NEW FONTS + NEW LETTERING CLASSES!

mary kate mcdevitt class besotted blog

Some heavy hitters in the lettering world are teaching both on-line and in person classes this month, for those wondering where to get started I have listed some great places to visit!

For those of you that haven’t signed up yet for the Molly Jacques Skillshare class, what are you waiting for?  I have enrolled but being that it’s hard for me to do anything these days I still haven’t had a chance to watch!  I have heard good things about the class, that it’s a great place to start for beginners. Speaking of beginner’s if you are new to Skillshare you can use my instant discount and get the class for only $10! Seriously, what’s stopping you? And for those that have taken Skillshare classes in the past I have been begging them to give you all a discount since I do know a lot of you are signing up for multiple classes and it does add up, I promise to keep you posted if they will oblige me on this! If not, then I will keep my eye out on alternate resources.

Another fave Mary Kate McDevitt, you may have seen her work in your local Anthro as she has done a lot for Chronicle Books is launching her new class ‘The First Steps of Hand Lettering-Concept to sketch‘ It doesn’t launch until October 16th, but I am anxious to sign-up!

The darling + talented (and nicest person on earth) Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls will be in Australia next week a Megan Morton’s School for a week of classes, there’s all day and half day available, some are sold out but I see a couple still open.  I want to go to  Australia so badly and Megan’s School would be one of my dream, stops. Sign-up here!

ondise besotted blog

The extraordinarily prolific font designer Jess of Magpie Paperworks has launched another winner of a font!  I don’t know how she is doing it, because putting together a font is not easy, especially when they are as robust as Jess makes hers, and to continue to introduce coveted fonts at that?  The woman is obviously a genius.

Some other fonts you may like are the sweet Mina and Carolyna.

P.S. Do you have a class (any class, it doesn’t need to calligraphy/lettering centric) that you think I should know about?  I get asked about classes for specific locales all the time, especially international ones, so please let me know besottedblog [at] gmail [dot] com

P.P.S. Jessica Hische of Drop Cap fame is teaching a lettering class (that looks amazing) in November!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December (possibly November). 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.

BRUSH LETTERING RESOURCE

Pentel Black Color Brush Pen Besotted Blog

Ever since I featured Christine Wisenieski, I have been dreaming about dabbling in my own brush lettering endeavors.  I haven’t had much luck with the traditional paint and brush lettering technique, it’s very awkward for me and it’s also (in my hands) very messy! I had read about the Pentel Color Brush and thought it would be easy to find at my nearest art supply store, oh, how wrong I was. This elusive little creature was near impossible to find, I went to four (yes four!) stores and nobody even knew what I was talking about!  I finally resorted to buying on -line and waited eagerly for its arrival.  I have to say, it’s one of my new favorite lettering purchases to date!  The ink is housed in the barrel, it has synthetic hairs at the tip which form the brush, you squeeze the barrel to release the ink and get to lettering! I loved my results, so organic and ‘perfectly imperfect’, my model Michelle above had fun with the pen too and was able to achieve some very cool effects.  I even liked when the brush was running out of ink and you could see the dry brush strokes on the paper, it adds to the element of hand done.  I haven’t had a chance to scan in my results yet but I have a good feeling that I am going to be happy with bringing the samples into Photoshop or Illustrator and playing with them. Have any of you tried this pen before?  Maybelle told me she accidentally bought this pen and it was a happy accident, I would concur!

Tomorrow I shall delve into part deux of the embossing tutorial which I am hoping motivates some of you over the weekend to possibly try your hand at it!

P.S. If you want the look without the effort font designer Ursula Hitz has just launched the charming Olivier font. There’s also Dave Rowland’s Pastiche which is quite nice as well!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December (possibly November). 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.

SABINE PICK INTERVIEW | PICK ME HANDLETTERING & LETTERPRESS

Sabine Pick Pick Me Handlettering & Letterpress Besotted Blog

I have featured the talented Sabine Pick of Pick Me Handlettering & Letterpress before, but I hadn’t had the pleasure previously of an interview.  I just knew it was going to be good one as Sabine in our correspondence has always been very open, honest and passionate about her life and craft.  I love Sabine’s  unique hand, so loose and effortless (looking) but it has that perfect amount of needed polish so as to not look too naive (just love it!). Trust me as someone that admires this style, it is not easy to create!  I learned a ton of new tricks from Sabine from her interview (hopefully you will too) and was so happy to find out she found a resource from little ol’ me. As always, feel free to ask questions in the comments and either Sabine or myself will try to answer them and also please show Sabine your love so we can continue getting more artists to take time out of their busy schedules to answer these questions for us!

SABINE PICK| PICK ME HANDLETTERING & LETTERPRESS INTERVIEW

Where are you located?

Byron Bay, a beautiful tiny seaside town on the most Easterly point of Australia.

How did you get started in lettering?

I have always loved lettering and using pen and ink. My tools, however, were very crude for some years. And still sometimes! When I was 18 I did a week long course with Donald Jackson, who is the Queens scribe, U.K. He taught how to cut a goose quill and how to ‘set it’ in hot sand. For many years I didn’t promote myself as a letterer or calligrapher. My former full-time occupation was as a graphic design/art director in magazine publishing. I often used my hand lettering in my page designs and layouts. Often other designers or art directors would ask me if I could do some lettering for them. I did some work I really loved, whilst living in London, England. For example some gold lettering to mimic a patterned dress that Naomi Campbell was wearing on a Harper’s & Queen cover and some lettering for a Harrods perfume catalogue. Recently I realised that lettering is what I do truly love more than anything else artistic, and why not do what I love! So now, I only do calligraphy and lettering – no more graphic design! This year I had decided to learn more about calligraphy and its tools. So I am re-educating myself so that I can understand more about the tools of lettering and calligraphy.

What are some of your favourite supplies?

Some of my most favourite supplies are some of the most recent finds. I have found a couple from you. Until recently I have never used an oblique pen holder. Now I use it all the time. I scour through John Neal Books catalogue and I read up on products and sometimes I order them to try out. They also have on their website links to supply lists from calligraphy instructors. I scroll through these and feel I learn a lot more about what other supplies are around. I’ve recently also started using gouache a lot more. Instead of dipping into the ink, I fill the pen with a brush. This slows the process down which suits me well as I can tend to rush. I also use pipettes to fill my pen nib. I like using tracing paper to write on, as I can get great scratchy marks without putting holes into it. For fine artwork I like using smooth finish Hahnemühle fine art paper. There is so much about paper I don’t know yet. I don’t normally like paper that has a lot of texture. My handwriting tends to be messy and this doesn’t really suit textured papers. Choosing the right side of the paper is sometimes tricky. For just practicing, a smooth Bond paper is fine. I like to use a Mitchells Pedigree 0622 M gold nib (try Ebay). It is a very firm nib. John Heath Birmingham, The Grand Pen 44 are great for fine line work (I’m not sure they produce these any more). I also love the Nikko G nib. I am hoping to find a glass nib one day as I have been told that the line work is very fine.My favourite ink is Sumi ink. I really like walnut ink when doing experimental work for its tonal value. I have tried many other calligraphy inks as well, but Sumi ink is the one I come back to all the time.

Can you name some of your inspirations?

Lettering and modern calligraphy from other artists really inspire me. It makes my heart skip a beat to see what wonderful swirls or curls they create! Calligrapher Brody Neuenschwander is my lettering hero. When I first saw his work in the film ‘The Pillow Book” (directed by Peter Greenaway in 1996) I felt I had found a lettering soul mate. It made me realise that I was on the right path to do lettering that had personality. I still find his work so inspiring.I am always attracted to forms that are imperfect. I find my work is like that. Subtle colours of greys or watered down ink, shadows, smudges, scratchy lettering and mistakes. The not perfect!  I love second hand book stores and finding monographs from artists or old architecture books with pages of tracing paper. I like old, light coloured, linen book covers, books with a modern vintage aesthetic. I like Swedish clean lines and books and magazine covers from the 1960s. I have a great book on “French Artists and their books”. This has drawings from posters from the 1930s to the 1960s. So many of the artists they feature use lettering in their work, Picasso being one of them.  I adore tracing paper – Glassine envelopes and mismatched envelopes. I am very lucky that I have my own studio space that isn’t also at home so my daily space inspires me.  I few years ago I lived for a short period in Munich, Germany, I found in a local flea market, dozens of hand written letters from 1880s to 1930s. They were mostly formal letters from lawyers and some even have seals stamped on them. I would have paid anything for them! They still make my heart sing when I look at them. Surprisingly there are many with written errors!

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

I always use tracing paper. I will write the individual words out over and over again until I have the lettering just how I want it to look. Then I scan into a computer, each individual word and build it together. I don’t often retouch the letters, as I love the bits that are a bit askew, but that often depends on the client. Once I have built it, I will see if it all works well with each other and then perhaps redo small elements or letters.

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

I have tried to emulate other lettering artists but have never managed to get my lettering to look as good as theirs! So now I don’t even try. I love nothing more than to get ink on my pen and just doodling and trying strokes. I think that lettering is such an expression of the body and I try to make my lettering have feeling. I would suggest going to calligraphy classes to get knowledge of some of the tools that can be used and learn letter formation. You need to train your arm and hand to hold the pen and how to use your whole arm instead of just your hand. So the lettering comes from your whole body. By being comfortable making letters you can then change them. I have always learnt something from taking a class. From there you can begin to work out how you want your lettering to look. Then just practice!

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

This year I joined several calligraphy societies in Australia. Even though they offer more formal training, there are often courses available on less formal and gestural calligraphy. If you sign up to John Neal Books’ newsletter they have a section at the very end where they have links on courses around the whole world. It’s a great resource and provides links to something near you or perhaps a class that would further your interest. I have a few books, but one I really love is ‘Three classics of Italian calligraphy‘. I also watch “Youtube” for calligraphy videos. I am doing a course with calligrapher Monica Dengo later this year, she runs modern writing workshops and is based in Italy. Three months ago, I did a 3 day workshop with Netherland calligrapher, Elmo van Slingerland – it was very challenging.

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

I have, these last few years, collected a couple of letterpress printers (C&P and Vendercook), which are quite hard to come by in Australia, and now combine hand lettering and letterpress. This is such a divine combination! I find there is nothing more beautiful than the sensual texture of imperfect handwriting and debossing. It exudes such emotion and feeling!

Any advice on what ‘not’ to do?

I don’t like taking on rush jobs. I have made too many mistakes trying to create lettering on limited time. I get stressed and the pen doesn’t work how I want it to. Also my first envelope job was a nightmare! I was asked to use gold ink and had never used it before. I didn’t understand how difficult it was to use. I should also have clarified to the client that my lines weren’t going to be straight. Now I take an image with my mobile phone and send a message to them. This clears up unspoken issues quickly. I also need to keep my work space tidier. I lose things and drive myself crazy!

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

I can juggle. I can’t do it very well now, but I actually used to teach people in England at markets! If I can juggle, anyone can juggle!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December (possibly November). 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.

INTERVIEW HEATHER BURNS | PERCH PAPER CO.

perchpapercompany_besotted blog Please indulge me and allow me to start this beautiful week off with an amazing lettering artist-Heather Burns a.k.a. Perch Paper Co.  I am a little upside down from last week, we moved into one apartment and moved out of it the very next morning and back to our former apartment. Did you catch that?  What you’ve never done anything as fantastically stressful as that in your life? I also missed my flight to California last week because of said apartment, in which a 100 year old lock decided to have its innards freeze thus locking me into my own apartment as a cab waited (not so patiently) for me to free myself (I didn’t in time for the flight). So, today I am moved back into our old apartment and off to California for work. I am starting this week off with a lettering artist interview because I think this week needs to start off infinitely better than last week, no? Without further ado I give you the incredibly inspirational (and witty, see her random fact) Heather Burns of Perch Paper Co.

//PERCH PAPER CO. INTERVIEW//

Where are you located?

Since opening my business almost five years ago, I’ve lived/worked from Seattle, WA, Billings, MT,  Tanzania, Africa (while I volunteered for three months at a baby orphanage this spring), and for the past two months… Helena, Montana.

How did you get started in lettering?

I started drawing at about the time I started walking. I loved writing my name (the only thing I knew how to spell!) over and over and over in different sizes, upper and lowercase, on everything I owned (aka: everything my parents owned! two year old’s don’t really own anything;) All through school I doodled on everything, backs of tests, newspaper headlines, fake sharpie tattoos on my feet. The love of doodling got me into The Art Institute of Seattle where I studied type and graphic design. I worked as a graphic designer at FLANNEL DESIGN doing logo and print work for outdoor companies before starting my own business.

What are some of your favorite supplies?

I’m currently having a love affair with white ink! Can’t get enough white ink on kraft  envelopes. I have also started using water colors in my calligraphy pens so the writing feels like it flows, both in style and color.

Can you name some of your inspirations?

I get really inspired at Goodwill and rummage sales. I imagine turning all that ‘stuff’ into wonderful creations. reupholstering a couch with fabric I’ve written all over. Finding old stationery with beautiful type and unique colors. I hate to admit this, but I love listening to romantic movies (chic flicks) while I’m working on anything ‘wedding’ related. Helps me feel all lovey dovey ;) – I love listening to mumford and sons while designing tattoos.

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

I try to approach every project individually with new ideas and new styles. If the client already has stationery in place, I like to incorporate the font they’ve used into the envelope addressing and create a calligraphy style that fits the ‘feel’ of their wedding day. If I’m designing the wedding stationery, I like to know what cereal they eat for breakfast, how they decorate their home, how they envision the day of their wedding.

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

Look at type EVERYWHERE. Garage sale signs, font books, backs of antique post cards, other calligraphers sites, calligraphy books, etc. Then just write.. on anything and everything. See what you naturally lean towards.. uppercase vs. lowercase. flowing writing, or block letters. Build your strengths from there.

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

I think a good understanding of basic type is a must. I took several typography classes in Art School and this has helped immensely. I also follow about ten blogs that focus on type and read those every week to keep up to date on what’s new in the lettering world.

Do you have some favorite projects?

Water color calligraphy, and custom wedding invitations with calligraphy, hand done lettering and illustrations.

Any advice on what ‘not’ to do?

Don’t spread yourself too thin and try to come up with a million different styles. If you trust your gut and your eye and really work on just a few styles you will be known for those. You can’t please everyone and your style will not be a fit for everyone, but for those people who adore your work, they will absolutely LOVE it and know how unique it is which will have them coming back to you time and time again.

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

I can leap like a real leprechaun. And since I’ve never met one, I’m assuming Probably even better.

Random facts?

I wear grey and white everyday – I love hot yoga – Since I was a child I knew in my heart I would someday adopt a child (I don’t know where this idea came from, I’m assuming Mr. Rogers) (I thought it would be in Africa while I was there) but I met an amazing man (whose wife passed away from leukemia when his twin girls were just one). They are now 3.5 and I’ll be adopting them when we get married this winter! – I  prefer to drink coffee and hike all day and work at night – I dream about secret passages in old apartments weekly. – cinnamon gummy bears are my weakness. – I prefer all my beverages without lids. – I paint all my furniture white.

Thank you kindly Heather! If you have questions for Heather or would like to thank her for the interview, please do so in the comments, I know the artists love getting your feedback!

P.S. Emily is the winner of last weeks bestowal, (I loved all your answers of course) and I have a new found appreciation for all the days of the week (thank you). This was Emily’s sweet answer…”I’ve taken Tuesdays off to be with my toddler and we don’t always have big plans but I try to follow him and not rush either of us, which makes Tuesdays some of my best days.”

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December. 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.

AMETHYST FONT BY MOLLY JACQUES ERICKSON

 

Amethyst by Molly Jacques Erickson Besotted Blog

A day without internet is like a day without…(insert worse case scenarios here).  Seriously, I lived in the middle of nowhere and my internet was abacus slow but being in a bustling metropolis without internet is practically painful. Alas, I am back on-line and in time to announce Molly Jacques Erickson has just launched a new font-Amethyst that I think you are going to adore! Oh, and the price? She’s practically giving it away!  I love all of Molly’s fonts but this has immediately risen to the top as my favorite of hers. It has a nice simplicity to it and there are so many letterforms that I like (crazy for the ‘A’ and ‘B’ that never happens).  I can’t wait to start working with it! I think this font is so easy to incorporate into a future project, it is very legible and would be an excellent alternative for envelope addressing for holiday send-outs. Holiday?  I know, it seems too early yet I have it constantly on my mind for the shop (I need to plan ahead with baby b. arriving during my busy season!)

I am working on another wonderful lettering artist interview that I shall put up tomorrow and with Molly’s new font launch I am plenty inspired to get practicing and after you read this interview I think you may just as motivated!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December. 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.

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