#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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#SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPad Lettering

Let’s hear from Karin of @iPadLettering today! Karin’s work is predominantly (as of now) on the iPad, and she also shares tutorials and other iPad related items (like procreate brushes and guides). If you’re planning to start lettering on your iPad, check out her helpful work on her instagram and site. Check out this interview at Surely Simple, if you want to know more about Karin and her creative process. Now let’s hear from Karin herself!

#SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.com

Please tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m from New Zealand and I have been a software developer for almost 20 years. Because I always wanted to be more creative, I decided to study graphic design and recently completed my degree.

#SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.com #SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.com

How would you describe your lettering/ calligraphy style?

Very modern, I like making my letters ‘bounce’ 🙂

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

I love lettering so much, which is all the motivation I need. I love working with bright colours, and playing with different colours and lettering styles relaxes me a lot.

 

Would you rather go the freelance way or do you prefer a more regulated and secure way of work?

I have been a freelancer for most of my career and really enjoy the freedom and flexibility.

#SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.com

#SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.com #SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.comWhat makes you the happiest when it comes to looking at your progress?

I’m not really looking at my progress, I just enjoy the journey. I know that my style will be ever evolving and I’m just letting it take its course.

 

Half glass full or half glass empty? What’s your attitude in life in general?

Definitely half glass full! I’m a very positive person and live in the moment as much as I can.

#SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.com

Who do you look up to in your field? Or in life as a whole?

There are a lot of people I look up to! I wouldn’t be able to name anyone in particular.

 

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

I work a full time job and then I work on my lettering 2-3 hours every day, and more on the weekends.

#SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.com#SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.com

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

The Tim Ferriss show

How do you think you have evolved in your art- has it changed you?

I have definitely become more creative, which is something I have always dreamt of.

#SurelySimple Inspiration: Karin of iPadLettering via opinion9.com

What’s next in your artistic journey?

More lettering!

Thanks for sharing, Karin! -Aaria

P.S. You can find Karin on Instagram under @ipadlettering and her website is ipadlettering.com

SHOP KARIN’S PREFERRED LETTERING SUPPLIES:

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connect with me on instagram | pinterest | twitter | youtube

Follow me on Bloglovin’ to stay updated for freebies, tutorials and doodling etc.

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#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

Simple Alphabets challenge- teacher exclusives!

Let’s meet Millly!

Please tell me a bit about yourself.

I’m Milly, I live in Bournemouth, UK. I’m a cheese lover and a big fan of dogs! I studied Graphic Design at university and now work in an advertising agency.

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

How would you describe your lettering/ calligraphy style?

Brightly coloured and modern.

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

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

My fiancé has actually been amazing, he has been so supportive. Especially times when I get a little grumpy that I don’t think my work looks great, he gives me encouragement but also tells me what does and doesn’t work! Also the amazing Instagram community, it’s great to be part of it!

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

Would you rather go the freelance way or do you prefer a more regulated and secure way of work?

I love my job at the moment, I’m very lucky that I work in a creative environment, however in the future I would love to be able to work from home with my own business.

Happy Friday everyone! Playing with some embossing powders, absolutely love these!

A post shared by Blink Lettering (@blinklettering) on

What makes you the happiest when it comes to looking at your progress?

I love seeing the amount of people I have inspired and helped out. Only a few months ago I was new to all of this and quite nervous about the work I produce. I now get messages and comments from new letterers seeking advice, it’s really shown how my knowledge has developed!

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

Half glass full or half glass empty? What’s your attitude in life in general?

I’m a big believer that if you act positive then positive things will happen to you. However I am human- I do have my grumpy days sometimes!

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

Who do you look up to in your field? Or in life as a whole?

Seb Lester is an absolutely amazing letterer and designer.

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

 

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

I do about an hour a day on average, some weekends if I don’t have much planned I will end up lettering for the whole day!

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

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

I’m listening to a lot of Sean McCabe’s archive of podcasts at the moment, some get inspiration for pushing myself forwards with my lettering. I’m also reading the Acacia Triology by David Anthony Durhams, if you like Game of Thrones you will enjoy these books!

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

How do you think you have evolved in your art- has it changed you?

It’s just simply a part of me! I have to say though doing Graphic Design at uni does make me see things differently compared to a ‘normal’ person. I generally pick wine with the nicest label, and I even refused to eat at restaurant because their branding was just awful! (It’s okay though, next door there was a restaurant with amazing branding and interior) and don’t get me started on certain fonts!

#Simple Alphabets Lettering Inspiration: Milly of Blink Lettering

What’s next in your artistic journey?

I’ve just opened up an Etsy shop, so I plan of expanding that and experimenting with different products I want to sell.

CONNECT WITH MILLY:

Instagram: @blinklettering
Twitter: @blinklettering
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#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Brittany Luiz

Have you seen #SimpleAlphabets on instagram? The long and short of it is- for everyday of June, we shall be lettering an alphabet a day + some extras. I’ve asked some letterers I admire to share their skills throughout the challenge- as well as to also divulge a few secrets about their creative process. Fun, right? You can join in anytime- just head on over to @surelysimplechallenge and @surelysimpleblog and read this page to get all the details. 

Let’s meet Brittany Luiz!

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Brittany Luiz

Please tell me a bit about yourself.

My name is Brittany Luiz and I’m a handlettering artist as well as the Social Media & Content Manager for Tombow USA. Anyone who knows me knows that I love my job so much – not only do I get to “play” on social media all day, but I get to also literally play with the most amazing products while I’m doing it. When I’m not scrolling through newsfeeds or filling up sketchbooks with letters, I am hanging out with my husband and 8-month-old son, who is quite possibly the cutest child on earth.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Brittany Luiz

How would you describe your lettering/ calligraphy style?

I’d describe my style as “imperfect with personality.” I decided several months ago that I just don’t have the patience for perfection, so if my letters aren’t completely straight or I have gaps in my layout, I’m okay with that. I like to think that my style is representative of who I am as a person – a little quirky, fun and bright.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Brittany Luiz

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

Working full-time and being a new mom makes it tough sometimes to be motivated, but as I’ve descended out of the fog that is those first few months of new mommyhood I’ve started to get a better grip on how to manage my “free” time and make the most of it. I practice lettering daily – whether that means getting up 20 minutes early, staying up a little late, or lettering at the kitchen table while my husband and I watch The Walking Dead. I’m currently in the midst of my second #100letteringdays challenge on Instagram where I have committed to handlettering (and posting!) every day for 100 days. The last time I did this I grew immensely because it really forced me to practice while I was still in the very early stages of learning how to letter. This time around, I’m pushing myself to try new techniques and hopefully take my lettering to the next level. You would be amazed at how quickly you can improve by committing to practicing – it’s that drive to be better than I am now that motivates me. Plus, it’s fun and relaxing for me to practice my lettering. If I mess up, there’s always another sheet of paper!

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Brittany Luiz

Would you rather go the freelance way or do you prefer a more regulated and secure way of work?

Before I started working at my current job I was on the path to working for myself 100% as a freelancer. It’s what I thought I wanted to do. Now that I have a job I am over-the-moon in love with, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I do still take on projects on the side though, so I feel like I am living the best of both worlds.

 

What makes you the happiest when it comes to looking at your progress?

I’m so happy that my lettering is finally starting to resemble what I wanted it to when I first started. It’s so frustrating when you can see something beautiful in your head only for your hand to betray you and produce something nightmarish. My hand has finally caught up to my brain and they’re both pretty much on the same page now.

 

Half glass full or half glass empty? What’s your attitude in life in general?

My glass is half full 98% of the time. I reserve the other 2% for wallowing in self pity and drowning my sorrows in Starbursts. I’m a generally happy person and sort of live in my own unicorns and rainbows universe most of the time. I’ve become really good at finding the bright side of things and it has helped me to get going down the career path that I have always wanted to take.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Brittany Luiz

Who do you look up to in your field? Or in life as a whole?

I have so many #calligracrushes! I really look up to Amanda Arneill. I have had the pleasure of actually working with her and she is amazing. Not only is she incredibly talented but she is so thoughtful and humble and sweet. I also really look up to Lauren Fitzmaurice of RenMade Calligraphy. We joke that we’re #calligratwins because we could seriously be the same person sometimes. We both love our full-time jobs, but also love lettering. She is so talented and is such an inspiration to me to see that you can be a successful freelancer while also being successful at your day job. In life as a whole, I really look up to my dad. He has taught me so much over the years and the nuggets of truth he passed on to me have helped me keep a clear head through challenging situations both professionally and personally.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Brittany Luiz

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

Ha! How many hours am I not working is the real question here. My work is so intimately related to my hobbies and interests that the lines are almost always blurred. I work my day job from 8-5ish Monday through Friday, and probably spend a good 20 additional hours throughout the week working on other work-related or freelance-related projects.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Brittany Luiz

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

I’m currently reading Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please,” which is so amazing I can’t stand it. I knew I was going to love the book when she referenced Stephen King (my all-time favorite author) twice within the first couple of chapters. Plus, she’s Amy Poehler. I mean, come on – how can you not like her book? I’ve also been binge-listening to the Sean Wes podcast for months and it is worth its weight in gold. If you’re a creative person and even the least bit interested in being able to make money by pursuing your creative passion, you NEED to listen to his podcast.

 

How do you think you have evolved in your art- has it changed you?

My art has definitely changed me. I think it’s made me more aware of design in general. Part of my job responsibilities includes graphic design and I have noticed that my strictly digital designs have improved so much since I started handlettering. I think those creative pursuits just kind of bleed over into each other and have both evolved as I have evolved in my style and approach.

#SimpleAlphabets Lettering Inspiration: Brittany Luiz

What’s next in your artistic journey?

I just purchased a domain name – brittanyluiz.com – where I will be starting a blog, posting portfolio items and hopefully some lettering worksheets, etc. soon! Other than that, who knows? I’m on this train and just waiting to see where it takes me.

CONNECT WITH BRITTANY:

Website: www.brittanyluiz.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/brittanyluiz

Thanks for sharing, Brittany!

Be on the lookout for the letter Brittany shall be teaching here on @surelysimplechallenge and @surelysimpleblog AND @opinion9!

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