DIY: HAND LETTERED ENVELOPES W/ SHARPIE

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TOOLS YOU'LL NEED:

• Envelopes in your favorite color (we love these notecards and envelopes!)

• Metallic Sharpies (we used gold and silver)

• Number 2 pencil with an eraser

 

 

STEP ONE:

Write the name and address in pencil - consider mixing script and non-script hand lettering styles for texture and personality. For example, try writing just the name in script and the rest of the address in non-script, as seen above. If you're as confident as Molly, go ahead and start your address with Sharpie.

 
 

STEP TWO:

Trace over the hand lettered pencil address with a Sharpie of your choice. We LOVE the metallic Sharpies because they show up really well on virtually any envelope and add some sparkle.

 
 

STEP THREE:

Finish the lettering by adding a thicker line weight on the down strokes. This gives your hand lettered design some dimension.  Don't forget to erase pencil marks after the marker has dried. Also, think about adding some fun details on the envelope like polka dots or other simple illustrations! Don't worry too much about where you'll be putting the stamp at this point - just make sure that no important information is up near the top right corner of the envelope. It's okay if polka dots are there.

 
 

STEP FOUR: 

Finally, write the return address on the back flap.  Molly started in Sharpie, but feel free to use pencil first. When you're finished, add on a illustrative element like a little heart, vine, or polka dots. These small details make it much more exciting when someone gets the letter in the mail! If you're using the Sugar Paper heart notes then definitely add in a few of those cute little guys in gold to match.

 
 

Check it out! You now have some pretty awesome envelopes to send to some lucky people!

 

Photography and copy by Brooke Hitchcock, hand lettering and concepts by Molly

TFD: PERFECT YOUR SKILLS

Perfect Your Skills | Molly Jacques

After a bit of a break, welcome back to The Freelance Diaries!

 

This week I'm going to chat a bit about something that's perhaps the most important bit of advice I have to offer - perfecting your skills. Whether you practice modern calligraphy, lettering, illustration, graphic design, film, etc., etc., you need to be the best you can be.

 

In the past, I've talked about developing a voice and the importance of having a distinctive portfolio as a creative freelancer. This makes the client experience much more streamline. They know what they're getting; you know what you're giving. That said, before you get to this point, you've really just gotta perfect your skills.

 

Funny enough, you can actually get very far with sub-par skills if you're pleasant to work with and have some killer marketing tactics. I'm a firm believer that you should continue to put work out there for the world to see, even if you're not 100% to your skill level goal. This gets the ball rolling and encourages people to actually start paying attention to your work.

 

Again, that being said, perfecting your skills is what is going to make your work stand out amongst the slew of sub-par artists out there. Perfecting your skills gets you to the place where you can actually make real decisions on how you want your artwork to look.

 

Now, there are a few ways to perfect your skills. First, and the most obvious way: practice. Practice makes perfect, you guys.

 

Second, you need to learn.

 

Learning from well versed artists is the absolute best way to begin the lifelong journey of perfecting your skills. There are lots of ways to learn... Private lessons, workshops, online classes, or even continued education. Depending on your budget, you'll choose one of these options. All of these have one thing in common, though: you're learning the skills from someone who has been doing it a really long time and KNOWS what they are doing.

 

I know a lot of you ladies and gents out there are self taught - which is awesome! My advice to you would to be go out and (AT LEAST) take a workshop from an artist you admire. If you can't afford a college education (which is the #1 way to learn your skills...) then investing in a hands on workshop is going to get you where you need to be.

 

Still not willing to splurge on a workshop? Take a quick online course that focuses on the skill you want to learn. There are so many online classes out there, it will really surprise you. In my experience, online classes can be a great way to learn at your own pace on a shoestring budget. Like before, learning in a hands on environment will ALWAYS beat online classes, but sometimes you just gotta make it happen without that luxury.

 

PLACES TO LEARN:

Skillshare

Lynda

Molly Jacques Workshop

College for Creative Studies (psst... I teach here!)

 

Now let's start practicing! Where are your favorite places to learn? Leave a comment below and let us know!

 

Did you find this helpful? Leave a comment below, pin it, tweet it, share with your friends! I want to know about your journey as a freelance artist. 

 

GLL IN THE WILD: ALISA BOBZIEN

GLL Font(s) Used: Frosted, designs and photography by Alisa Bobzien

GLL Font(s) Used: Frosted, designs and photography by Alisa Bobzien

 

Good afternoon everyone!

This week on GLL In the Wild, I'm featuring the stationery work of Alisa Bobzien.

Alisa's designs are killer. I mean, seriously, seriously beautiful. I've known Alisa through the Michigan wedding community for about three years now and she continues to dazzle us with her talent and unique eye for wedding stationery, typography, hand lettering and modern calligraphy, and clever usage of Great Lakes Lettering fonts.

 
 
GLL Font(s) Used: Frosted, designs and photography by Alisa Bobzien

GLL Font(s) Used: Frosted, designs and photography by Alisa Bobzien

 

Alisa's primary focus on her website is wedding stationery but she also sells some clever products over on Etsy. You've probably seen her "Damn Fine Day" print floating around on Pinterest (it's a favorite of everyone!).

 
GLL Font(s) Used: Kailey, Frosted, designs and photography by Alisa Bobzien

GLL Font(s) Used: KaileyFrosted, designs and photography by Alisa Bobzien

Alisa Bobzien Mackinac Island

THANK YOU, Alisa, for sharing your designs with the world! To purchase one of Alisa's products, visit her over on Etsy. To customize one of her wedding invitation suites, head on over to Alisa's main website.

 

To purchase the fonts used today and others, head on over to Great Lakes Lettering.

DIY: GLITTER AMPERSAND

 

TOOLS YOU'LL NEED:

Kailey Font (or another hand lettering/modern calligraphy style)

• Inkjet Printer with computer paper

8.5x11"+ / .5-1" Thickness White Foam Core

Exacto Precision Knife

Krylon Spray Adhesive

Krylon Glitter Blast Spray in Golden Glow

 

** Extras: Cutting Mat, Mask, Newspaper to protect spray surface

 
 

STEP ONE:

Print out the enlarged hand lettering style ampersand in Kailey font on 8.5x11" computer paper (black and white is fine).

 
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STEP TWO:

Use your spray adhesive to adhere the printed ampersand to your white foam core. Make sure you're in a ventilated area like your backyard or a spray booth. Use old newspaper to protect whatever surface you're spraying on. Cut off any excess foam core around the edges of the artwork so you don't have to work on a sticky surface.

 
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STEP THREE:

Using your precision knife, let the printed ampersand work as a template for where you will cut out the shape. Some areas can get tricky because it's an intricate shape (like the loop in the center). Be sure to do small, light cuts to maintain integrity of the cut out. Don't try and cut completely through the foam all at once or you'll get a really jagged edge and you'll easily loose control over your cut. This step takes a while if done well!

 

** If you have a cutting board, use it under that artwork to protect the surface you're cutting on.

 
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STEP FOUR:

Now that your ampersand is all cut out, lay it out in a ventilated area and spray the entire surface of the space with your glitter spray. It helps to do 2-3 even, light coats. We noticed if you spray the glitter on too thick, too quickly, it looses some of its luster.

 
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STEP FIVE:

Let the ampersand dry completely before handling. When dry, use your sparkly ampersand as a stand out piece in your studio or home like I've done in the photos below! I love the way it looks next to my B is For Bonnie gold foil prints (hello, #GLLFONTS !!)

 

GLL IN THE WILD: APPETITE PAPER

GLL Font(s) Used: Saint Agnes, Frosted Designs and photography Appetite Paper

GLL Font(s) Used: Saint AgnesFrosted Designs and photography Appetite Paper

GLL Font(s) Used: Kailey, Designs and photography Appetite Paper

GLL Font(s) Used: KaileyDesigns and photography Appetite Paper

GLL Font(s) Used: Frosted Designs and photography Appetite Paper

GLL Font(s) Used: Frosted Designs and photography Appetite Paper

GLL Font(s) Used: Saint Agnes, Frosted, Kailey, Designs and photography Appetite Paper

GLL Font(s) Used: Saint AgnesFrostedKailey, Designs and photography Appetite Paper

This week I'd like to introduce Appetite Paper. Appetite is a stationery studio ran by designer Rachael Baldwin (I'm totally in love with her Instagram!).

Rachael's stationery designs are fun, light hearted, and full of personality with bright colors, patterns, and hand lettering and modern calligraphy style fonts.

To see more of Appetite Paper and how they use GLL fonts - head on over to their main website to see lots more lovely!

 

 

To purchase the fonts used today and others, head on over to Great Lakes Lettering.

DIY: DIP-DYE BOOKMARKS

Hey everyone! Today I'm introducing a new category here on my blog that's extra special! This summer, I'm having College for Creative Studies student, Brooke Hitchcock (that smilin' gal right below!), shadow me as my apprentice/intern. Brooke will be helping with all of the DIY posts for this summer, using the hand lettering and design skills that she'll be learning along the way. Brooke is also all signed up to take my Illustration and Design course at CCS next semester where she'll learn about typography basics and the fundamentals of hand lettering and calligraphy!

 
Brooke
 

This week, Brooke helped me create some beautiful gold bookmarks by doing a dip-dye and adorning them with her hand lettering. I pitched in and hand lettered a few myself =) Here's how to make these at home...

 
 
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TOOLS YOU'LL NEED:

Small, pre-cut pieces of paper

Golden High Flow Acrylic in Iridescent Gold

• Black Colored Pencil or Micron Pens in .08

• Mixing Vessel 

Paintbrush to mix medium or add texture

• Water (to water down the medium to your liking)

 
 

STEP ONE:

Mix your paint with a little bit of water in the mixing vessel (test it out along the way on a piece of scrap paper to make sure the consistency is to your liking. Semi-transparency creates fun texture).

STEP TWO:

Start by dipping the bottom portion of your pre-cut paper into the water, leaving about one inch of space clear at the top.

 
 

STEP THREE:

Let your dipped bookmarks dry on the table or a drying rack. Since this paint is water based, it's easy to clean up any spills.

 
 

STEP FOUR:

Dip your bookmarks again! now stop a little bit lower than the last dip. This will create variation with the transparency of the design. Repeat steps three and four until you get the desired effect.

 
 

STEP FIVE:

Use the white space at the top of your bookmark to write a little note. Brooke and I came up with a few clever phrases that are welcoming when you go back to that great book you're reading. Make sure to come up with something that will encourage you to start reading!

 
 

Voila! You're ready to use these bookmarks in your most recent read. At my house, we have a good collection of C.S. Lewis books - we are using our bookmarks in "The Four Loves".