Draw Your Words: Workshop Index

"A huge component of the process of making art
is the making of meaning – taking stimuli,
sorting it, reconstructing it and communicating it."
Nicoletta Baumeister

groovy letters

groovy letters

This is an index, a table of contents, to the Draw Your Words workshop. It's is a workshop about drawing better letters and incorporating hand-lettered text in your art journal. Bookmark this page so that you can find links to all of the sections of the workshop. 

Draw Your Words is a fresh hand-lettering workshop with an array of drawing and writing exercises: I will challenge you to try new techniques and think creatively about how you "shape" your words.

Workshop Fee: Pay-what-you-wish.
Registration: Not required

The workshop materials {videos, ideas, tips} will be shared right here, so get the blog feed in your feed reader or via email. There are about 12 sections and you can work at your own pace; the materials will be available for at least a year. 

This workshop was learning experience for me as well. I started out thinking optimistically that it would be 5 sections. Yet each time I developed an idea I realized that it could be taken further or on a tangent, or deeper into a topic.

The workshop contains a total of 12 videos. Those contributing to the Tip Jar {≧ $11} by June 2 gain access to the private DYW Facebook Group with extra content, discussion, Q&A and tips. There's a BONUS VIDEO about doodly lettering. The group will be open until the end of 2015 and this is also a space to share the index cards that you create that include hand-lettering. There's a lovely group of folks at all skill levels sharing and discussing their lettering work in a comfy environment. It's a spot where you can share your lettering work and talk about the workshop. I will open access to the group for contributors again at the end of July.

Introduction and art material listing for the workshop.  

Registration is not required; this is a pay-what-you-wish model.

The Wonder of Words: Getting in the mood to draw your words!

Alphabetized: Drawing the alphabet. My example is in dip pen and india ink; you can draw with any pen you wish.

Block Letters: Lettering exercises with a pen or marker. Helping you see letters as shapes. Making use of negative space and drawing block letters.

The Purple Page: Creating art journal page using acrylics, a rubber brayer, collage and hand-lettering. My example is in a children's book, you'll need some sort of heavy paper or cardboard plus acrylic paints.

Alphabet Journal Flip-Thru: A journal where I practice hand-lettering and devise new lettering ideas, with mandalas and doodles too. 

Doodle Letters One: Drawing letters and adding kooky doodle patterns inside.

The yellow page

The yellow page

The Yellow Page: Creating an art journal page using acrylics, a brush, collage and hand-lettering with a brush and high flow acrylic paint.

Repeat and s-t-r-e-t-c-h: A quick tip about space planning and writing BIG letters.

White Lettering: A quick tutorial about using white high flow acrylic paint to write on dark art journal backgrounds.

Doodle Letters Two: Colorful silly doodle letters in Dr. Seuss style.

Groovy Letters: Graffiti-esque lettering tips.

Resources:  For those wishing to explore modern calligraphy and playful lettering.

Variations Galore: Spark your creativity by brainstorming lettering ideas.

Alphabetication: An example of letter play using various inks and nibs. Not an official section of the workshop, but good fun.

Doodle Letters Three: Taking what you've learned and creating words and phrases with your doodly lettering.

I've got a few more recommendations.  The Stabilo Worker is a lovely pen with flowy ink that I like for bold outlines and doodles. I have drawn so much with these pens that I've gone through 3 of them this year.  I also like the Zig G-Nib for dip pens. It has a flexible nib so depending how you apply pressure when you draw, you can vary the line width. You'll need a dip pen nib holder. I use this wooden one from Jet Pens.

Draw Your Words: Doodle Letters Three

Welcome to the final episode of the free Draw Your Words Workshop. I hope that you've enjoyed the hand-lettering tutorials and ideas shared. This brings the grand total to twelve video tutorials and a bunch of tips and ideas. You'll find more information in the workshop introduction, including recommended materials. 

Now we're going to take all of our lettering experiments, practice, variations and alterations and work on stringing together doodle letters into words. Adding your own hand-drawn letters to your art journal pages adds a bit of YOU to the mix. I think it makes the pages, the entire journals, more meaningful and, well, human! You can even do an art journal page where you write about your experience in speaking, writing & drawing words. Write about the act - the art - of incorporating words on your pages.

Watch the video here or at Vimeo or YouTube.

A few good books...

A lovely book on modern lettering is Modern Mark Making {note that the paperback version for some reason has a different name, "Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering"} by Lisa Engelbrecht. Not a "how-to" but a lovely assortment of ideas.

Playing with Type by Lara McCormick is a book of lettering prompts, not a "how-to" but chock full of juicy ideas that I'd like to explore further.

Why a free workshop? I'm trying to see if this pay-what-you-wish model will work at Daisy Yellow. So if you have found value in the lessons, if you have strengthened your lettering skills and if you feel more confident about adding lettering to your art journal or artwork, please consider contributing to the tip jar. 

There's a workshop index, where you can navigate to each section.

Art as Part of Life

"Life comes in clusters, clusters of solitude,
then clusters when there is hardly time to breathe."
May Sarton

The index-card-a-day challenge is a gentle way to help you instill a new habit, a good habit, in your daily life. I like to say that it is deceptively simple, just do something on an index card every day for 61 days. That's it! But is that really all there is to it? For example, how do we make time to actually work on our index cards? Do we try to squeeze in the time or do we trade-off something else? If your life is already overflowing with responsibilities, work stuff, kid stuff, roles, jobs, conference calls, relationships, health issues, pain management, volunteer work, meeting Belinda for coffee, tidying up for play dates, picking up a gallon of milk on the way home, helping your child study vocabulary or making a costume from the roman empire, a broken phone screen, folding laundry, what do you do? For me, it was a trade-off.  

A few quotes from A Woman's Guide to a Simpler Life by Andrea Van Steenhouse:

"Simplifying life isn't easy. It requires searching our souls, which can be painful, and changing our priorities, which can be difficult. If we are working not he assumption that if it is right, it ought to be easy, these tasks will be unimaginable."

"A simpler life is one in which the knowledge of what matters dictates all that surrounds us. It is a life lived with the courage to let go of what our hearts know does not belong. It is a more balanced life, not a more expert balancing act."

So it appears to be simple, yet we must make the decision to make a change and allow that new habit to be instilled. And that part is the much more complex. After the first few years of the challenge, participants starting telling me that ICAD had changed their lives. Seriously? Could it be so? Maybe it's not really the art but the benefit of focusing on creative work, taking time for yourself? I want to embrace that, bring it in to our process, to add content this year to broaden the experience. I think that will be one of the important aspects of the challenge in July.

In June, we are all energized and happily creating. And then after about a month it's like... well, there's a lull in the excitement. And that is when we need to remember why on earth we are doing a creative challenge in the first place. What changes do you want to make? And how can a creative practice help us?

Here's an interesting podcast from The Good Life Project about how simple {albeit well-thought} solutions are often the best solutions. It's a bit less than an hour. 

There's a new Index Card Art Zine, a special issue of the Zine, with 100+ ideas for small format art. It's a kick-start for creative endeavors.