Sue Ko / Blog  / personal  / How I started brush lettering

How I started brush lettering

My lettering started with playing around with digitising my handwriting, and incorporating it into my pocket page digital designs. I would use whatever black pen I had lying around and just wrote the same words over and over again.

When Kal Barteski launched her Life Scripted course in 2014, I became quickly obsessed with brush lettering. After a year of following lettering artists on Instagram and wondering how they did what they did, I purchased Kal’s course, along with a sumi brush and black gouche. Unfortunately, I was really bad at it. I didn’t finish the lessons and took a break from lettering for awhile.

I became disheartened by my efforts. My youngest said to me one night, “Mummy, you’re just sad because you don’t believe in yourself.” He could tell I was feeling discouraged. He’s a bit of a creative and liked to watch me write. I was amazed by his insight!

That night, I scripted his words over, and over, and over again. Little does he know, he motivated me to persevere.

I started to watch a lot of process videos on YouTube and Instagram. My favourites were Random Olive‘s Instagram videos (@randomolive) and K Werner Design on YouTube.

If you check out the photos for this post, you’ll see in Nov 2015, I set myself the challenge to script every single day for a month, and posted my practice on Instagram. I jumped on Pinterest and found quotes and song lyrics that I liked, and scripted a new one daily. I kept all my lettering in a spiral bound art book, and I’m so glad I did. It’s fun to see how my writing style evolved over the 30 days, and how it’s evolved since then.

The daily scripting challenge was so great to do. In that short time, I saw improvements in my letter formations and I became more comfortable with my brushes. Slowly, I found my own style that came naturally to me.

I highly recommend watching as many process videos and tutorials as you can, AND commit to a regular daily practice. Skillshare is also great and has loads of brush lettering classes.