12 awesome (and easy) resources to learn to sing or play guitar!

Learn to sing + play guitar via besotted blog

Another frequent skill wish that we saw was the wish to learn to sing (or be a better singer) and learn how to play guitar (I will soon be teaching myself ukulele). Michelle and I both wondered if singing was innate or if there was a way to develop it, I am pretty hopeless but our research proved it is not an impossibility!  Basically if you are not diagnosed tone deaf (often a self misdiagnosis) or are not deaf (but research says that’s changing as well) you can learn to sing!  Will you be an award winning, break champagne glass with your high note singer? Probably not, but one never knows until they try!


This fellow has a slew of short easy to follow videos covering everything from vocal exercises to the psychology of singing.

The BBC has a huge series on ‘How to Sing’.

Here’s a series on ‘singing for beginners’ from a celebrity singing coach, some super information in these videos!

Vocalizing is supposedly a great exercise, you can listen to demo’s here.

Berklee school of music is a super well known and respected institute and they offer online vocal courses.

On-line singing class not for you? What about an in-home or studio lesson. TakeLessons might be able to pair you up with someone in your area for a fairly reasonable fee (they also can help you find a teacher to teach you instruments from piano, guitar, drums to ukulele.)

Learn some elite singing techniques that the pros use.

Learn to play guitar in 60 days by playing a video game? That’s a two’fer right there.

Justin Guitar houses over 850 free guitar lessons!

There’s no better person to take a guitar lesson from then someone that has become wildly successful in their craft, right? Learn from professional (and famous) guitarists (over 400,000 people already have!).

Artistworks has free beginner acoustic guitar lessons, I hear a Kinfolk-esque bonfire sing-a-long in your future.

Michelle said her friend learned how to play guitar with the guitar tab method,we linked to the video on how to read guitar tabs and a huge guitar tab resource.

photo by maybelle imasa-stukuls

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.

25 Amazing Resources to becoming a better artist

25+ Amazing Resources to learn to draw! You can do it, we believe in you!

I was very touched by all your answers for the skill question giveaway. So many of these skills are most definitely achievable in this lifetime, I do hope you explore some of these resources.  I have mentioned some of these resources in previous posts, but I figure if you decided you wanted to get started (it seems time is definitely a factor stopping a lot of us), then I should make it as easy as possible so you can just dive into learning your new skills. Maybe I shouldn’t have titled this ‘becoming a better artist’, because art is subjective, someone might think you are incredible right now, but I do understand that what most of you want to do is better develop your skills and I can say from experience that drawing emphatically is not a skill that you have to be born with to become great at (I’m not great by any stretch of the imagination but I  improved dramatically from stick figures to realistic animals in about 6 months time). You will need to devote some time, practice my friends seems to be the ‘secret’ to skill building. Below are some great resources for you to get started. I can’t wait to see what you all can accomplish! [Read more…]

Calligrapher Interview | Mara Zepeda Neither Snow Part II

Anais Nin quote by Neither Snow | Mara Zepeda via besotted i

neither snow card

neither snow workshop

//Part I here//

What are some of your favorite supplies?

I’m pretty workaday when it comes to supplies and don’t do a ton of experimentation. You can find the supplies I use on my workshops page: Nikko G, Moon Palace Sumi ink, Dr. Martin’s Bleed Proof White. Canson Pro Layout Marker. What I am much more interested in is experimenting on different surfaces and with different materials. In London we calligraphed on leaves and the glass of vintage butterfly boxes. I love working with fabric and vinyl decals. And then there are the tattoos of course.

I may be wrong about this but someone mentioned you may be left-handed?  If so, any tips for lefties?

It’s true– I am left handed. After teaching many workshops one thing I’ve noticed, with left handed calligraphers specifically, but for everyone more generally is that ergonomics is the single biggest reason people feel frustrated, especially when they first start out. The angle of everything matters: pen nib, holder, paper, wrist, torso, shoulders, hips, thigh, chair seat. Most of my teaching comes down to helping each student identify the angle for all of these things that feels best to them. You will often find me adjusting elbows and crawling under the table to move the legs of a chair. The basic rule of thumb is all of these angles should be as aligned and harmonious as possible.  You can’t have your paper at a 55 degree angle but your legs at 15 degree angle and your shoulders at a 100 degree angle. My biggest tip for all calligraphers is to play around with the angles of all of these things and notice when you are contorting your body. Every awkward angle reverberates in your work. For left handed calligraphers they often need to move the paper practically perpendicular to their hand. Here’s a video of me at work as an example.

[Read more…]

Calligrapher Interview | Mara Zepeda Neither Snow Part I

Lettering by Neither Snow photo by Jose Villa

Neither Snow Menu

I have been wanting to know more about Mara Zapeda for ages now, just like Betsy Dunlap I was intimidated to reach out, doing these interviews the fear of being ignored or rejected is always on my mind, but luckily most lettering artists have been more than accommodating, even with their full schedules, it makes this lettering-phile happy to no end! Mara not only complied for lack of a better description she ‘brought it’, so much so that we are compelled to make this a Part I + Part II, there’s just way too much great information here for you and way too many beautiful images

Where are you located?

After living for years on the east coast (Philadelphia and Boston) then pinballing from Los Angeles and Florence, Italy, I am happily settled in Portland, Oregon. Everything you’ve heard is true: it is an incredible city.

I am so curious about the name ‘neither snow’, I know it’s from the U.S. Post, but I am dying to know how you decided upon this? Did you read it standing on line and it resonated? It’s so charming and genius.

Thank you! I started Neither Snow in the summer of 2009, right before my own wedding. I went to Reed College (more on that later) where we read Herodotus’ Histories. The quote originates there and was then adopted and adapted by the US Postal service as its well-known motto, which I’ve admired for years on the facade of the New York Central Post Office. I liked that it referenced both my time at Reed and the nostalgia surrounding hand delivered mail.

[Read more…]

Book by it’s cover | Peter Pan by Liam Stevens

Book by its cover Peter Pan by Liam Stevens

“It is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do that is the secret of happiness.”

I love Liam Stevens lettering and his interpretation of the Peter Pan book cover, so simple but still magical! I recently re-read Peter Pan (Peter & Wendy) and let me tell you it was so different from it’s Disney counterpart. It’s certainly not p.c. by any stretch of the imagination but if you can get through that and the idea that it was written another lifetime ago there is still a lot of the magic in there. One of my favorites parts that I did not remember was that the kids Wendy, John and Michael had a nanny that was a dog, I find that super endearing. There are plenty of wonderful quotes that you’ll find yourself wanting to highlight, one of them though is oft cited on Pinterest and the interwebs but is not the same as in the original book, I found myself wondering if the Disney version changed it.

If anyone out there is a designer/illustrator and a bibliophile that is feeling in a rut, I think re-interpreting your favorite books as an exercise would not only be something invigorating but great as a portfolio building exercise!

If you are inclined and feeling lucky, don’t forget our Intermediate Modern Calligraphy Kit giveaway!

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.

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