Lettering in Your Journal

In all the years I have kept a blog, I have yet to post about lettering.  Growing up I was the one who got poor grades for my penmanship, I can vividly remember rewriting reports as carefully as I could because the first drafts were totally illegible.

In today's post, I would like to share some tips and ways to use lettering in your journal.  Lettering is an amazing skill to have as an artist all the way around.  It comes into play in various aspects of life, in everything from creating signage and posters for events and work to writing inspirational quotes or words on your pieces.

One place I started when I first got into lettering was that I just googled fonts and scripts and then copied the text that I saw.  That is a great way to dive in and practice some new styles.  You can also use stencils for some quick professional lettering.  The problem with stencils is sometimes it is challenging to find the right script for your particular project.

One fun thing to do is to create practice alphabets in your journal.  To start, write some basic letters and then add onto the letters with different designs.  Remember that it is practice, so when it comes time to put the letters into your work you can edit them and fine tune the letters to get them how you want them to be.  

Another great way to add text is to simply paint it on.  Acrylics and craft paints work well for that, because the paint is thick enough to hold the shape of the letters.  Experiment with colors that contrast against the background to make the letters really pop.

Bubble letters are also a fabulous way to add text when you want a more casual look.  Bubble letters are very easy to create, and this is the style I use the most when I am not stenciling.  Just draw big puffy letters, and if you overlap the edges it creates a graffiti effect.

You can also make the letters the main event.  Make blocky letters and fill them in with designs, artwork, doodles and patterns.  This technique is a lot of fun and is especially great for when you are focusing on a mantra or guiding word for your goals and dreams.  Or create a work with a word that inspires you, add artsy elements and frame it.  

I hope this post gives you some fresh ideas for working with lettering in your art.  A great rule to remember is that sometimes imperfection is totally beautiful, imperfect lettering and even writing in your own handwriting can add such an element of beauty and personality to your art.  

Manifesting Positive Relationships

It is another New Moon, the first of Spring 2017.  The New Moon is a great time to send energy toward what you want to manifest in the coming month.  This New Moon, I am turning my focus toward my relationships, and I invite you to do the same!  

First, get out your art journal and a pen...or open up a document on the computer to hash out your vision.  To get some clarity about your relationships, begin by writing a gratitude list about your relationships.  Who in your life are you grateful for?  Then journal a bit about what you want your relationships to be like.  How do you want your relationships to feel?  

I came to the conclusion that I want to offer a ton of positive energy to my relationships.  I also figured out that I want to treat people how I want to be treated.  I want to be more accepting and less judgmental in my relationships.  I want my relationships to feel REALLY good!

Next, figure out what one quality you want to manifest in yourself...what one quality do you want to focus on for the next month that will help your relationships blossom.  I've decided that I want to be more LOYAL in my relationships.  Loyalty means so much to me and I value it so much when other people are loyal to me.  

Background of Journal Page

Get out your art journal and prepare a background.  I wrote in my journal so my first step was to cover the background with craft paint.  Then I added some brown acrylic ink, I wanted my page to feel really earthy and grounded.  Use the materials you have on hand and get some paint on the page.

Next, gather up a couple of magazines and flip through.  I used a National Geographic magazine. Tear out some images that represent the quality that you want to bring to your relationships.  Cut them out and glue them onto the journal page.  

Manifesting Loyalty in My Relationships

Finally add the word which represents the quality you would like to bring to your relationships during the next month.  Date the page so you will know when you set your initial intention.  Now look for ways to bring the quality into your relationships during the month.  If you want a reminder, take a photo of the journal page and post it as the back drop on your computer, print out a copy to tuck in your purse or to glance at throughout the day.  

When the next Full Moon rolls around, give thanks for your relationships and write a bit about ways your chosen quality showed up in your relationships.  Here's to building relationships that feel really good for everyone involved.  Manifest better relationships today! 

Ritual de lo Habitual: Habit Transformation with Journaling

If you are anything like me, you may have a bad habit that you want to change.  Today I came up with a kicky cool art journal exercise to help transform bad habits into something better!

Ritual de lo Habitual

To create your journal page you will need some supplies.  Here are my suggestions, however feel free to use what you already have on hand.

A couple of craft paints or watercolors

Acrylic Ink

Permanent Markers


Art Journal or paper

First paint the backdrop for your journal page.  Next add some drawings of your bad habit, or find some magazine images to represent the habit and glue them onto the paper.  Write "Ritual de lo Habitual" across the top.  I used stencils however you could use bubble letters or any lettering style of your choice.  (Ritual de lo Habitual is the name of a Jane's Addiction album, I thought the title was fitting for the page.)  Put a few drops of acrylic ink or watercolor toward the center of the page on one side.  Then close the book and press together to create a mirror image.  

Take your own liberties and make the page your own.  Be sure to leave space for writing, and unless you have paint markers you will want to use a light backdrop so that you can write over the paint.

On the left side of the paper, write your top reasons why you want to change the habit.  Then on the right side list some healthy replacements for the habit.  Then when you get the itch to partake in the bad habit you can turn to the list and find a healthy substitute to try out instead.  

Enjoy transforming your bad habits to good with this fun exercise!  You can make one any time you want to change a habit.  Keep them out somewhere you can see them, or use a photo of the journal page as the backdrop on your computer to remind you of the healthy replacements for your habit.  Before you know it you will have transformed a bad habit into something much better!

What does freedom mean to you?

This weekend is the first in my new weekend series of journal prompts.  During the week, approximately every Wednesday, I share a technique or idea for you to incorporate into your journal toolbox.  Then on the weekends I will share a journal prompt for you to explore in your journal.  

This week's prompt is a simple one, yet it could be highly charged for you.  With the political environment recently I've been doing a lot of thinking about rights and freedom.  So this week's prompt to explore is simple.  

What does freedom mean to you?  

I explored various aspects of freedom in my journal this week, the above image is what I came up with.  First write in your journal about what freedom means to you.  Then take some craft paint, and paint over the writing.  This helps you to work through what you want to say with your journal page.  It is a process of refining your message.  

So I challenge you to ponder what freedom means to you.  Everyone is coming from a unique place in life, with different experiences and life challenges.  Your vision of freedom will be very different from other people.  And that is beautiful!  It's important to understand the things you value in life in order to create a life you really love.