I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love letters. Typography, handwriting, calligraphy, I adore them all. I’ve given modern calligraphy a go and spent a whole 100 days practicing my hand lettering on-screen. However, when it comes to brush lettering, it’s something I’ve tried many a time but I’ve never quite nailed it.
I’ve wanted to attend a workshop to brush up(!) on my skills for a while and The Lovely Drawer workshop has been at the top of my wish list. When Teri ran a recent giveaway on Instagram, I entered without hesitation, although expected to win nothing. Imagine my delight when I was the lucky one who won a whole bundle of The Lovely Drawer goodies, as well as a place at a brush-lettering workshop of my choice.
Teri runs most of her workshops at the shiny new West Elm in Westfield, London meaning that as well as learning a new skill; I could also fit in a bit of sneaky shopping afterwards. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit worried that attending a workshop in the middle of a shop would be weird, but I had no need to worry. We were oblivious to the shoppers around us, and it was lovely to sit in a space that felt so cosy and homely. There are also lots of good places to go for lunch afterwards!
The session started with an intro by Teri and some examples of how you can use brush lettering. We were given some simple exercises to get us used to the brush and making different thickness lines. It’s not as easy as it might first appear, and Teri makes it look so easy, but I was soon getting the knack of it. After pages of lines, scallops, and zigzags it was time to tackle some letters!
Again, Teri gave us a demo, running through the basics and giving us some ideas for how we could tweak our style. Armed with some style sheets for reference, we set about creating our own letters and working on some words of our own choice. ‘Birthday’ and ‘Harper’ seemed to feature quite regularly in my practice, can you tell I’m currently thinking about a certain someone’s first birthday celebration? For my final piece, I decided to go for ‘You are my sunshine’, something that would hopefully be good enough to put up in the nursery.
Aside from the more technical skills around brush lettering, the main thing I learnt in this workshop is that practice really does make perfect. Before attempting my final piece, I must have lettered it about 7 or 8 times to make sure I was getting it right. Admittedly, I can see some final flaws in my finished piece, so I may give it some more practice over the coming weeks. I’m already contemplating using it in some form of creative challenge, although perhaps not a full 100 days this year!
This is the first workshop I’ve taken for a while, and it felt so good to have a few hours of creative time. If you’re interested in attending one of Teri’s workshops, you can find out more on her website. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone who fancied giving brush lettering a go, even an absolute beginner.
For now though, it’s time to head away from the keyboard, and pick up that brush again…
Disclosure: I won my ticket to the workshop in an Instagram giveaway. This post is written of my own accord and reflects my own views (simply because I enjoyed it that much!).