About 6 months ago, I challenged myself to dig deep and really embark on a journey of lettering and define my own style. It's been a great ride thus far, trying different tools, using different strokes, and exploring. There's still so much room grow. There are so many tools that I'm anxious to try and get to an uncomfortable destination in my work. I'm writing this to take a glance back and look at the past 6 months, but more importantly be transparent about my quest thus far and share it publicly.
I've been learning the rules. Studying form, practicing lettering techniques, and watching a lot of YouTube videos to gather insights. I'm also enrolled in a few Skillshare courses. There's so much independent learning that can take place online! All of it has been extremely helpful! It's helping me learn my style piece by piece. It's allowing me to discover what I like and what I don't like.
Lettering is overwhelming (well I guess anything new is) but the great thing about it is that you have space to create your own creative constellation while still doing lettering. My online mentor James Victore (I've adopted him as my mentor but he doesn't know it. ha!) always said "learn the rules, then break the rules."
Then there's a flip side the learning curve. I've been looking around too much. I've been studying the work of others too much, hoping that I can find my own creative language from the way that they write. I wonder if all artist go through this period in the beginning? It's been rather frustrating to be honest. Looking at the work of veterans in lettering and comparing is not healthy at all. Observing the work of those that seem "more accomplished in their career" is creative suicide. The only responsibility I have to my path is find my voice.
My wife Shantay always said "don't look around." She's always on point. I'm sure there are some benefits of looking at the work of others, but not while you're trying to find your own flow. To fix this problem I've been spending less time on my phone as well as my laptop. I've dedicated certain days just to unplug and create. I can instantly see the improvement of finding who I am creatively.
So, where am I?
I'm somewhere in between graffiti writing, lettering, and type.
Paint markers with large and wide nibs are my favorite tools.
Brush pens are also exciting to use as well.
Various textures of fast strokes offer a really great contrast on how much ink I'm actually applying to the paper.
The idea of fades from light to dark application is pretty cool.
We can discuss calligraphy another time. It's not working out too great for now.
The faster I write, the better. I love the idea of flaws, smudges, and imperfections. It gives off a more human feel.
Layering text with various pens and paint markers is also another venture I like to explore.
Abstracts are my favorite. I like clashing things that don't feel like they belong.
Bold is my homeboy.
My cursive writing sucks.
Oh, and I cant use very small pen points.
I enjoy where I'm going. I appreciate my flaws. Now I have to drive the discomfort home, and find my voice right there.
I recently started daily sketches, you can check them out on my "Ideabook" here.
Until Next Time.