Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Artist's Hand: Lettering Part 1

My July blog series, "The Artist's Hand," continues and today, I'm going to move into the heart of the topic: ways to make your mark on your work for greater interest, authenticity, energy, and originality.  One of my favorite methods of doing this is through hand lettering.  A lot of people seem afraid to do this or claim they don't like their handwriting.  I've got answers for both dilemnas but we'll ease into that.  For right now, let's look at ideas for adding text to a page without utilizing your own writing.

The key to making all of the following products "read" as your voice (as opposed to just pre-fab product slapped on a page) is to alter the letters by hand.  Don't just stick or stamp or stencil; go a little further, grab a pen and interact!.  The results are much more personal.

Doodle around sticker letters.  I like to use sticker fonts that are very neutral and simple so that I can make them my own.  You can see that I also used a white paint pen to add a tiny hightlight to each letter.  You can also doodle around the stickers and then remove them!  Presto! Instant hand lettering!

When using stencil templates, don't just trace and call it a day.  Fill it in with colored pencil or marker (white looks very cool on a dark background) and attack it it with a loose doodle outline.  (Can you tell I'm fond of that technique?)

Stamped letters are also fantastic for adding text.  It may seem tedious to "write" this way but it actually gets a little meditative as you concentrate on spelling things right and finding each letter.  Again, use a pen to fancy up the stamped letters and make them your own.

Using the "ransom note" technique always seem to read as playful and original.  Cutting, choosing and placing all those little words and/or letters requires a lot of hand work.  But don't just glue them down.  Get busy doodling little frames around the paste-ups to integrate them into your page.

I also love using foam stamp letters!  Remember the sets from Making Memories?  I rarely leave them alone once I stamp with them but instead, I choose to add doodle and paint accentsGive the letters a shadow.  This also serves to integrate the product into your page.
I hope you find some ideas here that inspire you to make things your own.  As I've said, this isn't an anti-product rant fest.  It's about being brave and bold and creative and finding ways to make sure that your personal voice shines out of your work like a beacon.


sharon said...

great post Michelle! You are a wealth of knowledge and generousity!

Terri Kahrs said...

All of these ideas are just awesome and so simple! Thanks so much for this useful lesson. I've never thought about doodling around stencils?!?!? Go figure!!! I guess I'm still young enough to learn a few tricks. LOL! Hugs, TErri xoxo

Lotus said...

Wonderful suggestions Michelle!
Thank you for these tips. You have a great blog!

Trudi Sissons said...

Hi Michelle -- Terri sent me on over to have a look at your lettering talents...I love the one directly above the comment section here - such dimension! Look forward to visiting all of your lessons!
Thanks for this.

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