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.
Hi - I'm Dio!
You can read more about me and my background as a designer, in my about page.
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