Lately, I've had a lot of fun scanning my various hand-lettering practice sheets & spontaneous creations, and layering them with detail shots of my color & texture experiments in my art journal.
While I love writing directly on my new and ever-growing stack of canvases & journal pages, I find there's more flexibility and fun to be had when I can do all kinds of edits and tricks and change everything around. It's all the possibility wrapped up in photos taken with my cell phone and a scanner in the corner of my apartment. There's more to play with, more art to experience. Plus, the advice of Traci Bautista, to take pictures of your artwork to use again in later artwork has served me well over the years since I read her first book - grabbing it at the local library because of the colorful cover and having to do with my new hobby of art journaling.
Over the years, people have said they love my handwriting, and I'd always smile and say thanks. But in my own self-taught journey through art, I focused more on painting and collage and composition and my writing was just the last thing that went down, random thoughts or added elements in the form of words before I declared a page finished.
Sure, I worked on altering my writing to be more "artsy," something I'm sure all of us have done, at one point or another, but never thought more of it. I'd admire the lovely calligraphy of other art journalers and artists but didn't work at it. My hands can be incredibly unsteady at times, so I thought it'd be a waste of time.
But now, now I've actually listened to all those compliments, and been asked by people to do handwriting for them, which has empowered me to start practicing and trying and working out my own way to make pretty letters. There's more confidence in all those swirls above, fun and focus and it makes me happy to look at the stacks of papers and know I made them.
So listen to the compliments that come your way, and forget about any limitations you think you have, because we all have our own ways to do things, and things to contribute and make and if it takes you twenty minutes to make an exemplar but it makes you smile to run your hands over them when done, then it's all worth it.
The alphabet above was copied from Lisa Engelbrecht's book Modern Calligraphy & Hand-Lettering, which is available for your Kindle, too! The original title was Modern Mark-Making, btw. I really recommend it!
PS. Some commenters on my Sumi brush post have noted that the brush is made from wolf hair. I didn't really read much of the info in my excitement to grab one. I've done some research and learned that most Chinese brushes that are inexpensive and are said to be made with wolf hair is actually made from sable and weasel. A lot of brushes are made from animal hair -- while I myself only own two brushes that aren't synthetic, I do understand that others may choose to stay away from natural bristles. I have found this link to synthetic sumi brushes, if you'd like the alternative.