Around here…

lettering + photo by ez pudewa from Photoshop for Lettering Artists class project

What an incredibly exciting week we have been having! It never gets this exciting around these parts. The most exciting thing that has happened to me lately before this was when my 18 month old daughter said, “Help, Mommy, poo poo.” That was freaking awesome; those with children may fully comprehend how glorious a moment that was for me, but it was no comparison to this week and the launch of our class and the warm response we have received–thank you!

Since the platform is not a secret anymore I thought I would share some of the wonderful classes I have taken via Skillshare, hold on to your hats because the list is quite extensive. What can I say I love to learn! I have mentioned some of these classes before, but I think it’ll be nice to have them all in one place to reference.

Bonnie Christine of Going Home to Roost is just amazing, a kind, creative and talented individual she has two wonderful classes on Skillshare on Surface Design that I have taken. If you have an interest in patterns and real world application of them I can’t recommend her classes enough here and here.

I am such a fan of Bryn Chernoff’s hand, she has a series of classes on Modern Calligraphy and it’s always nice to hear about the lettering process from someone you admire.

Molly Jacques did a really nice job with her Introduction to the Art of Modern, it was one of the more simple ones to follow and I was able to get a lot out of it. I think it’s perfect for the complete newbie to lettering. One of  my favorite things she said in the class when she discussed some of the lettering artists she admires was that her goal was not to copy them but to evoke the ‘feeling’ their lettering had on her. I think that’s a perfect articulation of anything that inspires another artist!

Marte Marie Forsberg is an Instagram sensation (rightly so). Her Capturing Food, Flavors, Conversation lifestyle photography class is short and sweet and filled with photo inspiration. If you are short on time but still want to take in a photo class this is for you!

Jennifer Schwartz is the creative director of Crusade of Art, her mission is to help artists find their visual voice and share their work. She is now up to 6 classes on Skillshare (and I do want to take each and every one of them), but so far I have only take one-Becoming a Fine Art Photographer.

Mary Kate McDevitt’s class-First Steps of Hand Lettering  It is SO good!  I love that it is a lettering class and not just a calligraphy class (where you would need special tools like nib & ink, so no excuses). All you need is a pencil, paper and some imagination.  It’s worth every penny if you are even remotely interested in lettering.

If you have any commercial lettering aspirations than lettering legend James Victore’s class Radical Typography might be a class for you. I thoroughly enjoyed his passion and enthusiasm for his craft.

I haven’t taken this class yet, but the images for Minimalist Food Photography looks like it would be something I would love.

Winners of the 3 spots for our Photoshop for Lettering Artists are @vivabailey, Rachel Headley, @laurasuejohnson, congrats!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

class project by student ez pudewa

Photoshop for Lettering Artist the Class!

photoshop for lettering artist class launch via besotted blog

After much toil + tribulation, with a healthy does of enthusiasm thrown in we are so pleased (and proud) to be able to announce our class–Photoshop for Lettering Artist on Skillshare! When we were choosing what class to create (we have ideas for so many more) we really kept coming back to a huge void for lettering artists. Of course there are classes, very, very indepth classes for digitizing your lettering, but there was nothing out there for a complete Photoshop novice. After all, if you are lettering you may enjoy the very organic and tangible process of lettering and the thought of computers and a very daunting graphic design program may seem near impossible a challenge or something that you feel you have no passion for. It’s so hard to learn a skill, even one that is needed without a spark for it. It’ s a conundrum, because now that your lettering skills have started to flourish you want to share your work with the world, you want to make things with it and you have one very big elephant in the room–Photoshop. We hope that we have made this class as simple and comprehensive as possible, we are utilizing the immersion method and jumping right in, teaching you only the things you will need to know to get the job done. We want you in and out of Photoshop, sharing your work and back to lettering as soon as possible! We hope this class gives you the skills and confidence to do just that.

This morning when Michelle asked me to peruse the pdf download for the class I admittedly hadn’t peeked at it earlier (for shame) and when I did I was completely floored. Michelle basically created a textbook version of the class for you!  It is beautifully designed, written in very simple and comprehensible language, plenty of visual examples and I am going to go on a limb here and say that it is quite possibly one of the best (if not the best) download/handbooks for a Skillshare class and I am just so darn appreciative to have such an amazing friend, creative collaborator and business partner.

We are open to questions or concerns, please do feel free to ask us anything in the comments. You can sign-up for the class here. We can’t wait to have you in class!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Photoshop for Lettering Artists Class Giveaway

 

Photoshop for lettering artists promo via besotted blog i

We thought we’d pop in and say hello!  This is our launch week for our Photoshop for Lettering Artist class and Michelle and I are in a grand mood and thought this cause for celebration! We are going to be giving away 7 free spots to the class to those that are signed up for our mailing list, the winner’s will be announced on class launch day.  You don’t even have to do anything, just sign-up, heck if you want to unsubscribe right after, it is easy peasy (but we will miss you). You can sign-up here.

If you aren’t the mailing list inclined, but still would like to try to win 1 of 3 spots we are giving away then there’s a little, teeny, tiny bit of legwork involved, but nothing too daunting. Pin this image, tweet it, regram it from here, or follow fotorxco on instagram, just one will do (but if you’d like to do more..), you can use the hashtag #fotorxclasses if you like. We will be choosing 3 winners this week to join the class for free!

Is this class for you? Are you a lettering enthusiast but have zero to limited Photoshop skills? Do you desperately want to learn how to get your lettering from paper to pixel–social media, your blog, website, etc.? Are you taking hours to clean-up your lettering now, but think there could be an easier way?  If you answered yes to any of these questions this class is for you!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Post Calligraphy Interview

Post Calligraphy Interview via Besotted Blog

Warming up is key. There are some days where all I do is warm up!

I don’t remember how I happened upon Lisa Mavian’s Post Calligraphy, but I am so happy I did! I immediately was drawn to her beautiful hand. Lisa’s lettering is modern, ethereal and for lack of a better descriptive-floaty. If Lisa’s lettering was a fabric it would be gossamer–light, delicate, diaphanous. I am so happy to be able to share this interview with you, because I know many of you are fans too and there is so much great information shared . Without further ado…

Where are you located?

I am located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (I am, however, born and bred in Detroit).

How did you get started in lettering?

My start in lettering I think, followed a love for the written word; poetry specifically. As a teenager I practiced calligraphy in my own way- really just trying to make words look beautiful. I am “besotted” (good word) with words and letterforms and numbers. My education is as a graphic designer and I think my calligraphy is influenced greatly by my design “eye”.

What are some of your favorite supplies?

My favourite go-to nib is the nikko g. It is a workhorse, very dependable. And there is nothing like a fresh, crisp nib when starting out on a new project. I also use Hunt, Principal and Gillott 1950’s. I hoard my used nibs. (maybe that is an answer to the question below: what is a random thing people don’t know about you haha) My favourite black ink is Sumi. I especially like the one that comes in the brown bottle with the all-Japanese label. It is on Paper and Ink’s website and you can also get it at a great paper shop here in Toronto called The Paper Place. I use a cheap, plastic oblique pen holder. Nothing fancy. For brushwork I pick up lots of teensy pointed watercolour brushes. They don’t last and I am pretty hard on them. Rhodia blank paper always. For practice and for final scans. Super smooth and your hairlines look beautiful on it. With lots of warm up, I like to use handmade paper and watercolour paper, depending on the task at hand. Sometimes I like to use a nice watery ink like J. Herbin or the drop-dead gorgeous Shin-kai iroshizuku ink from Pilot, which I totally buy for the bottle. I love to experiment with folded pens and the old ruling pen from my father’s drafting supplies.

Can you name some of your inspirations? 

I am inspired by many and various things…Art. I just saw the Basquiat show here in Toronto and am inspired by his art on so many levels. Twombly, Rauschenberg, Jurgen Lehl, wire sculpture, the sublime calligraphy of Yves Leterme. So many. Music. Vivaldi, Miles Davis, Dustin O’ Halloran, Puccini, Michael Stipe, Nina Simone, the poetry of Ryan Adams and Elliott Smith, Patti Smith (her music as much as her devotion to her craft). Words chosen and used profoundly by Didion, Plath, Woolf. Ballet. Architecture. I could go on.

Can you go a little into your process of how you work on a project?

When I start a project I take some time to open up to influences from absolutely everywhere and do research. Then I hone in on what resonates with the particular piece that I am working on and narrow down the visual mood board that is in my head. I take into consideration colour, size, materials, media etc. If I am collaborating with someone, this is a fun time, with ideas flying fast and furious. I like to do some pencil sketches until I come up with a design that I feel works. Warming up is key. There are some days where all I do is warm up!

Any tips for newbies on how to develop their own style?

Developing your own style is a process and an exercise in patience. Don’t rush it. Like any art form, I believe it is necessary to study and learn the basics and the classics and develop a groundwork that you will base your own style on. Practice and practice. Eventually you will take the leap and have confidence in your own hand.

Any recommendations of books or classes for lettering enthusiasts to further their studies?

There are so many different venues these days to learn calligraphy from. Take a workshop from someone whose work you admire. There are so many forums online to ask questions and learn tips and tricks from the pros! Your very own Besotted website has such a vast and useful assemblage of books, supplies, videos and workshops to recommend. I also found Dr. Joe Vitolo’s videos to be helpful. Eleanor Winter’s Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy is a great basic resource.

Do you have some favorite projects you would like me to mention?

My favourite projects have been the ones where the client has approached me simply because they really like what I do. Those are the most fun and satisfying projects. The ones where I get to be “me”.

Any advice on what ‘not’ to do?

My only advice on what not to do is probably not to copy anyone else’s work. In the end, it can’t be satisfying and the beauty of creating is to grow, evolve and to experience the joy of doing your best work! Oh and never shortchange yourself. Have confidence! Believe in your work!

Name one random talent you have that people may not know?

Random talent:  I remember all my dreams. Every word, every sound, every image. It’s nice.

//RESOURCES//

Calligraphy supplies: Paper Ink Art’s

Nibs: Nikko G, Hunt, Gillot 1950

Ink: Shin-kai iroshizuku ink from Pilot ,Sumi ink , J. Herbin

Nib Holder: Oblique nib holder

Paper: Rhodia blank paper

Artists: Twombly, Rauschenberg, Jurgen Lehl, Basquiat

Music: Vivaldi, Miles Davis, Dustin O’ Halloran, Puccini, Michael Stipe, Nina Simone

Books: Eleanor Winter’s Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy

Authors: Didion, Plath, Woolf. Ballet

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Create Brush Lettering with a Nib!

create brush lettering with a nib

Michelle and I have been doing a ton of prep work for our soon to launch ‘Photoshop for Lettering Artists’ class, we have taught many on-line classes in the past but we have never filmed one (insert nail biting here). I of course the sleep deprived and harried mama who was supposed to be in charge of lettering supplies for props and demo for our trailer brought the wrong paper, I just grabbed a pad that I thought would be fine–well it wasn’t. We then proceeded to go through stacks of paper that Michelle had on hand and had a very serendipitous discovery!  Michelle handed me some smooth matte paper, it’s actually a fave or hers for printing photos and I went to work, what happened was nothing short of magic for me, the ink bloomed when it flowed from my nib and gave me a beautiful ‘brush’ effect. Why is this such a happy accident? Well, for those like myself that have tried unsuccessfully to work with a brush this gives you the control of the nib but the organic lines of a brush and it dries nice and matte which is perfect for scanning or shooting with your Iphone! We created a couple of Photoshop brushes for you so you can use them and see the texture of the lettering, it may not translate as well in the photo, but trust me you would be hard-pressed to be able to tell the difference.  So here’s to happy accidents!  Have fun experimenting and enjoy the free Photoshop brushes (I like to think of them as digital rubber stamps).

//RESOURCES//

Matte photo paper for project

Free XOXO Photoshop brush download

P.S. We cleaned up and created the Photoshop brush in 2 secs with our Vitamin L25| Photoshop actions set. You can still enter to win a free set here!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.