. It’s called “Sweetbitter” by Stephanie Danler. I just started it, so don’t tell me the ending! How do you think you have evolved in your art- has it changed you?

I would say that when I was just out of college, my focus was on finding a career that would allow me to modestly create on the side. My focus now is on sharing my journey, apologetically. Take me as I am! What’s next in your artistic journey?

The next logical step for me is to continue to inspire others. My own journey has gone in circles enough to be able to help others jump over that hurdle and move on to realizing their own success. I don’t know if that means teaching or mentoring, but I’d love to help others find their path. My blog, with lettering tips for beginners and special “lefty love” lettering tips for my left-handed peeps, is a start on that next chapter.

Connect with Missy: Website: www.missybriggs.com Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m2bstudio/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/M2Bstudio/  

 PS- Read Missy’s interview at surely simple here.

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#SurelySimple Inspiration: Kiley in Kentucky

Hello folks. You’ll be meeting different lettering / calligraphy artists as a part of the ‘meet the teachers’ series on @surelysimplechallenge. You can find their ‘main’ interviews on surelysimple.com, however the ones posted here are more personal and you might enjoy reading both, so please enjoy a glimpse into the creative folks featured here!

Meet Kiley! (check her previous feature on Opinion9 here as well!)

Please tell me a bit about yourself.

I am a twenty-something lettering artist going through a major life change! I just recently moved back to Kentucky from New York City, got married, moving out of state again, and launching my own business. Aside from all the craziness, I would describe myself as a happy medium between introvert and extrovert, a coffee and cat lover, and a woman who loves her friends and family more than anything.

How would you describe your lettering/ calligraphy style?
The words that immediately pop into my head are: loose yet feminine. I often think my letters look more like doodles than letters. There’s always a very round, ornate, girly shape to them. That’s the style that just comes most naturally to me!

What makes you motivated enough to keep on keeping on with your work?
Right now, it’s the simple fact that I truly enjoy lettering. The process is fun, therapeutic, and rewarding at the same time. I know in the future, the “fun” factor might die down, but I also love creating my own hours and being my own boss too much to ever stop lettering and go back to the 9-5 world.

Would you rather go the freelance way or do you prefer a more regulated and secure way of work?
At this point, I have forgotten what secure looks like! For the past few months, I’ve been living off of commissions and freelance work. Even though I started my Etsy Store, there’s no real guarantee I’ll ever receive another order—so, I rely on freelance to keep me going. I wouldn’t say I love this kind of lifestyle. For now, it’s fine because I planned for this, financially…but before I can start a family or begin saving for retirement, I want to have a “steady” gig.

What makes you the happiest when it comes to looking at your progress?
My favorite moments happen when I complete some sort of project, or use a technique, and I think “hey, I just did that with ease. That used to be so hard for me.” That’s when I know I’m headed in the right direction: forward.

Half glass full or half glass empty? What’s your attitude in life in general?
I’m really working on becoming a glass-half-full kind of girl! In the past, negativity or stress often got the best of me, but I’m actively focusing on the positive every day now. Honestly, quitting my 9-5 job and moving out of New York City has done wonders for my outlook on life. I have more energy, I feel healthier, I feel happier, and I’m so much more excited about life now that I’m away from the hustle and bustle.

Who do you look up to in your field? Or in life as a whole?
In my field, I really admire Kelly Klapstein (she taught the letter “A”). She’s a fellow Tombow Brand Ambassador, and even though I’ve never met her—she seems like one of the happiest, sweetest people! I don’t know much about her career as a lettering artist, but I really admire her work, her dedication, and the way she presents herself in such a positive, fun light. She’s awesome!

How many hours do you put in for your work everyday?
A solid 6 hours, at least. Some days it may be more or less, but I am generally working off and on from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, 7 days a week. That is the beauty and curse of being self-employed. Work is always with you in some way!

What book/ podcast are you currently reading/listening to?
I don’t have just one! I love all things NPR, and I love listening to ‘Fresh Air’ or ‘This American Life’ while exercising–it’s about the only way I can motivate myself to work out.


How do you think you have evolved in your art- has it changed you?
I’ve really let go of my perfectionist tendencies. A year ago, I would NEVER take on a commission because I could never come up with a final piece I thought was deserving of the client. Now, even though I am a entirely different (better) artist, I look at my art and I see the imperfections as the “fingerprint” of each piece. On the other hand, I’ve become SO organized with the start of my business (and wedding planning), that I feel like I’m on a roll every day!

What’s next in your artistic journey?
When my husband and I get settled in our next location, I want to start traveling to festivals and selling my work! I recently participated in a small festival in Central Kentucky and I loved every bit of the experience. I would also like to work with local boutiques, gift shops, and other small businesses to get my work out there, and make my prints more accessible!
My social media links are:
BLOG: www.kileyinkentucky.com
INSTA: www.instagram.com/kileyinkentucky
ETSY: www.etsy.com/shop/kileyinkentucky

Read Kiley’s interview at surely simple here.

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Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.comHello there! I’m back with blogging here and I wanted to start again with a whole lotta color and a fun interview to get you inspired! Today, we’re going to hear about Louise Emily Jewell’s journey as an artist. She makes some gorgeous work mostly with watercolor and an emphasis for fine detail. Basically, I really like the peaceful and sweet vibes of her work. And I’m pretty sure you will, too! Let’s hear what she has to say!

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

 I’m Louise, an ex-knitwear designer come illustrator based in the UK. I have always enjoyed drawing and painting, in particular working on small detailed watercolour paintings and wanted to turn my passion into my job.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

What motivates and inspires you the most?

Motivation comes from the urge to create, interpreting the way I see the world onto paper, and wanting to develop and improve as an artist.

I think creative people are sponges for music, art, books, film, design, style and nature, everything really … it’s all constantly buzzing around the brain! So inspiration comes from everywhere! But I always seem to be drawn back to the sea and nautical themes.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

I absolutely love your beautiful watercolour sketches! What is your drawing/painting process like?

I start by sketching, researching images, looking through photos and referencing old sketches. I will then think about the composition of the piece… how I would like it to look in terms of style and colour. I want to evoke feeling in the viewer either by something being cute and making them smile, or creating atmosphere in my work.

After a few rough sketches on loose paper (I become too precious if I work in a sketch book) I sketch the outline of my illustration onto watercolour paper and then start painting.

The illustration is then scanned and if needed tweaked in Photoshop if needed.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

 

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

It all depends on how much detail is in a piece, anything from 2 – 20 hours!

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite) piece of art you remember creating?

I have been making art since I was a tiny tot. The first piece of art I can remember creating was some little rabbit characters eating carrots which was stuck on my parent’s fridge for years.

My favorite painting of recent times is the lady in the potting shed ‘Private Retreat’. I would love to have a potting shed like hers.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I would like to have a few clients that I work with on a regular basis and continue to develop as an illustrator.

I would love to be illustrating for magazines, book jackets and children’s books, learn how to make complex repeat patterns, and take part in some exhibitions.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life? (step by step/ hour by hour breakdown)

We have tea in bed everyday, I see that as one of life’s biggest luxuries! So no matter what time I need to get up I set the alarm half an hour earlier so I can enjoy a morning cup of tea in bed.

After breakfast it’s time to take my dogs for a nice long walk in the country.

I then go into my studio to start work and spend the day researching, drawing and painting. I tend to stick to normal working hours of 9 – 6 but it’s difficult to put the paintbrush down sometimes.

In the evening I walk the dogs again and tackle my share of the chores, then it’s time to relax, in the garden during summer, or in front of the fire during the winter, with a glass of red and some delicious home cooked food.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

How long has painting and art in general been your hobby? How did you think you could convert it to something more?

I have been drawing and painting ever since I was a child, so I suppose it has always been my hobby. When I graduated I was working in the fashion industry, lots of long hours, long commutes and international travel. Time to draw and paint was completely non-existent.

Seven years ago I started working on a freelance basis, which allowed me more time to pick up art as a hobby. As my style developed I decided to put together a portfolio and started to pick up commissions.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

 Just for fun: What is your favourite travel destination, colour, food and flower?

My favorite travel destination has to be Japan. I have been skiing in Japan a few times and am totally in love with their culture, elegant food and the execution and perfectionism in design.

I also really love Sri Lanka because of the laid-back nature, delicious curries, stunning scenery and jolly people.

My favourite colours are indigo and berry colours.

My favourite food is cheese.

Favourite flower always changes to the flower I am looking at! … at the moment there are passion flowers coming into bloom in the garden so I will say Passion Flowers.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

What’s the importance of art in your daily lifestyle?

 Art is very prominent in my daily lifestyle. We are surrounded by art all the time. Art comes in many different forms, from paintings hanging on the wall, the latest film, to mundane everyday objects. Art and creativity is not vital to our survival, but does bring a lot of joy and happiness, and so is vital to our wellbeing.

 

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

What do you do in your leisure time? (apart from art, of course!)

I love to be outdoors and experience nature. I am a keen sailor and like to go on long walks and hikes with my dogs.

I am also a bit of homebody so anything to do with making my home more beautiful… and enjoying the space we have created by cooking, baking and reading.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Some themes/ topics inspiring you nowadays?

I have recently finished a series of sailors and fishermen which I would like to develop further. I plan to explore other nautical themes such as ships knots, the shipping forecast, coastal maps and some boats.

The commissions I am currently working on are focused around floral arrangements, and as it is summer it’s hard not to notice how beautiful the flowers are.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

What are your go-to art supplies and your preferred art media?

I love Holbein watercolour paints, hot pressed highwhite watercolour paper and teeny tiny paintbrushes. The best brushes I have ever bought are by Holbein too.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

How did you discover your own style of drawing? Any advice for artists struggling with getting in the swing of things?

I started by using lots of different mediums to find one that suits me. I found I was most happy when using watercolour. I used watercolour in the past for fashion sketches.

Take a sketch book and go outside to draw… and try not to worry about creating a masterpiece.

Draw things you really like!

Set your self exercises with different mediums and styles to find one that suits you…

The more you do the better you get so practice, practice, practice.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

How do you balance your creative thought while thinking of art in terms of business too?

I’m still trying to figure that out. It’s hard not to let the creative side take over so I always set time aside for marketing, promotion and book keeping.

Painting a Picture with Louise Emily Jewell- an artist interview via Opinion9.com

Thanks for sharing, Louise!

….

Connect with Louise here:

Etsy | Website | Instagram | Facebook

 

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Real Life Lettering Inspiration Vol. 2

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Another long due interview- the Real Life Lettering Inspiration Vol. 2! So excited to have this published! Meet Christina, Isabel, Nicole, Agnes and Myda! All these ladies have their own unique take of creativity and life in general. Let’s hear what they have to say! In no particular order- let’s meet:

CHRISTINA

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Christina, mom to two amazing men, director of children’s ministry at my church, and an avid doodler. Recently, I’ve taken my love for drawing and began a part-time business as an illustrator.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I can’t remember when I didn’t draw. In fact, my mom kept a picture she bought from me at 4 years old. But there was a huge period of time that life, kids, marriage, work, shifted my heart from drawing. But it’s back now. And through posting on social media, it’s so easy to look back at see progress. I still have much to learn, but I’m happy with where I am at the moment.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

Honestly, I love my real job…serving in children’s ministry. I work with a great team, minister to some wonderful families, and have a lot of fun! Between running a home, working full-time and starting up an illustration business, my additional time is about zero. When I can manage, I’m a fan of road trips, visiting the coast, board games, movies, and reading.

 

Favourite art tools and supplies?

Not really.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

I enjoy following the lettering community on Instagram, and do my best to keep comparison and self-critique at bay, but my real passion is art…I dearly love the works of Norman Rockwell, Claude Monet, and James Hance.

 

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

Have fun. Try new things. Seek to understand your strengths and spend time growing those, rather than picking apart your weaknesses. And start…being creative fuels creativity in other areas of your life.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Every day. For the last few years, I’ve been dealing with some significant life challenges, and a brief bout of depression. What I’ve learned is to enjoy what you have, appreciate moments as they come, and recognize that so many things are all too fleeting.

I am a complete introvert, but all the memories that make me smile involve my family and friends. Cherishing the people around you is probably the best advice I could give.

 

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

Semi-professionally. Currently, I have my work in Tightrope Boutique, in Puyallup, WA and I have opened a store on Etsy.com

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What book are you currently reading?

I am currently reading a manuscript by TJ Scar. Hopefully it will be released as his second book sometime this year.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINA:

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cwillettdesigns

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cwillettdesigns

Twitter: www.twitter.com/cwillettdesigns

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/cwillettdesigns

ISABEL

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello everyone, I’m Isabel and I live in the beautiful city of Vancouver. I grew up here after moving from Taiwan at age ten. My Clark Kent alias is an Investment Associate in brokerage and wealth management. A far stretch from being “creative”, that’s for sure! Basically we invest large sums of money and try not to lose any of it. My current excitement (and anxiety) is my upcoming wedding in October held in Hawaii! Six months to go and I am definitely getting nervous about how much I still have to get done! That includes writing the calligraphy for the invitations of course!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I had a solid background in fine arts through extra-curricular training, and a passion for typography developed through creating and coding my own blog in the early 2000’s. It was and still is an obsession how much I care about things like iOS updating the system font (I am pro-San Francisco, haha!) It has been 3 months since I started practicing calligraphy, and I am very happy with my progress. I may have had an easier start because of my background, but I encounter the exact same frustrations as other letterers in our community. It does take courage, faith, and a lotta practice to work through those obstacles. A hard lesson to learn! Some days you just have to drop your pens and walk away.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

I love food, movies, puzzles, beaching, and travelling. I can’t imagine not living next to a coast where I can see and feel the water. My most memorable trip was to Germany with my fiancé Terry. His parents lived half their lives there before meeting in Canada. It was mind-blowing and amazing: the architecture, the culture, the food, the sights, the smells, you name it, I loved it.

Favourite art tools and supplies?

My oblique pen holders, Noodler’s Ink (I read that it’s intended for fountain pens, not for dipped pens, but heck it works great for me!), Zebra G nib, and the trusty Rhodia Dot Pad! Recently I just picked up the Rhodia Blank Pad because the smoothness just can’t be beat for pointed pens. Also of note are my Rembrandt chalk pastels and Winsor & Newton watercolours… I should really dig those out!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

My favourite artists have all passed – Renoir, Degas, and Mucha are absolute visionaries. Their work have such a soft and romantic quality that I adore. In the calligraphy and lettering field, there are some amazing people on Instagram whose artwork I’ve encountered. It is astonishing how much talent is out there and I look up to so many of them.

 

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

My best advice is, do what feels the most right to yourself. Take everyone’s advice humbly, even try it once, and then decide for yourself. One prevalent practice that I don’t agree wholeheartedly with and therefore don’t do, is drilling. I think if you are conscious about what you are doing, each letter and word you write becomes your practice. Write slow to give yourself time to think ahead before the next stroke. Have a plan for how you want it to look like. Then “air-write” it before you touch pen to paper. This way your one letter is a much more developed and intended thought than writing it mindlessly down the page 100 times.

My second piece of advice is, if you find yourself needing to practice a certain letter (you’re not pleased with it, it’s not a letter you use frequently, etc), practice it in conjunction with another letter. For example, if you really dislike your g’s, write it in conjunction with an h. I found that in beginning to write, it wasn’t the letterforms that challenge me as much as the connections between each letter. Where does the g end, and where does the h begin? Again, this relates to making your practice mindful and purposeful. Rarely are you going to end up writing a letter on its own, on your final products!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Oh yeah, big time. Recently when I got my first commissioned custom calligraphy job. I jumped up and down and danced and screamed “I’M A PAID ARTIST!!!!!” All I wanted to do when I was little was to become one of those portrait artists in the park (haha!) I was SO ecstatic to have been approached, and to be offered a commission to create something for them

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

You never know! One day I may just walk out of my office saying: this job is just too much stress and too much math and too much UGH! In which case, I most definitely will be pursuing art as a profession! For now it remains a hobby and just something I do for me.

What book are you currently reading?

This is going to be embarrassing, but I am reading (studying) the Wealth Management Essentials textbook from the Canadian Securities Institute. This is part of my official licensing as an advisor. Did everyone just fall asleep? Sorry!!!!! I appreciate you even making it this far down this interview, only to not be rewarded by the boring book I am reading! The last thing I read that I truly enjoyed was the Golden Compass trilogy. What can I say, I’m a sucker for fantasy!

CONNECT WITH ISABEL:

…..

NICOLE

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hello everyone! My name is Nicole Bourque. I am 27 years old, born and raised in a small central Minnesota town where “everybody knows your name.” Up until this past November I have always lived in Minnesota. Now I am a newly wed living in New Mexico helping my husband start up his dog training business! For the past 6 years I have been living with an unknown chronic illness, which has made it hard to stay motivated with my art up until lately. I am starting on a path to healing (FINALLY) and have been using art to help motivate me through.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I have been interested in art since I could hold a pencil. It was my favorite subject in elementary, high school and I went to college for Graphic Design. I’ve always loved the idea of hand lettering, but never had the motivation to try it. I always felt more comfortable designing things on the computer. However, now that I’ve gotten started with lettering I can’t get enough of it and am proud of all the progress I’ve made since I started in March.

 

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

My hobbies include going on walks, training dogs (thanks to my husband), hanging out with friends and family, making crafts, decorating, singing and spontaneous dance.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Favourite art tools and supplies?

Tombow fude, Tombow dual brush pens and my water colors are some of my favorite art tools that I currently use. I’m new into lettering so I have a ton of other tools to check out!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

In life, I look up to my older brother. He does nothing with art or lettering, but he has been my biggest supporter in my art journey ever since I got serious with it when I was 16. When it comes to being driven and successful, my brother is the poster child. He has overcome many odds and he continues to inspire me every day.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

My advice to art and lettering enthusiasts would be to never give up, don’t get caught up in perfection, and most importantly HAVE FUN!! I used to get so anxious about everything I did to be perfect. Throughout my journey I’ve learned to let that go and have realized that there is so much beauty in imperfection. And, it is less stressful 😉

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

On my most recent birthday, which happened to be my golden birthday, my brother called me and asked me to be the Godmother of his daughter (my first niece). I was beyond honored and the happiest woman that day! Best birthday present, EVER! Then that night I played Apples to Apples with my husband, cousin and mom who was visiting for the week.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

Currently I am in the process of figuring out how serious of a role art will be playing in my life. I’m working on opening up an Etsy shop in the next couple of months (hopefully sooner!) and that could help me determine how serious I want to be about it. I’ve always wanted it to be my profession, however I haven’t had the energy to withhold that due to my chronic illness. Right now I feel like I’m getting a second chance at conquering my dream of making art a larger part again.

 

What book are you currently reading?

Since I just got married, I’m reading “For Women Only” so I can understand men better! Hopefully it’ll help my husband and I to stop sounding like an old bickering married couple 😉

CONNECT WITH NICOLE:

INSTAGRAM: @nabourque

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AGNES

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

My name is Agnes and I’m 40-turning-40. I’m a single mom to a 18yo son. I live in Sunny Island Singapore. And my day job is an Administrator in one of the local polytechnics.

 

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I know I love art. As my son gets older, I have more me-time and thus able to do the things I enjoy. And one of them is art.

10 years ago, I chanced upon digital scrapbooking and I’m still at it. Three years ago, I chanced upon lettering and I love how the words can be beautified into eye-catching art pieces

I am not progressing at all in terms of my lettering skills & techniques. But I am progressing in the sense that I know what type of art & lettering I wanna do.

 

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

My other hobbies are digital scrapbooking and cross-stitching. Well, more like hoarding cross-stitch patterns & materials. Cos the last time I stitch a cross was 5 years ago, I think.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Favourite art tools and supplies?

As I am still a newbie, I do not have a favourite art tool and supplies. Plus I don’t dare to invest in the branded supplies.

For lettering, I’m using the Staedtler Triplus Fineliner (latest buy), Micron Pens, Zig Millennium Pens, Sharpie Marker, Pentel Colour Pens & Zig Clean Colour. I’m thinking of buying more Sharpie Markers cos right now I only have one (1) black.

For watercolour, I think I had fallen in love with the Pentel waterbrush. And recently I had found an Instagram account that uses Pentel watercolour paint and her art pieces are gorgeous. So that reassure me that I had made the right choice with my Pentel watercolour 12pc set paint. Now I’m contemplating to get the bigger set. Cos I suck at mixing colors. LOL !!!

I am also using the Staedtler watercolour pencils. I might upgrade to the Prisma or Derwent.

Another watercolouring tool I’m using is the Zig Real Brush. But I’m still learning how to use them.

The latest addition to my watercolour stash is a 165gsm sketch pad. And I’m loving it, because I can do wet-on-wet with it. Most importantly it is making my watercolour pieces turn out to be what it’s supposed to look like. Next I’ll be getting the professional watercolour papers to try.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

I do not have a specific person in mind where art & life is concerned. Each of us has something to teach the world. So I just pick and choose the ones that speak to me at that moment.

As I have just started on a watercolour journey, I am browsing the Instagram for inspiring watercolour feeds.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

As I am still a newbie and trying to find my style, I don’t have any advice to share. It’s more like me looking for guidance from the seasoned players.

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Yes. My first over-the-sea solo trip to London in Jan 2015. And my son’s first-over-the-sea school trip to Cambodia in June 2015 . The next memory will be our first over-the-sea-mother-son-trip to London in June 2016.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

One of my other hobbies is cross-stitch. And I had created a few DIY mini projects for friends. So I do have the intention of converting my art and/or lettering into cross-stitch patterns. Or cross-stitch them myself. And put them up for sale online. But if that fails, art & lettering will be just a hobby for me. And I’m fine with that. But for now, I just wanna concentrate on enjoying the process.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What book are you currently reading?

I’m not reading anything now. My last read was the Corps Security series by Harper Sloan.

CONNECT WITH AGNES:

Instagram: @purlz76

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MYDA

 

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi my name is Myda and I am a 41 year old mom of 4 children with ages ranging from 23 to 7. I love anything that has to do with creativity. Creating gives me an outlet when I’m stressed or just want to be alone. I love to paint & hand letter, (whether it’s on paper or my iPad). I love looking at all kinds of different art. I own Kinkade paintings and I have several art pieces from different Instagram friends including, abstract, mixed media, and wood pieces. I love supporting people in the arts. My husband and I own a muscle/classic car restoration shop and on the side we like to make furniture. My children all have a knack for arts as well so I encourage them with art supplies and classes!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What sparked your interest in art and lettering? What do you feel about your progress?

I’ve always loved art and lettering. Lettering was something I did a lot of in high school. I don’t know where it came from, it was just something I had inside of me. I’ve always loved art and would sketch and doodle mostly in high school. I stopped doing it after high school, which was back in 1993, and I have started again just a few years ago. I took a class with Tamara LaPorte called Life Book and that has helped me with learning about different mediums and how to draw better. I feel I have progressed a lot and am hopeful that I can become better with practice.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

What are your hobbies? (apart from art, of course!)

I also love photography, wood work, movies and music. My latest hobby or stress reliever is playing piano. I started piano lessons in March of this year and I’m loving it! I love making my little essential oil holders and painting them with chalk paint. Photography is something I love to do whenever I can. I mostly use my iPhone but also have a Canon t3i which takes great photos. I love all kinds of different movie genres and music genres.
Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Favourite art tools and supplies?

Right now my favorites are my Zig Clean Color Real Brushes and Tomboy Fude hard and soft pens. I also love using my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Perfect for on the go!

 

Any people you look up to in the art / lettering / calligraphy field? Or just generally, in life?

In the art/lettering I say this in all honesty, I love Aaria’s work! I love how she blends her art with lettering. I also have so many lettering friends that do such amazing work and am just in awe of their lettering and techniques. I love Amanda Arneill @amandaarneill, Vanessa @calligra_vee, In the iPad lettering world I love Karin @ipadlettering and Teela @everytuesday, I love Christie Macey @christie_macey, Laura @laurafedorowicz, Leah @little_lief_creative and Amy @lilylaneart… there are just way too many to name!

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Any advice for art and lettering enthusiasts you’d like to share?

Just keep swimming. Encourage yourself and watch your self talk. Anyone can do anything over time and practice. Try to do daily challenges which push you to improve. Interact with others who have the same interests and always encourage and uplift others!

 

Can you recall any memory that brings a smile to your face?

Honestly, i know this is cliche, but when I think of my kids and the funny things they do or say, that always brings a smile to my face.

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Real Life Lettering Inspiration: Vol 2 via Opinion9

Do you plan on pursuing art professionally, or is it just a hobby you love?

I would love to pursue it professionally! Yes, for now, it is a hobby I love!

 

What book are you currently reading?

Harry Potter Chamber Of Secrets – the whole series actually but I’m on the 2nd book now.

 

CONNECT WITH MYDA:

Instagram – @mydastouchletters (for lettering), @mydabug (for art), @mydas__touch (wood work – with 2 underscores), and @mydastouchphotos (photography)
 
 

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/mydas_touch/

 
 
www.mydastouch.us photography prints
….

Thank you for sharing! Wishing you all the very best in your creative journey! -Aaria 🙂 Read more about them and see their artwork on this interview over on surely simple and this one too.

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Magical Art With Monika Forsberg

magical art with monika forsberg

Hey everyone! I’ve been wanting to publish this for a long time coming- and it’s finally come together! Today, I’m talking to Monika Forsberg all about her creative process. Monika’s work is intriguing, filled with colour, bits and bobs of paper, ragged edges and crisp tones- which all come beautifully together! Being an illustrator isn’t an easy profession. When someone is reading content, the pictures along side the text play a major role. They have to provide visual emotion, make you feel something. And Monika’s work does exactly that! That’s why I call it magical, because art always astounds me in the sense that even a few lines and splashes of colour can make such a big impact. However, the magic is knowing where to add color and emotion into lines and curves and call it art. That instinct, the perception, the feeling. And Monika seems to know it- the magic, that is!

Let’s hear what she has to say.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Monika and I’m a mother and I work as an illustrator.

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(I couldn’t resist adding this bio from her site!)

What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I always drew and made things as a child. Truth be told, I’m not really interested in art as such. I like making things. You wont find me in an art gallery really looking at art. I am a rubbish spectator. But I get an itch if I sit still for too long and need to make something.

What is your general process while creating an art piece?

My work is a bit like knitting, something that I work on then put down and it’s something I do whilst preoccupied with something else. I am terrible at concentrating on one thing but if I do several things at the same time I don’t get stuck.

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What do you enjoy the most in your creative process?

The peace I feel plus when I work I make up stories about the end result (of what I’m working on) and …It’s a bit like singing in front of the mirror with a hair brush as a microphone.

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

Anything from a minute to a day to …A month.

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6 seconds of emotion

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Just out of interest, what was the first piece of art you remember creating that made an impact to you?

I sneaked off into my mums sewing room when about 4 or 5 and shouted at anyone trying to get in and then I made a doll. When finished I was SO PROUD

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

We wake up, eat breakfast, drink coffee, play for a bit then drop off littlest son to school then work solidly for 6 hours until pick up time at school. In the evening we hang out with our eldest son and watch a film and stuff and I then doodle or do something just for fun.

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How do you balance your work/life?

I think my work and life is very entangled. I try to make sure I don’t work at weekends.

What would an ideal day be like for you?

I think I live an ideal life; I’ve got the best boyfriend the best kids and the best of jobs. I would love to go on holiday more though. I am craving sunshine.

monika

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magical art with monika forsberg via Opinion9- her workspace

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Your colourful and imaginative art is really inspiring. How did you discover your drawing style? How do you keep it consistent yet interesting enough to be motivated?

I have no idea. One things leads to another. I am lazy yet quite obsessive and I make loads of mistakes. Mistakes are brilliant, they lead to new discoveries.

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

I draw things until I get bored then I roll the dice and do something else. The dice is metaphorical. I try to think if I approached this from a different side what will I get then?

magical art with monika forsberg via Opinion9- her workspace

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?

Pencils and marker pens. Gouache. Ink pens. Ink. I haven’t got a proper workspace as we live in a small flat so I work in our bedroom on our bed…If I sit at a desk I get backache and stuff. So all my materials are in boxes and our bedroom is a bit of a mess.

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(love the gifs she makes!)

Could you share three tips that make a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

I am never that bothered with the end result. When I get to the end I am already bored or dissatisfied so I have to start working on something else BUT it is important that whilst I’m working I feel as if I’m making the best thing since sliced bread, as if I’m Einstein discovering E=mc2 or Just having fun, being on a roll or struggling but solving a mystery better than Agatha Christie. I think I may have some sort of restlessness inside me but if I keep my fingers moving I feel calm.

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What is your idea of a ‘perfect’ workspace/studio?

I would like to have a room to work in, that was just a workroom. It’d have to have a bed or a sofa and lots of plants and a window. Internet, so I can listen to things. I dont like travelling to work so, a room at home. I love being at home.

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What are your: favourite animal and dream city?

Favourite animal? I like hedgehogs and Foxes and whales but whales makes me sad to just think of so maybe not whales. I like Swedish squirrels more than other squirrels, which sounds terrible. I dont know. Pigs. I love pigs. But they smell a bit yucky. And eagles.. I love eagles but I’ve never seen one in real life so maybe if I met one I’d hate them?

I love Paris (or is it the thought of Paris?) I love summer warm evenings in south of France or Greece or…I loved when Olive47 drove us through LA with music playing and the wind a gentle breeze. I feel an infinity with Ireland but I never been there. I love London. I loved how New York really reminded me of my hometown (Lulea) I would love to go to Japan and Iceland and …But I hate the travelling part. The planes the luggage the…passport controls. I like being at home. I think I prefer lakes to the sea.

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Thanks for sharing, Monika! Find her on her site www.walkyland.com and on instagram @monika_forsberg.

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