Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Crafty

So after a trip to the urgent care center for the 103.2 degree fever, we still managed some Christmas Craftiness. Well, at least the 13yo did. I watched. And cheered. Especially for the bead weaving.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Illustration Friday: Home

Well, I'm not really happy with it but whatevs.
I wanted to do hand lettering but I wanted the type style and ornamentation to reflect my home—in Manila, as I experienced it. Hence, the Spanish colonial "ironwork" and tropical palm. Meh. #volume

My mood board...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Type Walk on Christmas Day

Some lovely gothic type and embellishments—more hand lettering inspiration from our afternoon stroll. Photo credit: Henry Lohmeyer

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Penmanship Lesson Courtesy of Martha

We had Thanksgiving dinner last night. I know, those of you who know me know I gave up all that nonsense six years ago, by nonsense I mean slaving away for days and hours making the perfect Martha Stewart Thanksgiving, by the book. But Henry's company gives each of their employees the choice of a turkey or a cheesecake so on Friday, he carried a bird home on the train!

So we whipped up a Thanksgiving dinner last night. Turns out that's possible! No days of prep. We started at 11 and were done at 4. Who knew?

For the occasion, I had to dust off Martha's Thanksgiving issue from 1998 or something. Yes, I actually had a subscription. Guess what I found? A penmanship lesson. Of course. :) So thanks, Martha. For the turkey, cornbread and sourdough stuffing AND lesson on the lost art of penmanship.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Nothing is wasted

That’s one of Jen’s “T-shirt statements.” You know, like the thing you believe with enough conviction to wear on a t-shirt. Like a bumper sticker for your personhood. So if you’re run over by a bus wearing that shirt, you would be okay with that thing essentially being your last words, hanging like a thought bubble—your own personal billboard for people to people to remember what you believed enough to put on a shirt.

Nothing is wasted.

... not my first graphic design internship where for over a year all I used was Illustrator.
... not my first job as a designer where I used Photoshop for 10 hour days and 80 hour weeks.

I do know how to use the tools. I can digitize type. I can use filters. I can make crazy cast shadows  using masks and alpha channels. I can blend textures to get the exact effect I want. I could take 10 years off your face, easy! And prep the file to print on a bus wrap!

But what I don’t know right now is how I want the letters to look and how to draw them. Because this.

So I’ll be over here with my No. 2 pencil.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Gift

I’m really ambivalent about Christmas. Note: I added that link because ambivalent is one of those words that people commonly misunderstand. And I want no misunderstanding here.

I LOVE THE SPIRIT of Christmas. Adore it! But I am repulsed by the consumerism and use of Christmas as an excuse for people to mindlessly move junk around.

But yesterday, I got the best unexpected Christmas gift! It was a gift of such thoughtfulness and care that I get weepy just thinking about it.

Here it is, a gift from my dear friend, Sharon Derry of Secret Leaves Paperworks: the Speedball text book published by the C. Howard Hunt Pen Company from the 1950’s. Can you believe it?!?!

I have spent hours and hours scouring the interwebs for just such lettering instruction and here it is, in my grubby little hands. It’s a Christmas miracle! #believe

p.s. I'll share

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This is the part where I suck.

Have you ever listened Ira Glass’ thing on storytelling?

BTW, I love Ira Glass. I just saw his show, One Radio Show and Two Dancers last month at Wash U. Totally see it if you get the chance. Love the segment where he talks about passion... and that if you are lucky enough to do what you love for a living you get to do it day after day, over and over again until... you beat the life out of it. Or something like that. I may be totally misquoting him.

I digress.

In this video, he talks about how creative people get into creative work because they have good taste. But, when you start making stuff yourself (because you have good taste), what you are able to make really isn’t that good. Your taste is killer and that’s why you think your work sucks because it falls short of what you think it should be. So Ira says, a lot of people never get past this phase because they quit, thinking, I’m never gonna be any good at this. :)

So yeah, that’s happening.

But lucky for me, Ira reminds everyone that this is totally normal and the key is ... volume.
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.
I think he might also say that it takes a couple of years to bridge the gap so ... you know, don’t look... until 2017, k?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekly Word

I've been bitten by the lettering bug and really want to master this skill. What better time to start something than with the coming new year, right? And what better way to learn something than... to do it. A lot. And, what better way to do it a lot than to say, in a somewhat public way, that you will.

So I'm giving myself a once-a-week prompt to draw a word, any word, and post it on this blog. There's nothing like the discomfort of being not good at something... yet. Right? To illustrate, yes, I inked "Weekly Word" eight times. I'm still not happy with it but oh well.

This practice is for hand lettering. I want to stay off the computer as much as possible and really focus on practicing the craft of drawing the letters/words. No digitizing, no adding effects in Illustrator, no colorizing, blah, blah, blah.

Okay, so this week's word: SWEET

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Illustration Friday: Sea

Excited to jump back into Illustration Friday with this prompt. I was inspired by the idea of illustrating old fairy tales rendered in a more contemporary way, like this one for The Little Mermaid and a fave KT Tunstall song.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sunrise, Sunset

... and swiftly flow the years...

The days are long but the years are fast. And this girl just had her bat mitzvah this weekend. Whut?! There are no words that can capture the fullness of my heart so I'm just going to stop here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thanks for confirming!

Thanks for confirming! I know, I know... I'm totally hacking this email list subscription thing. But yes, this is Ria from The Printable Letter and I'm thrilled that you stopped by the shop and made a purchase! I hope you love it as much as I enjoyed making it.