Often people ask me how I learned handlettering. Other times people ask me if I could teach a class. But the best way to learn handlettering is the want to handletter. Sounds easy right? You want to handletter, great! You’re done. The end.
Well, hold on, let me explain. Let’s begin from the final step and then go backwards. You are a pro at handlettering. People hire you, constantly ask that you contribute to conferences, classes, and interviews. You’ve probably also written a book about lettering. All that knowledge came from your lesser opportunities. Most likely before you got here, you probably lettered for family and friends. Or maybe for yourself. But that didn’t come from lack of confidence. And that confidence obviously did not come from lack of practice. So you handlettered often and a lot to get there. And in order to hand letter, you needed tools. I’m sure you had pens, paints, markers, chalk, or whatever medium, and farther back you probably just had the basics. Maybe a pencil or a pen, and paper?
I know I know, just keep up with me. We’re nearly there.
I don’t know about you, but I know that when I began hand lettering, it looked worse than my very own handwriting. (See image below) And for most people, when they start anything, they suck at least a tad bit. The reason we know we’re beginners is because we compare it to the products of experts, that we found through our interest in lettering.
Maybe you came across hand lettering through an instagram post. Or maybe it was accidental like an ad in between a video. But after you saw it, you decided to try it. And even though you sucked, you decided to try again. Why? Because you wanted to. You wanted to get better, you wanted to learn a new trade, you wanted to handletter.