Do you have a love-hate relationship with your brush pens? I did! I remember the first time I bought a pack of brush pens; I was into card making back then and I thought I'd use them to color some of my doodles and do some kind of "fancy writing" on my cards. I knew nothing (no techniques) about hand lettering back then, so of course I was horrified by the way my writing looked when I used them. So much that I neglected them till they dried out and became unusable.
Fast forward a few years later to 2015 when I bought a new set of black brush pens specifically for practicing my hand lettering. By this time, I had seen those lovely Instagram videos of people who made it look so easy. I tried them out and once again, I hated them.
I set them aside for a while and focused on using Sharpie fine tip pens for most of my lettering projects. I loved them, and I still do, but the day came when I didn't feel challenged by them anymore and was ready to face my fears. I picked up those brush pens and began to practice, pressing hard on the down strokes and going lighter on the up strokes. Aghhh - the frustration.
But I kept at it for a while and I soon realized that the next time I tried it, it was easier than the time before. The next day, the same thing happened. The process was a bit easier and the next thing I lettered looked slightly better than the thing I'd lettered minutes before. I also realized that not all brush pens are created equal and that some of them make my writing look better than others, most likely due to the combination of the softness / resistance in the brush and the natural amount of pressure in my hand as I write. In a matter of days, my lines began to look smoother and the thickness of my strokes became more uniform. My letters began to look more polished and in just a few weeks, I began to see my own style revealing itself to me.
How to overcome your hate / fear of brush pens:
I firmly believe that in order to overcome a fear or hate, you just have to face it and decide it will no longer hold you back. In this case, you really don't need to learn how to use a brush pen in order to start embellishing the world with your writing. There are many successful lettering artists out there who never use brush pens in their work. They use Sharpies, Micron Pens, iPads, chalk, etc. But if brush lettering is something you really want to explore, below are a few things you can do to help you break through the initial disappointment and discomfort:
And there you have it. It really is that easy. Trust me. I've been there. I also felt the same way about running. I hated it, and here I am now training for my first half marathon and actually enjoying it. I felt the same way about my new iPad Pro, I HATED the way my digital lettering looked, so much that I almost returned it. But in just 4 weeks, I've gone from the artwork you'll see in Workbook 1, to this faux chalkboard sign below. You just gotta put in the time, my friend. That's it.
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Hi - I'm Dio!
You can read more about me and my background as a designer, in my about page.
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