How I decided to finally start learning and practicing something I've always been curious about.
Let's get one thing straight form the beginning: I've never been that good at drawing. I've always been hard on myself when it comes to drawing. This was the first challenge I had to face when I started learning about lettering.
My first introduction to lettering was in college, but at the moment I don't think it was called lettering. I just remember seeing a cool guy drawing letters on the white board while teaching us about typography and calligraphy (quick heads up, calligraphy and lettering are NOT the same thing). This guy could easily draw amazingly complex letters on the board in different styles; Serif, sans-serif, cursive, gothic, and some more that I don't remember the names right now.
So, later on, lettering was a trend! I think I started seeing a lot of lettering art on 2017-2018. It wasn't until I met this girl (shoutout to Vero) who was practicing and learning about it that I got to see it in person. I saw her make many doodles with brush pens that I didn't quite understand at the moment. I always thought you needed to have a superpower skill for drawing and I was too scared to try it.
I watched her process on instagram and the things she was doing were so cool! I used to spend quite a long time searching for lettering posts on instagram and pinterest but always felt afraid to try it. When the pandemic started, I became very anxious about having something to do. I wanted to learn something new! I contacted this girl telling her how I felt about learning lettering and how scared I was and she encouraged me to try and practice. She even gave me tips and shared with me some links to start learning the basics.
First thing I did the next day was to go to Office Depot and buy all my supplies. I was so excited. I felt like a kid when your parents take you to choose your school supplies. I got my pens, rulers, pencils, drawing notebook and I was ready to go!
I started reading about the basics, practicing some of the doodling (like I was telling you about earlier) and watching a bunch of youtube tutorials. I became so passionate about it, I was doing it non stop for days when I got out of work and on weekends.
I got a chance to get into an online class for lettering beginners and I learned a lot! There's so many different methods, applications and styles in the lettering world. You get to create so many different things to express a message. And you know what, I wasn't that bad at drawing. I got the chance to step out of my box and try to overcome my fear of "not being that good of a drawing person".
Practice, practice and more practice!
After my first real online lettering course, I started practicing to perfect my technique. I started drawing letters everywhere: post-its, journals, napkins even. I became that person that always carries a notebook, pen and pencil in their bag.
I started saving money so that I could buy an iPad and take my work to the next level. I started a challenge where I had to draw each letter of the alphabet. I got to experiment with different styles and designs for my letters. I had the opportunity to make a cover for a single, and I have some cool projects involving lettering on my backlog. It's amazing how something that scared you at first, becomes your hobby and now you get called for projects.
Seeing my art somewhere else and not on my iPad or instagram feed feels amazing! It has encouraged me to start other projects and learn about other fields involving letters as well. (I could even teach you about the process and what lettering is in my next post). I'm still not the best, but I'm still learning and it is really fulfilling seeing how much I've grown in the past few months.
So, I encourage you to step out of your box! Try that thing you've always been curious about. Practice! Practicing everyday is key to becoming better at what you do. Like my dad once told me "You don't become good at what you do without trying or failing." I know I sound a little dramatic but almost everyone is afraid of failing, or trying something you don't think you're really good at. But if you don't give it a chance, you'll never know.
So, what's next?
For me, I'll keep practicing. It's really fun to have something to do after work that really gets my brain going crazy on creativity. It's just me, music and my letters. It's also really therapeutic.
I wanna take on more projects that involve my lettering and do some more covers. I have an idea of starting a series of postcards and combining my new found knowledge with the world of UI/UX. There's so much that can be done with letters; that's the fun part. I might even do a mural someday!
It's a never ending learning process that I'm excited about.
And, I've saved you the best for last, here's some shots of my first lettering pieces. You can find my work on instagram as @artsy.analuwong. Also I did some pretty cool letters for Woman's Month on the @themaniaks instagram account if you wanna check it out!