#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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#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

Have you seen @surelysimplechallenge on Instagram? It’s a creative community for sharing art and calligraphy tips and tutorials. (The main hashtag for the challenge is #SimpleAlphabets!) It’s always fascinating to read about a creative mind, and we have Jo of Zuer Designs sharing (a second time here! Her first interview is here, if you’d like to take a look at that too). If you want to read more about her lettering journey, feel free to read her interview at Surely Simple. This one is an additional feature to highlight her creative process!

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

Please tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m Jo. I’m currently a postgraduate student studying biology, but in my free time I love creating letters and art with my hands. I’m a huge stationery addict as well, evident by my Instagram photos.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

How would you describe your lettering/ calligraphy style?

I feel like my lettering is big, bold, and beautiful. While I love the dainty hairline like calligraphy and lettering styles, I prefer prominent brush strokes and lots of colour.
What makes you motivated enough to keep on keeping on with your work?

Seeing people saying that they enjoy my work is enough to keep me motivated! I love hearing feedback from people.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com
Would you rather go the freelance way or do you prefer a more regulated and secure way of work?

Definitely freelance. I enjoy picking and choosing what works best for me. I don’t want to work on a project that doesn’t suite my style. I wouldn’t be happy with the work I produce otherwise.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com
What makes you the happiest when it comes to looking at your progress?

Seeing how my style has developed while learning. I can definitely see my personal style coming through when I look back at old work.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com
Half glass full or half glass empty? What’s your attitude in life in general?

Honestly, I’m more of a realistic person than an ‘optimist’ or ‘pessimist’. So, my glass would be filled with half water and half air. I say this because I like to look at both the positives and negatives in every situation and prepare myself for both.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com
Who do you look up to in your field? Or in life as a whole?

I don’t know if there is any particular person I look up to, but I admire people’s style. I look up to every creative person, because they are willing to continue creating, and that motivates me heaps!

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com
How many hours do you put in for your work everyday?

The first thing that I tell people who try and learn lettering is that you have to do something everyday related to it in order to see improvements. So at the bare minimum, I’ll create something to post on Instagram everyday which means I spend at least 15 minutes everyday working on my lettering.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com
What book/ podcast are you currently reading/listening to?

As a student currently, I don’t have time to read any fiction books at all. Instead, I’m reading a lot of research papers for my classes.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com
How do you think you have evolved in your art- has it changed you?

I’ve learned to find my own style and do what feels most natural and comfortable. In the beginning I was really into following trends. While I still enjoy it, now days I prefer to put my own style into it.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Jo Cheung via Opinion9.com
What’s next in your artistic journey? 

I don’t know what will happen from now. Ideally, I’ll like to keep learning to paint and eventually combine my painting with my lettering.

SHOP ART SUPPLIES THAT JO USES:







 

Thanks for sharing, Jo! You can find Jo here:

Website: zuerdesigns.com

 

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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

……

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

…..

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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Creative Lettering with Kiley In Kentucky

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9Hello everyone! For the Inspiration column, today we have Kiley talking about her take on lettering and her perspective on life! I’m a big fan of her work- it’s bright, colourful and just stands out!

Primarily, her tools of choice include a variety of markers, paint brushes and brush pens- reflected by the bold lines and splashes of colour in her art.

But, she’s also an evolving artist, so I’m pretty sure she’ll change it up here and there! That’s the beauty of art, isn’t it?

There’s something so distinctive about her work though- just take a look at her gorgeous instagram feed (@kileyinkentucky).

Let’s hear what she has to say!

Creative Lettering and Conversation with Kiley in Kentucky! An interview via opinion9

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am a twenty-something from Kentucky, currently residing in New York City, and preparing to move to the Midwest United States! I recently ended my job at an ad agency in NYC in pursuit of self-employment as a hand-lettering artist and Etsy Shop owner. I am Creative Director and Co-Founder of Girl-ish (www.girl-ish.com) a lifestyle website for women in their twenties. My role in Girl-ish required me to flex my graphic design muscles, which led me to discover my love of hand-lettering! I didn’t start taking it seriously until about 9 months ago…ever since, lettering has been a constant in my daily life. From start to finish, putting a piece together is such a joyful, relaxing process and that feeling is what keeps me returning to it each day.

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9What motivates and inspires you the most?

Most of the time, I really can’t pinpoint the root of my inspiration! I can be outside, inside, watching tv, on the subway, in a meeting at work, and an idea will come to me. I simply try to take action as soon as inspiration strikes. But, what motivates me is finding my happiness. It is my ultimate goal to have a career I enjoy that brings me happiness and fulfillment, and a career in which Mondays aren’t a thing to dread. At this point in my life, building that career is the best motivation I could have!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

 

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9I absolutely love your evolving lettering style! What is your drawing/painting/lettering process like?

I have a LOT of ideas and a tendency to lose focus and get distracted easily, so I set “lettering goals” for myself each day. My ever-growing list of ideas sits in my planner, and each morning I’ll choose a couple of those ideas and make it my goal to tackle them throughout the day. Sometimes, I fly through them, sometimes I only have enough energy to get through one. But, no matter what, I always start with a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and a totally open mind! Because of my wandering mind, I like to create full, finished pieces in one sitting. If I like the finished piece, I’ll scan it into my computer to digitize in the future.

 

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

I like to keep my artwork simple. Less is always more to me! Because of the simple nature of my pieces, the entire process might take 10 minutes to an hour. My “Floralpha” Letters take me a bit longer to do since they require precision and care. If I’m working with a fussier medium like acrylic paint or watercolor, I could be working for hours! I’m not too skilled with watercolors yet, but it’s all a work in progress!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

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

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

I remember creating this piece and being so pleased with how it turned out! Of course, now, I look at it and see 20 things I would fix…but I still love it. It is great motivation to look at something you created when you were only just getting started and see the improvement you’ve made, while also seeing that you weren’t so bad in the beginning after all!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Omg! You were Miss Kentucky! (Yeah, I totally scrolled down your feed!) That must have been quite an experience! Could you share your thoughts about it? It’s quite nice to see a beauty queen with an interest in lettering and blogging!

Well, I was never Miss Kentucky, but I came pretty close! I competed in pageants for 10 years, and for the chance to go to Miss America for three years. I look back on my experience now, and I see how much being involved in that level of competition shaped me. I have such a sense of self-discipline and grit that I don’t think I would have gained any other way! I also have a closet full of gorgeous gowns and a killer workout plan that I still do to keep in shape! Haha

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9Where do you see yourself in a few years?

This summer alone, I am getting married, moving to a new state, and starting my own business. I’m taking it one day at a time for now! But, a year from now, I would like to (mostly) have the hang of running my business, enjoying the first full year of marriage with the most wonderful man, and continuing to expand my artistic skills and interests! Thinking about anything beyond that stresses me out! Haha

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

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

8:30am – Wake up, immediately head to the kitchen to make coffee!

9:00-9:30am – Enjoy a leisurely breakfast while checking e-mails and publishing any scheduled blog posts for Girl-ish

9:30-10:30am – Instagram and Blog Planning. I use Latergramme to schedule my Instagram posts, and I like to have at least 5 days worth of posts scheduled at any given moment. This time is dedicated to photographing, editing, and scheduling posts for Instagram, as well as planning ideas for my weekly lettering blog posts.

10:30-1:00pm – Time spent writing blog posts, sketching up new ideas for pieces, tackling some of my “lettering goals”

1:00-2:00PM – Lunch and errands!

2:00-5:00pm – Working on my Etsy Shop…another cup of coffee is required

6:00-7:00pm – Cooking/Eating Dinner

7-10:00pm – Depending on the day: Hanging out with my fiance, working out, apartment hunting, or all three!

TUTORIAL IS UP for the watercolor backsplash! Link is in bio, or go to www.kileyinkentucky.com and read my latest blog post on the #heftyhack 🎂HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY, @girl.ish!🎂 I cannot imagine what my life would be like–all the love and joy and friendship I would be missing–if @christiegleason hadn't called me in August of 2014 and said "Hey, I have this idea…" This is one of Christie's fave quotes and it is never more relevant than now, on the 1 year anniversary of our launch date! I just came upon this process of creating a colorful black splash while brainstorming about the perfect Girl-ish dedication. I will definitely be doing this more–full explanation of this fun ink process in future posts #heftybagmaneuver #heftyhack

A post shared by Kiley Bennett (@kileyinkentucky) on

What is your favourite travel destination, colour, food and outfit staple?

Favorite Travel Destination: The Grand Canyon or Costa Rica

Favorite Color: Yellow

Favorite Food: I can’t pick just one….I love anything Tex-Mex

Favorite Outfit Staple: A Chambray button down can be paired with anything and worn year-round…I own 4!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

 

What would a “perfect” day be like for you?

My perfect day begins with a cup of coffee and a huge breakfast of bacon, sausage, and pancakes….preferably shared with friends and family! From there, I’m heading to the beach or pool-side to read a good book and work on my tan. Margaritas and chips and guac will be delivered to me for lunch, followed by a nap, of course, then ending the evening at a cook-out, around a bonfire, dancing and talking and spending quality with my loved ones!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

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

For leisure, I enjoy reading, playing piano, and spending time with my friends and family (if you can’t tell, based on my perfect day, they’re a huge part of my life!)

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Some themes/ topics inspiring you nowadays?

I focus a lot of happiness, appreciation, and encouragement. Those are the themes I try to keep a steady hold on in my life, and those are the kinds of messages I want to share with others!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

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

I primarily use brush pens in my art. My go-to supplies are Tombow Brush Pens (my favorite is the Fudenosuke Soft Nib), or Tombow Dual Brush Pens for coloring, Micron Ink Pens, a pencil, and a good eraser! I also love doing digital art, using Adobe Illustrator. For watercolor, I love using the Pentel Aquash Waterbrush to letter or to paint, and I’ve recently discovered the magic that is Dr. Ph. Martin’s Watercolors! *heart eyes emoji*

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

How did you discover your own style of lettering? Any advice for beginners and people somewhere in the middle?

My style came out through months and months of daily practice…actually, I feel like I’m still coming into my style. I don’t believe there’s a formula or a method for discovering your personal aesthetic other than trying any and every thing out for yourself…you’ll naturally find what comes easiest to you, and will put your own twist on styles you like.

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

(Love the gold sharpie look here!)

Any fond memories in Kentucky? (Had to throw that in there!)

Most of my fond memories are of Kentucky! Kentucky has my whole heart!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

I especially love your new floral alphabet series on Instagram! What inspired you to start that?

I’ve wanted to create a floral alphabet for years, but I always imagined I would do it digitally, as a font. One night, I was playing around with floral patterns, and the idea for a hand-drawn alphabet hit me. I challenged myself to complete the full alphabet, and I couldn’t be happier I did…I’ve learned so much about letterforms, precision, and consistency in style!

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9What would your ideal studio space be like?

Lots of light! Isn’t that every artist’s dream? My ideal space is a quiet room in my home with a hardwood floor, white walls, one or two large windows, and enough space for me to create an organized work flow. A welcoming, but organized space is key to my creativity! As my fiance and I are apartment and house hunting for our next adventure, we are always on the look-out for my “home office space” that I’ve been dreaming of….I’m trying my hardest to stay realistic about it though! *Fingers crossed!*

 

Creative Lettering (And Conversation) with Kiley In Kentucky via Opinion9

(Kiley’s self portrait! Cute, right?)

Thanks for sharing, Kiley! Find more of her work here:

Lettering BlogInstagramPinterest |

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