Keep it Classy

Keep it Classy via besottedblog.com

This weekend, I will be attending a photo workshop taught by the divinely talented Luisa Brimble and hosted by Aran Goyoaga! Woo! With so much talent in one room, I am fully expecting to lose the ability to speak proper English, but hopefully I can keep my wits about me enough to Instagram some juicy tidbits for you!

Autumn is a natural time to want to invest in our passions and sharpen our skills. Tristan and I both have the learning bug right now and have been bookmarking our dream classes left and right. If we could spend loads of time traveling to classes and workshops over the next couple of months, here are the gems that would make our list. If you’ve taken classes from any of these instructors, spill it – we love to live vicariously!

PHOTOGRAPHY

Ashley Woodson Bailey

October 15, Georgia

Multiple dates in December, Australia

Beth Kirby / LocalMilk

Venice is sold out, but she does have Japan, Australia, and Lisbon on her future retreats list…

Aran Goyoaga / Cannelle et Vanille

November 8 and 9, Madrid

Film is Not Dead

November 11-13, Hawaii

STYLING

Megan Morton

Tons of dates! Australia

LETTERING 

Maybelle Imasa Stukuls  (Get into the spirit by reading Maybelle’s Besotted interview! Part I and Part II).

October 11, Brooklyn

November 15, San Francisco

Laura Worthington (Laura’s Besotted interview Part I and Part II)

October 15, Seattle

Stephanie Fishwick (Stephanie’s Besotted interview Part I and Part II)

November 16, Virginia

VIDEO

The Hill Workshops

There aren’t any upcoming dates listed, but take a look at their previous workshops and you’ll see why they still made the list!

There have to be more out there, what goodies have we missed??

P.S. That classy font can be found here.

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Pretty handlettered font

pretty hand lettered font via besottedblog.com

I don’t usually share the fonts I use in my shop, now that would be silly of me don’t you think? But this one font (the one shown on the stamp) I get so many emails about that it would make a whirling dervishes head spin. So in a moment of extreme generosity and to selfishly keep my inbox from bursting I am going to spill the beans, but first let me tell you why I like it–indulge me.

I initially had this font in my original logo tries for Besotted Brand, a testament to how much I like it. I love that it’s feminine but not too girly (too girly never works for me). It has nice swashes and alternates to really make this font your own, so basically you can dress it up or down as much as you like. Options, I like options! It feels simple and handwritten, not too much flash but enough to get your attention. It had its hey day when it first launched, but it seems to have died down quickly, which in my opinion is great since you won’t see it everywhere.  I think this would be a perfect font to use for holiday, heck make your own own custom stamps (I happen to know a wonderful stamp maker). Okay, I won’t hold out any longer, feel free to go and add it to your collection here.

Psst, you can find some of other font loves here.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. She recently lives in sunny Seattle with her handsome husband, wonderful baby girl and two pups. 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.

 

TokyoMilk Dark : 62 Tainted Love

tokyomilk-ia-via-besottedblog.com

tokyomilk ii via besottedblog

My current bottle of TokyoMilk Dark : 62 Tainted Love is so empty I can’t even get a satisfying whiff of the warm vanilla-scented air from inside the bottle anymore, and I am trying to decide whether to hunt for something new for fall, or go ahead and repurchase this delicious tried and true. Chances are high that I will go the easy route since I adore this scent, and choosing a new fragrance would mean heading downtown for a sniff day, which in the past has resulted in a) not finding anything I remotely like, and b) running around town for the rest of the day smelling something like a fragrance dump bucket.

Of course it was the brilliant packaging design of TokyoMilk Dark that lured me in one day when I was browsing through one of my favorite shops*. The rich and creamy consistency of their shea butter and almond oil handcreme was just what I need for my cuticle challenges, and I couldn’t get enough of the dark vanilla with a hint of sandalwood scent (the orchid and white tea are very subtle elements, it’s definitely more vanilla than floral). I went for the hand creme, then came right back for the perfume a couple of days later and have worn it most days since. So what would you do: tried and true or something new? (….or both, I’m leaning toward both).

// Bonus Photo Tip //

When I was styling the peach crostini shots, I wanted to be able to reposition the spoon full of marscarpone on a whim without having to worry about possible food smudges on my fabric backdrop. My solution was to put down waxed paper on top of the fabric backdrop. I’d rather put down a clean sheet of waxed paper if there’s an unwanted smear here or there than adjust the fabric to hide a flaw, or clone it out in Photoshop later. When Tristan wanted to style this shot with a dollop of hand creme, I brought out my trusty waxed paper, & what do you know, it added a subtle muted sheen while softening the bright white of the foam core we were using for our backdrop. We both admired the effect, so of course we had to share it with you!
*Note to Seattle folks: Lucca in Ballard carries TokyoMilk Dark, and who doesn’t want an excuse to stop by Lucca?

TokyoMilk Dark : 62 Tainted Love | Eau de Parfum

TokyoMilk Dark : 62 Tainted Love | Handcreme

P.S. That cool script font we used in the title is a new release from Angie Makes and can be found here!

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, designer and co-professor for Souvenir Foto School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Laura Worthington Interview Part II

shelby font by laura worthington

As promised please find part deux of our Laura Worthington interview, enjoy! You can find part I here.

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

While I encourage studying others lettering for practice, as it helps to learn how certain forms, strokes and effects are made, I think when it comes to your own style, you need to put that aside. Do not compare yourself to others, or wish that your lettering would look more like so-and-so’s lettering. Both of these things will not only discourage you and cause unhappiness and discontent, but they also prevent you from developing your own style and learning how to truly express yourself.

Can you discuss the font process a little, how you came to create all these gorgeous fonts and how would a lettering artist go about doing so?

It usually starts with experimentation or practice with one of my tools (my favorites are pointed pen, brush and folded ruling pens). From there, I will come up with a letter or word that sparks an inspiration for a font. I then continue to write more words or phrases to develop the idea further. I like to take breaks to define and clarify what I saw in this that inspired me: I write about it. I journal almost daily and most of what I write has to do with my work. I find that it helps me think through what I’m trying to achieve with my lettering and designs, what I’m struggling with or what’s working and so on. It helps me to focus and channel my thoughts and I find that it pushes me past any creative blocks I may be facing and develop new ideas and gain insight as well.

Once I have the project well defined with some lettering as a starting point, I set forth producing will be used as the basis for the design. I practice the new style I’m working on to develop muscle memory till I can letter the new style with ease. In the beginning, it’s usually a bit frustrating as I try to push myself to be uncomfortable as that’s what it takes to come up with something different than what I’ve done before. I take frustration, struggle, discomfort and uncertainty as signs that I’m doing something right. If it’s easy, I’m not trying hard enough.

Once I get several pages of lettering completed, I scan it all in. In Photoshop, I go through and find the best version of each letter, copy and paste it into FontLab to use as a reference to redraw the letterforms with the pen tool. I do this quickly and keep it rough initially because I need to see how it looks when typed out in words and phrases in order to catch any global changes that need to be made and/or re-lettered. I try to work from macro to micro, general to specific as I develop the font. Big changes need to be made in the beginning, and the highly detailed work done towards the end.

I work with the lowercase letters first as they make up most of what’s used in words and phrases. The goal of the lowercase is to have a strong sense of rhythm, harmony and personality. One of the ways to achieve that is to have a few key letters that are very unique while keeping the rest general and not too obtrusive. Trying to make all of the characters unique is the recipe for a chaotic design, while not having enough letters stand out can be boring. The uppercase set, however, with script fonts in particular, has the opposite goal. As they’re hopefully used sparingly (please, don’t set a script font in all uppercase letters!), are to be the jewel – the centerpiece. Of the word or phrase

After all of the letters are drawn and they’re working well together, there’s production and mastering to complete. Kerning (that is, the space between characters) is very time consuming, thousands of character pairs need to be reviewed and adjusted. The space around the characters is as important and shape of the characters themselves. Designing diacritics, and programming are also on the long list of things to do. Finally, there’s testing the font, not just to see if it works technically, but also to proof and review it at various sizes.

Finally, there’s putting together promotional images that show off the font’s offerings and how it may be used, getting a description written, a user’s guide with examples and technical details, and then packaging everything together and send it off to my distributors to be published.

For any lettering artists wishing to get into type design, there are a few things you should be aware of before getting started. Realize that not all lettering styles translate well into type design. It’s best to start with a simple style until you become accustomed to the complexities of the craft. Also, learning to design type is a big undertaking – there is very little information and resources available to learn how create typefaces, especially script styles. Plan to be largely self-taught and which means you therefore must be motivated and patient. The work is very detailed, technical and challenging to learn, but also very rewarding.

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

There are actually A LOT of different books and classes/workshops for lettering. Almost too many to mention! Let’s see… there are a few workshops in the realm of calligraphy, such as Iampeth, Cheerio, Legacies… take a look at the John Neal Books website as they keep a great list of both workshops and excellent books. Also, Type Camp offers hand lettering workshops and there’s some great online courses through Skillshare too.

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

Charcuterie, Adorn, Samantha Script… these are all really big families, the first two are collections which is an interesting concept of offering a grouping of distinct yet related typefaces and ornamental fonts.

Any advice on what ‘not’ to do?

Don’t give up too quickly. It takes time to learn lettering! Also, if you’re totally new to it, I don’t recommend starting with a brush or pointed pen right away. I think it’s best to begin with pencil practicing basic letterforms from well-defined models, learning its ductus, then move into using lettering tools. Trying to learn a new lettering model AND how to use a tool at the same time can double the difficulty and frustration.

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

Voice impressions! I can cluck like a chicken as well as smattering of other strange and random people and animals!

image  of shelby font by YouWorkForThem

Calligrapher Interview Laura Worthington Part I

laura worthington interview besotted blog

Ah, a Laura Worthington interview, you all are in for a real treat! If Laura’s name seems familiar it’s because  we have featured her fonts before and if you have been lurking around our fave font shop, Laura is quite the prolific font designer/lettering artist.  It is a privilege to be able to feature her today. This is part I of her interview, there’s so much good information that we didn’t want to overload you and allow you to take it all in! If you have questions be sure to leave them in the comments. Thank you Laura for such a detailed and inspired interview!

Where are you located?

Bonney Lake, Washington – which is about 50 miles south of Seattle

 How did you get started in lettering?

When I was nine years old, instead of learning the standard roundhand cursive styles typically taught, my 4th grade teacher had opted to teach us italic printing instead. Her handwriting was beautiful and the way she described how to construct the letterforms and what they should look like in their ideal state struck a chord with me. I was smitten and knew immediately that this would become a passion of mine. My mother, at the same time, was taking a calligraphy course at a community college. It was a perfect storm of events that set forth my future – from that moment on, I studied and practiced calligraphy and anytime I handwrote notes, essays, journal entries, et cetera, I viewed it as an opportunity to perfect my handwriting and train my hands and eyes. All throughout school I lettered certificates, wedding envelopes, poems and anything else. I taught myself many of the basic hands from calligraphy books. Chancerian, Foundational, Carolingian, various forms of Blackletter and so on.

 What are some of your favorite supplies?

For paper, I love Rhodia dot pads, Borden & Riley Cotton Comp and Vellum, Canson Marker and Vellum as well. For ink, I like Moon Palace sumi ink as well and I use Noodler’s ink with my treasured wet noodle fountain pens, which I collect.

For nibs, there are quite a few I like. For steel dip nibs, I prefer the Brause Rose, Nikko G and the Hiro Blue Pumpkin. For most of my pointed nib lettering these days, however, I use wet noodle fountain pens, especially for practice. My favorites are the Waterman Ideal #2 and Mabie Todd. What I love about wet noodle fountain pens is their convenience and ease of use. All of mine are either lever or eyedropper filled, so you can write quite a bit without needing to refill them every couple of letters as you must with dip pens which means I can practice in the evening while sitting on my couch watching a movie with my husband, or sitting outside in my garden. Also, the wet noodles are often extremely smooth and responsive, so you don’t have to be as careful with upstrokes that often damage the tines of a steel dip nib.

For brushes, I use Pentel Colorbrushes,Prismacolor Faber Castell felt brushes, DaVinci Maestro pointed brushes and Raphael Kolinsky. For chisel edge brushes I use Windsor & Newton.

What are some of your inspirations?

I am such a visual person that most of my inspiration comes from what I see. I love to check in with what other lettering artists, type designers, graphic designers and illustrators are doing. But most of my inspiration comes from just simple lettering practice when I have no goal in mind other than the sheer pleasure that comes from applying ink to paper.

To be cont.

//Resources mentioned//

Rhodia dot pads

Borden & Riley Cotton Comp and Vellum

Canson Marker and Vellum

Moon Palace sumi ink

Noodler’s ink

Wet noodle fountain pens

Brause Rose

Nikko G

Hiro Blue Pumpkin

The Waterman Ideal #2

Mabie Todd

Pentel Colorbrushes

Faber Castell felt brushes

DaVinci Maestro pointed brushes

Raphael Kolinsky

Windsor & Newton Chisel edge brushes

 

 

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