Near the beginning of July, Skillshare announced a hand lettering challenge that would take part throughout the rest of July. The challenge consisted of completing two of hand lettering artist Mary Kate McDevitts Skillshare classes. This included finishing and sharing two lettering assignments also.
I wrote about the hand lettering challenge back in July, and decided that I would have ago at participating myself. I’m still only a short way into my lettering journey, and knew that it would encourage me to put pencil to paper.
I’m always enthusiastic about wanting to practice lettering, but when it comes to actually doing the practicing, I will sometimes put it off. This is because of fear, I fear my practice will look poor and not come out on paper how I see it looking in my mind. The whole point of doing practice though is so you improve, or in some cases maintain a skill. By putting practice off, I’ve realised I’m not gaining anything. I’m actually prolonging the amount of time my hand lettering won’t be great for. Joining in on the July hand lettering challenge has been a great way to get me past this fear.
So my first tip is to practice, and not be afraid. Practicing and seeing weak results to begin with is so much better than not practicing at all!
The hand lettering challenge was roughly spread out over three weeks. For some, this will have been plenty of time to complete the assignments in. I struggled to get enough done within this time because of personal commitments. Also a lot of my time is used on keeping this site up to date for you, which I love doing and didn’t want to sacrifice.
My next tip is find time to practice regularly. As mentioned above, practice is important, try and find time throughout the week when you can practice. If you can’t find time, try and make it. If you watch tv for an hour of an evening, practice whilst you watch tv. Making time doesn’t always mean making sacrifices, sometimes it just means making a compromise. I cut back on doing some social activities to get my assignments completed in time, I didn’t cut out on social activities altogether though.
My final tip is don’t rush. Whether it’s practice you’re working on, or a final composition don’t rush it. Due to my limited amount of time I did rush my assignments, and it showed. My lines were wobbly when I inked my lettering, and my whole digitisation process looked very rushed. If I’d taken more time, I know I could have made some subtle improvements in my assignments. Take your time when lettering, I believe quality over quantity definitely applies to creating hand lettering!