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Hey there, lettering diva – Have you picked up a pen or pencil today? If not, you should. Every little chance you have to practice matters.
I have to tell you, before I was able to create the intricate pieces I now make, I started by embellishing just one letter in my alphabet. Just one. Every time I wrote something that included the letter y, I gave it a touch of fancy with a simple swirl.
While this exercise didn't make my to do lists and notes on my calendar look much prettier, it DID help me create muscle memory. Within a few days those tails on my y's started looking much smoother and it gave me the confidence to move on to other letters and further explore this aspect of hand lettering we call flourishing – even before I knew how to style the letters of the alphabet.
What exactly is Flourishing?
Flourishing is the art of embellishing letters with a few curvy strokes and swirls that create a feeling of motion and elegance. I love that it can be used with your regular writing (as shown in the image to the left) and it gives you the ability to dress up an envelope or gift tag in an instant with just a few pen strokes.
For those of you that have purchased my Lettering Bootcamp online course, make sure you log on to print the updated flourishing worksheets. They guide you through the process of identifying opportunities for flourishing as well as providing numerous samples of strokes that you can trace to begin to build that precious muscle memory in your hand. Once you have muscle memory, you won't have to worry about motion as much, which will allow you to zoom your focus onto composition; you'll be loving your hand drawn curves in no time!
3 Tips for Better Flourishing
FLOURISHING WORKSHOP, JUNE 1 • 10AM
I will be kicking off my Coffee Shop Lettering Series this weekend with two sessions back to back on Friday, May 31 at 5:30pm (because Lettering Hour is my Happy Hour) where I will cover the basics of hand lettering followed by a Flourishing session on Saturday, June 1 at 10am. These are limited to four students max so that I can focus on your individual skills and provide a more personalized coaching experience.
These lettering workshops have definitely increased my enthusiasm and creative momentum. I'm really excited to share this wonderful art form with my local community here in the Coachella Valley as well as my online community.
As part of this community, I encourage you to stay in touch via email and Instagram; feel free to ask me any questions regarding lettering and design. It is through your feedback that I'll be able to improve and continue to provide you with success tools and inspiration for your creative journey. Thanks again, talk to you soon!
XO, Dio =]
NOTE: Join the mailing list to receive workshop announcements, occasional lettering tips and inspiration directly to your mailbox.
I draw on scrap paper (used copy paper from the office) more than I do on sketchbooks. It’s less stressful because you don’t have to worry about “ruining the pages”. In fact, the opposite is true. When you draw/letter on scrap paper you’re embellishing something that was considered waste and oftentimes it is saved instead of being tossed out.
So get your lettering practice on and pretty up some paper, no matter how tiny the piece might be.
Note: This is one of my favorite pens. I bought mine at Michael's but you it's also available on Amazon. Here's my affiliate link, for your convenience: Kuretake ZIG Writer
I’ve wandered a lot in my creative journey; from wedding invitation designer to social stationery templates, graphic design, e-courses, hand lettering, coloring pages and custom coffee mugs. Sooo...if I seem all over the place with my random creations and now a second IG page in Spanglish at @QuePartyTanFancy, it’s true I AM all over the place. Thing is, I‘ve never really felt lost, on the contrary, I’ve discovered that art and or passions are ever evolving and I've totally discovered my own voice as an artist in the process.
So, my friend, if you feel a little lost at the moment, do not fret and rest assured that you are just evolving. Just like the wind settles after a storm, you too are settling into your new norm, new interests, your new path, new "phase". Remember, we didn't remain babies or toddlers for life. We evolved into adulthood and will continue to evolve into our golden years. Same goes for your art and your passions.
Who we are and what we do are ever evolving as we wander upon this earth.
Que Party Tan Fancy was born in early 2010 with the idea of providing beautiful invitations and party supplies en Español para la comunidad Latina. I then started a full time job in the fall of the same year and it got put on the back burner. I’d post new items for sale quite sporadically and didn’t advertise much. Then in 2015 I started this new little hobby called hand lettering which transformed the way I look at art. Not only did it make me realize that drawing letters is an actual art form, but it inspired me so much, I’ve been drawing daily ever since which has resulted in TONS of new artwork. Most of it en Ingles since I participate in lots of lettering challenges here on Instagram. But I also started lettering phrases en Español that came from my soul. It wasn’t until recently that after posting another Spanglish piece to my @paisleyinparis IG account and translating the meaning of it for my audience that I thought “Why don’t I just start a new IG feed where I don’t have to have to translate?” You know, para evitar l fatiga. Haha! ~ Anyway, I’m glad you’re here. THANK YOU for following y les garantizo que nos vamos a reir mucho juntas porque growing up, mi familia gave me lots of material to work with today.
Just a little lettering inspiration for those who have purchased my calendar templates. Don’t forget to tag me @PaisleyInParis on Instagram so I can see the pretty lettering artwork your calendar!
If you’re in need of a calendar you can customize to your needs, click on the button below. Buy these templates once, print as many as you need and stay organized for years to come.
Flourishing are the fancy swirls that you add to letters to glam them up. While mastering this technique takes LOTS of practice, we can break the process into different steps to help you become a pro one step at a time.
The best way to achieve smooth flourishing lines is to draw them quickly. The slower you draw the more “jumpy” your curves will look.
And don’t forget that it takes a few minutes to warp up your hand and lots of hours of practice under your belt for this art form to feel natural to you.
Do not feel discouraged if you don’t like what you see at first. It gets better, I promise!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and mention me in your caption so I can see your work. I still have a lot to learn, so let’s share our work and encourage one another.
You can also sign up for my newsletter to receive occasional lettering tips and product updates directly to your email inbox.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that colorful digital lettering is my jam. What you might not realize is that I’m actually a pen hoarder too and once in a while I like to dig into my stash and reach for my favorite pens to break the routine, create something some fun and horrible. Yes, I said horrible. It’s like when you exercise regularly by running miles and miles a day. It’s not easy to go into the gym and lift some heavy weights all of a sudden. Your body is not used to it. Same with lettering. Once you start creating great artwork with the tools you’ve mastered (in my case, the iPad Pro), it’s almost like starting all over again when you try new pens.
As you can see in this video, when it comes to real brush lettering, I totally suck at it – ha! In this video, I used the Pentel Brush Pen which allows me to create these raw, crazy-looking strokes. I love it! And boy do I see room for improvement, but that’s where the fun comes in. The fun doesn’t come from mastery, it comes from the journey to mastery.
I purchased my pen on Amazon so I’ve included my affiliate link for your convenience. However, I have also found similar pens at Michael’s so you can always check there if you’re out and about.
Now tell me in the comments below, what are some of your favorite lettering tools?
Just sharing a few lettering tips to help you get started with my new 2019 Calendar Template & Planner Set. The printable set includes three PDF files with:
As an artist I always enjoy seeing other people’s creative process. If you’re like me, check out this postcard I drew for my sister’s new pup welcoming him into the family. It will be sent on behalf of my own dog, Paisley. ❤️
Below is the video I posted on Facebook sharing my creative process. Hope it inspires you to pick up a pen and draw.
Hi - I'm Dio!
Spanglish Lettering Artist
I am often asked what tools I use to create my work, so I’ve incorporated Amazon affiliate links in my posts to products I like, use and recommend. This means that if you click and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission paid for by Amazon, not the customer.
Please note that anything marked with an asterisk (*) indicates an affiliate link.
List of products I use & trust: