Adventures in Online Learning Part 2: Actually, I meant “Hand Lettering”

Hello and welcome back to Adventures in Online Learning Part 2! In Part 1, I put forth my intention to become a calligrapher and to create beautiful works of art with my pen. In Part 2, you will observe me becoming ever more grateful for a day job that doesn’t require rulers or precision. Let us begin.

Step 1: Figure out what it is actually called.

After running few different searches on Pinterest, I realized that the skill I wanted to acquire is not, in fact, calligraphy, but “hand-lettering.” Calligraphy is used to write blocks of text, hand-lettering is making words into art. I did read a few calligraphy tutorials and watched a few YouTube videos on handwriting starring an adorable woman who reminds me of my 3rd grade teacher, but neither of these was quite what I wanted.

Step 2: Find a good source.

A search for “hand-lettering” led me to some video tutorials by YouTuber MadeByMarzipan, starting with Intro to Hand Lettering. I also enjoyed the sequel, Hand Lettering Step by Step and a special feature, Accents. Honestly, I didn’t search very much after finding this one series that I liked – there was plenty in these three videos for me to start working on.

Step 3: Find a quote.

This turned out to be harder than anticipated. I knew, above all, that I wanted something short, and not too sweet or serious. After an embarrassingly extended period of time skimming the “Quotes” category on Pinterest, I decided upon the winner:


Lighthearted, sassy, and best of all, short. Perfect.

Step 4: Get Things Done

Following the steps demonstrated by my new friend MadeByMarzipan, I began my project. First I sketched out the quote and started planning the layout. Then, I played around with fonts. When I had an idea of what I wanted, I started sketching the final product with pencil. When I was satisfied with the final look, I traced over the writing with a fine point Sharpie pen.



And here is a video! I couldn’t figure out how to take a video of myself using my iPhone while also drawing, so this is what you get.

So, not perfect, but not terrible. I can see why MadeByMarzipan suggested using certain types of pens and paper. I think she must be sponsored by the company that made hers, because she kept mentioning them, but I admit it was a challenge to keep my lines neat and smooth while using a Sharpie pen on plain old cardstock. Unless that is just evidence of poor fine motor control on my part? But maybe with some practice that will improve. Growth mindset, right?

Step 5: Concluding Thoughts and Next Steps

I found Pinterest and YouTube videos to be the most useful resources. The video tutorials were perfect because I could see the process as it developed, and all of the micro-steps in between. Hearing MadeByMarzipan explain what she was doing as she did it was also very helpful.

Next time, I am planning to explore some other resources. There are hundreds more YouTube tutorials I could look through, and maybe I can find a forum with advice about how to choose different pen and paper types, and experimenting with computer editing and color. Also, I would be interested in finding an artist with a less “cutesy” style than MadeByMarzipan. Her art was lovely, of course, but not quite the style that I would want to hang on my own wall. But overall, I think this was a pretty good start to my new skill!



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