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

 

 

A SPECIAL REQUEST…

 

do what makes you happy besotted blog

Even though my brain feels like it has been on empty for the past 10 months, (sleep deprivation will do that to you), I have been thinking a lot lately, maybe too much, it feels like I can’t shut this darn thing off.  I have been re-evaluating everything and work has been on my mind, mostly what work looks like now (it’s quite chaotic). I have started to wonder if what I am doing is not what I should be doing and feel almost like I did in my 20’s when I agonized over what I was going to do with my life/career. For me those two have been inextricably linked, I have always defined myself by what I do and now I am a mommy.  Let me tell you Mommy is so, so much harder than I could have ever imagined and I feel the weight of responsibility to be the best mommy I can be; for me that’s being loving, present, focused and doing a ton of research, but that doesn’t leave me a lot of time for earning an income. It would be amazing if you earned a salary for raising an upstanding human, but alas payment although rich with reward currently does not pay the bills. That is where I am at, what can I do that will allow me to raise my daughter the way I have been able to currently and to be able to earn an income? The million dollar question…

With that lingering in the air, I have come to a few conclusions, I LOVE this site, I miss it and of course the community tremendously whenever I am away.  I didn’t realize how much, until I had been away from it, dare I admit out loud that I missed it even more than my shop? And I do love my shop so. Is there even a remote possibility that I could earn an income with it?  I have never tried, most of you know I don’t even like the word ‘blogger’, just writing that makes me shiver, I know people have that same reaction to the word ‘moist’. I also don’t want this place to become a commercial disaster and lose its authenticity, I have always been authentic + transparent with you and want to remain so. I would like to make this a much, much better place, with the help of  my partner in crime, Miss Michelle P. (a creative Jedi) I know we can.  I always share with you my current interests and it has seemed to resonate, now teamed with the ever creative Michelle (just as passionate as myself ) I do believe that we could knock this out of the blog park.

I made a little list below and maybe you can help us create better content for you that you’d love? We really want to make this a happy place to visit and for it to be a resource for you to learn something new or a better/easier way to do something you already know!

Photoshop- Tell me what you’d like to learn, not just everything but specifically so we can create tutorials based on that.

Adobe Illustrator-Anyone have an interest in learning more about this amazing program?

Photography-Do you want more tutorials for your camera phone? If so what? Or are you looking for more info on how to use your DSLR?

Downloads-What kind of downloads would you like? Some of the downloads have been downloaded over 50k times! So I know you like them, but what else would you like to see? Would you be willing to pay for a download (of course we would still do free ones1), if so what is the max? What would make you buy a download?

Lettering artist interviews-These are popular and I am so grateful for the artists sharing their ‘secrets’ with us, but are there questions that I haven’t addressed that you wished I had? I can start adding those to the questionnaire.

Beauty-I know these are popular, and although this is not a beauty blog (gah, that word!) what would you like to see more of? Drugstore brands? Unique items? A specific type of product? Would you like to hear from other beauty fanatics about their fave products?

Photographer interviews-Ahem, we happen to be friendly with some pretty amazing photographers, would you like us to ask them to reveal their secrets as well? Or are there specific things you want to know? Would you like to be the ones to pose the questions prior to the interview going live?

Inspiration posts-Would you like more posts like our Inspiration Rx series?

Is there something here I missed? Something you wished we covered but don’t currently? Burning questions that you would like answered?  We really hope you take the time to answer these questions, my life depends on it (okay, I am being a bit dramatic, but it does!)  Thank you in advance!

 

P.S. The script font I used can be found here!

VSCOCAM TUTORIAL | Get the glow

 

How to get the glow with your camera phone via besottedblog.com

There’s just as much emotion to be had in the glow as there is in the dark and dramatic. Maybe it’s my overactive imagination, but I like to think of an ethereal glow as a subject’s inherent light from within bursting out for all to see. I think that’s what make the images from The Glow so appealing. It’s such flattering light for portraits, edges are softened, and the effect of a slight haze can take your imagery out of the ordinary and into the realm of art.

As promised, here is how to capture this bright, glowing light right on your phone! It’s really just taking what you’ve already learned in the Dark & Dramatic tutorial, and flipping it on it’s head. Instead of tricking the app into underexposing to create dramatic shadows, we are going to trick it into overexposing in order to maximize the light in your image.

5 easy steps (if you read the Dark & Dramatic tutorial, these may sound familiar). [Read more...]

RODIN OLIO LUSSO LIP BALM

Rodin Olio Lusso Lip Balm via Besottedblog.comLet’s start by flogging me for mentioning another luxury item.  Okay, now that, that is out of the way we can move forward.

I have long coveted the beautiful + simple packaging of Rodin’s Olio Lusso lip balm–the clean font, the touch of blush colour, the lucite container, it all makes my minimalist heart go pitter patter. What I was completely unprepared for was that it was going to be a product that was actually as good as it looked. Form +  function in a beauty product? That happens so rarely that I would have had better luck winning the Lotto, or being struck by lightening than finding a product that is as stellar as it is beautiful. This is an unfortunate turn of events as I am in deep, I LOVE (yes, capital L-O-V-E) this product. I had some friends not like it and it was one of the reasons I had never picked it up prior, but I was gifted this little beauty and didn’t care if I ever opened it because I was just so happy to have my hands on it, I am so glad I did open it!

First, full disclosure here, I am a lip balm connoisseur, so obsessed am I with lip balm that I often make it myself. It has to be just right, I am very picky. What makes this so great?  In most balms if you want a sheen the balm is too oily and just sort of smears off the first sip of latte, if you want a balm that has staying power it is usually is too waxy (I hate waxy). The Rodin Olio Lusso lip balm has the perfect hint of sheen with just enough ‘stick’ to stay on without constantly re-applying. The blush colour is just cosmetic, there is no colour that will land on your lips (but I hope Rodin re-thinks this one day and maybe offers a tinted version). Right now I don’t care too much about lip colour because I am constantly kissing my baby and would never want lipstick all over her delicate visage, so that’s not a deal breaker for me; if I am going to a meeting I’ll lightly line my lips with this liner and use the Olio Lusso lip balm and I am pretty happy with the results. My lips are currently in pretty good shape, if they were chapped and flaky, I doubt this would be the balm I would reach for, that may be where some of the bad reviews stem from. I give this a high five, I am sold, I would absolutely get it again. I also think that it’s a perfect gift for your beauty obsessed bestie as it may not be something she would buy for herself but would probably be something she is secretly coveting.

How about you?  Have you tried this?  Do you think it’s as good as I do? If not, why didn’t you like it? Is there another balm you prefer?  I love when you share your beauty secrets with me!

text: tristan b.

photos:

product: Rodin Olio Lusso

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