I did my first pop-up of the season this weekend in beautiful downtown Palm Springs hosted by Interstellar Comic Books & Gifts. In the last year, I’ve only done a total of three pop ups and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every single one of them because of the connections and friendships I’ve made.
The first two times I participated in an event I was selling Lipsense and while I’m still a Lipsense distributor, I put that on the back burner to focus on the stuff that makes my heart sing; creating unique, colorful hand lettered gifts and greeting cards featuring puns and feel-good phrases in English, Spanish AND Spanglish.
Below is a short compilation of my Instagram stories that I shared the night before the event as I practiced setting up my display. Let me know what you think!
Aside from doing pop ups around town, I’ve also decided to host hand lettering workshops in my home and in the homes or business locations of friends and family.
So, if you’re in the Coachella Valley and you’re interested in hosting a lettering workshop or pop-up shop, please send me a note! I’d love the opportunity to co-create an event that is fun for all.
Ahhh, this one's for all of you kind hearted humans who've adopted a fur baby (or fur babies) of your own. ❤ 🐶
And for my 4 pound furry bundle of joy who inspired this hand-lettered design as we snuggled with a blanket on the couch, watching Netflix and drawing on the iPad. There's nothing like snuggling with my personal little "leg warmer" on a cold winter day. She gets so happy when she sees me walking to the couch with a blanket 'cause she knows she's gonna get petted and hugged and told she is loved many, many times in all my annoying high pitched voices that that only she could love.
About the lettering on this mug
As I mentioned above, I created this piece on the iPad, using the Procreate app. It took me close to an hour to create this design because I'm not very experienced when it comes to block lettering and kept making the letters and erasing them over and over again until I was satisfied with them.
When I think of hand lettering, I always think about cursive, bouncy letters and flourishing, which had pretty much become my signature style. But I started feeling a little bit stagnant in said style and hadn't seen my work evolve in a while until I stepped out of my comfort zone.
So, if you're on this lettering journey with me, my advice to you today is to not be afraid to try something new. It doesn't have to be ALL new at once. Just give your traditional work a bit of a new flair or a funky spin and see how you like it. As you can see in this piece, I kept my cursive bouncy lettering but I used block lettering (something new to me) as a focal point. By mixing a different style of lettering with my own, I was able to create a piece that has visual impact, is easily legible and has a more artistic look to it that it would have had I only used cursive lettering.
Where to find this mug
You can find this and other mugs in my collection at HandLetteredMugs.com.
Lettering Tips and Inspiration
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Hi there! With the holiday season in full bloom the demand for custom mugs is here once again. I can’t wait to share my latest designs with you in hopes to inspire and encourage you to keep up with your lettering drills. It will pay off – literally!
To start, I want to thank Yuri Bejarano from Impression Photography for this beautiful image she sent me featuring one of my most favorite creations to this day. WOW! If she can make a mug look THIS good, imagine what she can do for your family portraits. Ha!
In the same way that she can make magic with her camera and capture a story through the images she creates, I love how bringing a pen to a mug can also tell a story as it transforms an ordinary piece of drinkware into meaningful piece of usable art that pays tribute to a loved one.
Today, I want to share why this particular mug means so much to me
As you may or may not know, I spent about six weeks last holiday season in 2015, hand painting mugs to help raise funds for my daughter’s band competition trip. I was extremely blessed to have received much support from friends, family and the Instagram community which allowed me to raise the $1,300 we needed to pay for transportation, meals and lodging. It was through Yuri alone that I sold about 20 mugs after she purchased a few and shared my work with her friends at church.
The mugging journey
Though I was grateful for the support, I can’t say that the process was easy. On weekdays I’d come home after working an 8 hour shift (plus an hour commute) and rush into the kitchen to start dinner, clean the kitchen, then pull out the art supplies to set up and paint mugs till about 1am. I slept an average of 5-6 hours a night and worked an additional 12 hours on the weekends from mid-November till Christmas. It was a sacrifice for sure.
Out of all the custom artwork I created, this piece featuring Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God" became one of my favorites. The passage would pop into my head at times while everyone slept and I worked through the night. I deeply enjoyed the creative process but I quickly became tired, sleep deprived and my body ached much of the time. Yet, I was ecstatic to see how God kept providing me with a wealth of opportunity to raise the funds necessary to make my daughter’s dream come true. I filled three separate orders with this particular design and thought about painting a mug for myself. I kept putting it off though, ‘cause it took me an hour to paint each mug and client work came first.
Live and learn
This year as the holiday orders began to come in, I decided to digitize my existing designs and upload them to my Zazzle shop at HandLetteredMugs.com where anyone can log on and purchase my artwork on a professionally printed and 100% dishwasher and microwave safe mug. There are currently 42 designs in my gallery and I keep adding to it weekly as new orders come in. I wish I would have taken this route much sooner!
So after almost a year, I finally own a mug with this design. I purchased one for myself and one for Yuri. I just had a feeling that this message would speak to her as well - and it did! I have the text messages with hearts and emoji’s crying with joy to prove it. Heehee. She's so cute.
A couple of days later, she sent me this gorgeous picture of her mug, in her home, with her Christmas tree in the background.
Why I "mug"
Since I started this "mugging" journey, I've received several messages from people thanking me for creating artwork that was so meaningful to them. They text or email me to tell me how something as simple as a mug brought a loved one to tears with emotion or laughter. It's very fullfilling to know that the way I arrange letters which contain a special phrase can bring someone so much joy. I feel blessed to be able to create something that moves people so deeply.
Some may think that lettering is just a hobby or an easy way to make extra cash. For me, lettering is a way to embellish the world, to communicate and bless others as their loved ones utilize my artwork to express their love and affection. When I read the messages they send me expressing their gratitude for what I do, I sit still. I smile and I rejoice because I know He is God, and I am but a tool transforming thoughts, phrases and passages into tangible symbols of love.
Out of all the days of the week, Friday is my favorite! Mostly because I get to do whatever I want on Friday evening without worrying about having to get up early on Saturday morning, which is ideal for a night owl like me.
Since my husband works evenings, Friday nights usually consists of happy hour with friends OR grocery shopping to get me through the weekend followed by "art night" with my daughter.
Since November of 2014 when I started selling hand lettered coffee mugs as a fundraiser for my daughter's band trip, "the mug life" has brought much joy, relaxation (the process), stress (holiday orders), and satisfaction to my life! It's one of the things I look forward to doing on the weekends. Hearing stories from my customers letting me know how the recipients shed tears of joy when receiving my little creations, makes the entire process that much more meaningful for me.
Learning the process by trial and error has been a bit expensive and stressful, to say the least. Don't believe all those Pinterest tutorials telling you to grab a Sharpie and go to town drawing on mugs. It DOES NOT work, and the paint does come off even when they are hand washed.
Though I still consider myself a beginer, I pretty much got the hang of it now. This is definitely a hobby I can see myself keeping for years to come. Have you ever tried lettering on mugs? What was your experience like? Please share in the comments below.
~ Have a great weekend!
I was very touched by a coworker who found out I was selling hand lettered coffee mugs to help raise money for my daughter's 4 day band competition trip in the spring. She said she couldn't think of anything clever to put on a mug but wanted me to accept a small contribution towards my daughter's trip. After talking to her for a while, I found out her son is a school band teacher in another state and that she enjoys golfing, which sparked an idea that lead to this design.
I'm going to surprise her with this mug on Friday in appreciation of her generosity and kind gesture. She's such a sweet lady. I'm so blessed to work with such a nice group of people.
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Hi - I'm Dio!
& LipSense Distributor on a mission to color your world!
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