Lettering Shenanigans

Thanks, Naelany for inviting me to stop by your blog again!

I’ve never considered myself an “artsy” person, but I’ve always admired pretty handwriting and creative typography. After learning the basics with Gimp (and later, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator), I’ve become addicted to discovering new fonts and wished I could just write something pretty (which I’ll blame on getting an “F” in sixth-grade penmanship).

I’m a doodler (which gets me into trouble at work meetings because folks assume I’m not paying attention… which is only occasionally true, but I digress…), and have recently discovered Bullet Journaling, which prompted trips to Pinterest, and we all know how much trouble one can get into when Pinterest is open. As it turned out, since I such at being organized, I was mainly drawn to bullet journaling because I liked doodling shit and writing pretty words.

I’d share some images of my BuJo spreads, but… I can’t find the dang thing right now, which, if that doesn’t illustrate my organizational skills perfectly, I don’t know what does.


The BuJo thing led me to discovering faux calligraphy. I stumbled across this sweet tutorial by Karla Dornacher and thought I’d try it out.

It started out innocently enough. My vulgar brain, however, was having none of it. (I don’t think Ms. Dornacher would approve of my subject matter AT ALL.)

faux calligraphy

I shared this image to Facebook because I thought it was funny (and I’m the type of person who laughs at her own jokes because someone has to). To my surprise, a friend of mine asked me to send him “Choke on a bag of dicks” because he wanted to use it as his phone background. Because I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I told him I’d edit it first and then send it to him. Something possessed me to do a screen capture video of the process, and if you’re bored to tears and like watching unnecessarily complicated ways to do simple shit , you can see that here. He loved it. I love doing it. He created a monster.

That same post prompted a different friend to invite me to join a “sweary” lettering group on Facebook called Inappropriate Kick Ass Lettering. I decided “what the heck” and <dreamy sigh>I fell in love with an entirely new group of strangers and these folks give me life I love them so</dreamy sigh>. In addition to discovering a new hoard of peeps who Get Me, I’ve uncovered oodles of tools and techniques to feed my new obsession. The group features “units” for exploring the craft… there is SO MUCH AMAZING STUFF TO LEARN. A lot of the folks regularly posting int he group are into digital lettering, and frequently gushed about an app called Procreate that they use on their iPads with an Apple Pencil. I was envious because holy hell it looked like that would make editing my writing so much easier. Luckily for me, it was tax time, so I splurged on a pricey gadget for the very first time ever (let’s not get into how much that cost…). The Procreate app was $10, which I thought was a lot for a mobile app, but it’s jam-packed with tons of fun options and is an amazingly intuitive illustrating program… and it’s not a monthly subscription like Adobe Illustrator. You pay the $10 and that’s it. Updates are free. You can create everything from simple sketches to full-blown digitally painted masterpieces in this app, so what was the first thing I did on it?

Choke on a Bag of Dicks_LORES MOCKUP.jpg

I took that further and, using a mandala design I created with the Amaziograph app (a whole other beautiful monster) and made it colorful. Just because I could, and it lowered my stress levels like whoa.

Since I started sharing my craziness with folks, I’ve been asked to hand letter kitchen canisters, design wedding stationery, create posters, and other fun stuff.

That (and the fact that I’m hella broke and up to my eyeballs in medical debt) led to my decision to open an Etsy shop. I’m still in the process of building it up and marketing (working two jobs makes this a slow, sluggish process), but I’ve had tons of fun creating stuff and have even started working on illustrations that don’t involve lettering. I’ve also made a few bucks, so #kindawinningoverhere.


On Etsy

This piece below was a special request from my dad, who’s a Veteran Naval Air Reserves pilot. He gave me the quote and suggested I add “maybe clipart of a plane nose or something”. I decided to draw it, instead.

Flying Lets Me Feel Like God.jpg

Kinda looks like the plane has a mustache, but my dad has one (a mustache…not a plane), and he loved the final result, so it’s all good.

If you’re in the market for printable snarky inspiration, (or something you can print off, frame, and give to someone as an elaborate “Eff you, dude!” kind of gesture), you can check out my Etsy shop here.

I’m not a Da Vinci by any means, but it’s fun, and I believe I’ve come a long way since that big fat “F” in penmanship twenty-something years ago. 😊

Thanks again, Naelany, for having me!



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