When it comes to certain things in life, I am pretty routine about what I’ve learned so far. What works, what doesn’t work, and I know there are still a million more things to learn along the way. But, in design, I think you have to shake things up sometimes. Pushing yourself to take risks and explore new ways of doing things will either get you success, or it will get you failure. Although, failure helps you learn and grow, so really….you’re still winning either way!
Sometimes I get scared to do things in a new or different way. Like process. Will it mess something up? Will it make my end product worse? Does your process always have to stay the same? Can it change? Should it change? These are all questions that go through my head when I think of trying something different. This time last year, I was writing one of these exact same posts talking about how I used a Pentel Brush Pen and lettered on layers of tracing paper. Since then, I’ve gone from Marker pens and large format sketchbooks, to multiple sized paintbrushes, inks, watercolors, and loose sheets of large printer paper. By taking some risks and exploring some new materials and ways I conduct my process, I’ve experienced many successful results because of it.
Previously, I’ve always just used the ink straight out of the bottle, but I love how lettering looks when you can really see the gradients of the ink within it. It gives the design more life, depth, and character. So recently I’ve started dipping my brush in my ink first, and then into my water. It takes the ink a little bit further and also gives me the shades and transparencies that I want. I have also switched from a large format sketch book, to lettering on legal size sheets of paper. Although I love the large format of a sketchbook, like most of us, I am a visual person. I need to be able to see things either alone, or next to others. In the sketchbook I kept having to flip back and forth and find old pages and it just made it harder for me to visualize. By using loose sheets of paper, I can more easily combine a lot of designs together and spread them out so I can see better. Then once I’m done, I can take the designs that are successful to scan, and recycle the others.
I also get a lot of question about brushes. So I made this brush guide for you guys to show which ones I use so you can find them easier and experiment! You can find all of these at Michaels, which is where I usually get all of mine. Here I’ve listed the brand and the style of brush and its size. Grumbacher has a very good line of brushes and they are my favorite to use. As you can see, I use mostly Round brushes, but I did just get a Liner the other day that I need to do some experimenting with!
So what does your process look like? Any of this? Or is it totally different?! If you have any thoughts or questions regarding process or handlettering, feel free to ask and I’d be happy to help you out and answer them as best I can! Have a great Monday!