Have you noticed that almost all of the letterers on Instagram speed up their videos? That’s because one of the secrets to lettering is slowing down and being intentional with each stroke. It’s true that you can get some cool effects by speeding up some of your strokes when you’re ready but as a newbie, take things slow! Just give it a try when you’re practicing and soon it will start to feel natural and you’ll see improvements!
Perfect Practice Makes Progress.
Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule says that 10,000 hours of DELIBERATE PRACTICE are needed to become a master in any field. The trick? Don’t forget about the DELIBERATE part. Find a good class or teacher, practice sheets, the correct tools, and make your practice deliberate. That’s when you’ll see the most progress. Remember, it’s not that your lettering has to be perfect, it’s that you’re making your practice perfect -- or deliberate practice.
Lift That Pen!
This is something even talented letterers are guilty of: writing a word using one continuous stroke. Pick up your pen after every letter or even after every stroke for some letters. Once you give this one a try, you’re lettering will become so much easier. Each time you lift is a chance to reset. You’ll find you’re making less mistakes too!
Finding Tools You Love.
I remember the first time I discovered the Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip brush. I’m telling you, my life changed that day! I learned calligraphy with a traditional pen, nib, and ink. My first brush markers were Tombow Dual Tip brushes but I found the Fude 1000x easier to handle. It didn’t make me a better letterer overnight but it did make me a happy letterer who didn’t want to stop practicing and THAT makes you a better letterer. Now I primarily letter on the iPad Pro and have created my own brushes so that my lettering is exactly what I want! Many of my lettering friends on Instagram use a variety of tools but most people love the Tombow products.
See my separate post on my favorite tools for lettering (Coming soon...)!
I Will Not Compare Myself to Strangers on the Internet
Instagram has this INCREDIBLE community of hand letterers and calligraphers but please y’all, remember to cheer each other on and don’t bring yourself down by telling yourself “I’ll never be as good as her”. You don’t have to be as good as that stranger on the internet! You’re job is to be the best version of you. Not sure how to cheer each other on? Hop on over to my Instagram @hewittavenue and get in on the fun!
Now, get yourself a big cup of coffee or tea or glass of wine and get to practicing!