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.  When I was in fourth grade there was a parent teacher conference, and my English teacher told my parents that my handwriting was absolutely terrible.  I don't remember the teacher's name however I've never really felt confident in my handwriting ever since.

Since I started making art I've toyed around with various lettering styles here and there.  If I want to add lettering to something and give it a more professional look I will either use stencils or look up fonts online and then copy them.  Some people are really into penmanship in their art...I guess I kinda missed a spot on that speeding train.  The thing is messy handwriting can be even more beautiful sometimes and it is really beautiful to use your normal handwriting on a work.

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 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.  However you choose to get the words onto the page, say it loud and proud!  Express yourself in whatever way suits YOU best.  Just because you see other people doing text in a certain style doesn't mean that you have to do the same thing.  With some play and experimentation you can come up with lettering styles that are perfect for you.