Shifting Gears

It's time that I shift gears and refocus once again. I can't lie having a day job, trying to keep healthy and working on side hustle is not easy. Somewhere along the lines I was losing steam and needed to take a hiatus. During that time I did a lot of meditation on scripture, changed some of my health habits and am now choosing to shift with the blog and content I am sharing.

One of my goals this year is to create more and get more design work out there. At a point I felt mentally blocked so I took up skill shares offer of $.99 for three months and decided to create some projects. I decided to share my experience and a full review below:

SkillShare Online Class Review: 

Pros: The class starts by encouraging you to start by choosing a short phrase - something personal. You also choose an application for your lettering piece. This stood out to me because it will help greatly with the direction and style for the final piece. Next comes brainstorming and research. In this phase a list was made of words that can relate to the phrase of choice. The words should be as specific as possible. To build on the research, search for historical references of application - or make a mood board for the piece. Side note: Vintage books are great for inspiration. 

We also reviewed tools for lettering. (Just use what you have handy).

For a warm up we sketched out one of the words from the chosen phrase in different lettering styles.

My very first attempt with this project didn't turn out great so I decided to go at it again. This quote is one that I came up with my own during a conference and I decided to create a piece around that quote.

Take a look at my sketches below:

Preliminary brain storming session

Preliminary brain storming session

Exploration of Sketches

Exploration of Sketches



I enjoyed the preliminary sketches and brain storming because it took me back to industrial design. The way we apply what we learn to products, design and services. 









After the preliminary sketches and styles, another warm up was done for a more refined sketch of the word of your choice. 

I explored the word Diamond. 

The instructor breaks down understanding letters in 4 simple steps. 

Frame of the letter (even spacing and correct proportions. 

Adding Weight to the letter (similar to drawing shapes) 

Add style and details from reference materials

add finalized details ( dotted lines, drop shadows, and serifs). 

See my sketches to the right: 


We went over some of the Common mistakes that can be found in lettering. 

A word of caution here - you need to know the foundations of lettering otherwise you'll be copying and learning other people's mistakes. With lettering remember: thick down strokes and thin upstrokes. (But you have to know the proper direction letter forms are drawn). When there is a change in direction it will be light, when going down it will be thick. 


The Cons: you can't take photos directly from your phone and upload them to your online class. They have an app where you can continue to watch videos and see the documents the instructor provides. 

There aren't any word translations, though some students go and make personal notes in the class.

After going through some thumbnail sketches for layout purposes, and exploring different forms and shapes, you choose one or two and enlarge them to the finale size. I'll be sharing the full process of enlarging the thumbnails sketches next week. But the next few steps are to ink your sketches and scan them into the computer. To ink I used my markers - I used my tombow and my micron markers. 

More on how to enlarge your thumbnails sketches next week.