I have known Stephanie since her first was born 5(ish?) years ago. She has taken both of my classes, and I just ADORE her!
So I am so excited to learn about Stephanie’s new business – She Writes in color. I promise you that you that you will be AMAZED at her work. You can find her contact information at the bottom of this post.
1. I have seen some of your work and it is BEAUTIFUL! Could you tell me what led you to this form of art?
Thank you so much. In February of last year, I noticed that a friend of mine was participating in a Rock Your Handwriting challenge on Instagram. The challenge offered a simple prompt each day for a month and was intended to showcase and improve your everyday handwriting. I have always enjoyed writing in general and the challenge seemed interesting and fun. At the time, I was emphasizing cursive writing practice with my 7th graders, so I created a handwriting challenge in my classroom as well. I began to peruse the challenge hashtag, explored the feeds of other participants, and found new hashtags and challenges. That is when I discovered the world of brushlettering and modern calligraphy.
There is a vast, well-moderated, and hugely supportive lettering community on Instagram. I have always been drawn to creative expression and art and I made up my mind to give it a try. I headed to Michaels for some supplies and I have been practicing ever since.
2. How did you learn to write so beautifully?
I started by watching lettering videos and viewing photos of lettering work by several artists on Instagram. I found some brushlettering practice guides and I learned the basics of forming letters as pieces of art, not just writing them like you would in your every day handwriting. I practiced every evening with different types of pens, brushes, inks, paints, and papers. At first, I attempted to mimic the styles I admired in others’ work, but eventually as my confidence grew, I practiced more, I found the tools with which I was most comfortable, and I naturally developed my own style and process.
3. What or who inspires you?
I am an extremely sensitive, emotional, and expressive person. I feel deeply and those feelings are something I value, nurture, and study. So most often, my artwork is informed by and is an expression of my innermost self. It is highly personal and sharing it puts me at my most vulnerable. If you’re viewing one of my pieces, you’re most likely seeing a reflection of me. I’ve grown less and less hesitant to share as I’ve learned more and more that my art resonates with others, brings them peace, or helps them to know they are not alone.
I am also inspired by my surroundings: nature, the changing seasons, the weather. Other art forms such as music or film or theater. Even the emotional climate of social media, especially Facebook, can inspire me to create something peaceful and positive to add to someone’s daily scrolling.
As far as being influenced by a person, that’s an easy answer. My dad loved to write. He was a writer by trade and was a soulful creative just like I am today. He wrote his way out of the mental shackles that were put on him by his cancer and paralysis. Fortunately, my mother saved his journals and I am able to read them and draw inspiration from his courage and his pain, even though he isn’t with us any longer. I find it oddly comforting that he was writing with the same dual-tipped brush pens that I use now.
4. What are your top favorite apps? Which do you use the most?
My favorite and most-used apps for creating, painting, drawing, and lettering digitally on my iPad Pro with my Apple Pencil are Procreate and Adobe Sketch. I use Adobe Sketch to paint digital watercolor backgrounds and then bring them in to Procreate where I can add layers of lettering and design with different brush types ranging from those that mimic pencils and gel pens to water brushes, chalk, pastels, and other calligraphy pen styles.
I also use Hyperlapse and Rotate & Flip to film and edit my lettering videos. Photoshop Mix and PS Express are used to edit photos of my lettering and create digital pieces. And of course, the list wouldn’t be complete without Instagram–my preferred social media platform, the place I share my artwork, and where I do most of my learning about lettering and design.
I love to use Prisma to create photo art and Pinterest is always a source of inspiration when I’m looking for the perfect saying or tutorials on how to draw or paint.
5. What are your goals for 2017?
My goals for 2017 are to continue to practice and make progress on my lettering style. I plan to learn pointed pen calligraphy and make an effort to practice different watercolor techniques and styles as well as my drawing skills. I hope to offer different types of products as services as my small business continues to grow. And I would love to work as the lettering vendor on another wedding this year!
6. Could you share your favorite piece that you designed so far? You know they say that your favorite piece is the one you will do tomorrow, so I know this is a hard question. You have done so many beautiful pieces.
You’re right, this is a hard question. Usually, my favorite pieces are the custom orders I create for others because they are filled with special meaning for both the giver and the recipient. It means a great deal to me when someone entrusts me to express their sentiments for another person through my artwork. That said, I really enjoyed making this custom order for my friend as she anticipated the birth of her first child. The message is an important reminder to be still and soak in the simple, quiet, fleeting moments.
7. Anything else you would like to share?
Anyone can letter. There is a common thought that if you don’t have the best everyday handwriting, that you cannot be successful at handlettering and calligraphy. But all it takes is the right tools and consistent practice to create from the heart.
I also was honored to create all of the signage for my sister-in-law’s wedding in September including her canvas guest book.