50 Nuggets Of Wisdom from Lettering & Calligraphy Artists and Creative Businesses- PART 2

50 Nuggets Of Wisdom from Lettering & Calligraphy Artists and Creative Businesses- PART 2



hey and welcome back to part two of this series where I'm bringing you back some gold nuggets from all of my past interviews in this series if you missed last week's video we went through episodes one to 25 and I gave you a gold nugget from each of those and today I'm gonna go 26 250 let's jump right in and check out all of these gold nuggets so I actually did a style sheet before I even launched my company and the whole goal was again to establish the brand but also to meet a bunch of vendors and to tell them like hey this is what it's like working with me this is my skill set and what I'm able to do if you ever feel like this is a great fit maybe you think of me and I ended up getting I think five or six weddings directly because like right away because of that style shoot just because of working with those vendors they walked away saying you know Kate was professional she had really good design style we enjoyed working with her and we think she'd be a good fit for our couple that we're working with so we're gonna recommend that they reach out to her so failing and making mistakes is totally part of the process and I truly believe that fail failing is like that is a necessary key ingredient in building out your life and in building out success again whatever if success is to you and it building on your business it would be like trying to make a cake and forgetting to put in flour if you know and for making a gluten-free cake then I'm not sure like what you would use is substitute flour but the idea being that like failing and making mistakes is such a key ingredient to your overall success that if you try your hardest to avoid failing and to avoid making mistakes then you're literally avoiding succeeding because you cannot grow without learning and learning we've learned the best and the most through trial and error and even you know if price is the reason that people aren't booking you if style is the reason that people aren't booking you etc that just means they're not your clients it's not personal it's not offensive it doesn't upset me but I want to decrease the amount of time I'm spending creating quotes for them emailing back and forth with them etc so I want to decrease the number of those leads that are coming in so you know when I when I go through this and I did these last ten and was like okay you know six of them didn't book most of which were on price maybe I can do something better to qualify them up front on price so maybe I can put something on my website that is more obvious that talks about general price ranges for my products maybe I could create a pricing guide and make that downloadable on my website maybe I could in that email where I follow up with more information I could you know mention my average price range and things like that so so no matter what your reasons for not booking them it's not your fault it's not a bad thing that people aren't booking you that just means they're not your clients but you kind of do want to work on decreasing the number of those people that are coming in so that you're not wasting time and they're not wasting time either when I embellish my letters it always has a purpose I don't just embellish my my letters for the sake of embellishing to me it always depends on the composition what the composition calls for what what is the theme what is the the the goal for that entire composition and with that I think of the different embellishments like something that will you know make it look more cohesive and it goes well together not just because it's aesthetically pleasing but it's also serving its purpose the importance of finding out a keyword that's way more focused and not so general so if I'm trying to rank for the term calligraphy I'm competing against an entire world of calligraphers people who had websites since the first day that could possibly get a website who've been doing calligraphy for 25 or 30 years and they've already got tons of content on their site like the age of a domain matters a lot for SEO so am I gonna win as calligraphy being my keyword not really so something I really tend to focus focus on is ranking for Toronto calligrapher I do like these two paints because there right out of the – but you if you have extra on your palate you can let them dry on your palate andrey wet them later so that's the exact same thing as those dried palate paints they're basically dried paint that comes in a puck that you add water to so the only thing that you'd have to do is swirl around your brush on the palate a little bit more to get the pigment enough pigment on your brush so it takes a little bit more effort to get a deeper color I find just because you really just have to swirl in the water and rewedding can apply where this is very very saturated out of the tube you could always switch platforms always I mean like depending on your hunt it might be a big pain in the butt but like you can always you start with square root space now and in I don't know four months like you know what I'm really needing those WordPress functionality or you know what I really want to focus on selling things online switch platforms you are not letting food into one I mean I know that like this whole website platform thing can be super overwhelming but it makes me feel better you never like stuck in concrete with whichever solution that you choose typically I'll find them so I'll offer them like hand lettering for envelopes and if they decide to go for it and yeah I will call on some of my click with your friends and have them or have them do it so I then without in mind I know I have to order a lot more envelopes just in case you know there's any mistakes usually it's like 15% that most of a mask or a little yes they need to have at least 15 extra you're doing a hundred kind of thing and fixing mistakes when we're talking about murals specifically say you made a huge mistake on on a you're painting a brick wall or something with actual indoor wall paint how the heck do you fix that so there's a couple with phase one is to sand it off but actually it's usually not too hard so like if I'm if I've got a base coat of paint and it's blue and I'm painting white letters on it and I spill white all you need is that base coat of blue just cover it up it's actually really easy like you know sometimes people as long as it's not chunky like if like you spilled keeping and it's off the wall then you need to sand it off or scrape it off somehow but if you got your base coat you're pretty much set it would be curious though to see how you're presenting your coats you know are you just saying it's gonna be a hundred and fifty dollars or are you kind of walking them through your process in coming to that price you know like I would recommend in that example that you actually spell out okay my rate for setting up the design for your seating chart is fifty dollars and my rate per name is one dollar in this particular style like really spell it out don't get into your hourly rate they don't need to know that but what they what you need to do is educate them give them some indication about the time that it's going to take you and the effort and you know sometimes you want to go a little go the extra mile and describe you know if we're gonna go with this style over you know cursive instead of rock letters or maybe the size of the wedding chart has something to do with your pricing like really go overboard and describing what you're offering for that I think when it comes to social media you should you should post a product photo you should post a few product photos in a row but then I feel like every third or fourth photo should either be like a personal photo or at least the caption the copy should be personal of some something real yeah yes you need to be sharing word so if you're just not like here's a product here's a product here's a product buy my stuff right like no one no one feels a connection to that okay so how can I improve those things that I don't like the look of and that I you know I know that there's got to be a way to make that better and then looking at things that you maybe do naturally like maybe your letters are all really really close together or maybe they're all really really far apart and thinking of like okay how can I turn that into an element of my style so like maybe you just have like a really elongated like very like wispy long style then if your letters are all really naturally far so it's kind of like trying to figure out what what's inherent and like positive and cool and can be like turned into something stylistic and what is you know a mistake yeah is instead of rolling all these lines you can actually just put washi tape like get really thin washi tape put those as all the dividers and then you get that really beautiful moment at the end when it's dry and you can just peel it all off sleep it sounds fine but I've never shied away from reaching out to people and just being like hey I came across your work and I really like it and maybe we can collaborate one day or ivory I want to get into a lot more murals and so I have reached out to muralists in the area being like hey if you have a project and you just need like an assistant I'd love to come and learn and to be honest I've never gotten any responses from those people and I understand that Ottawa is not a big place and not everybody has the community over competition mentality in mind and that's their right they don't need to be nice to me for no reason but reaching out to people and being true about the intentions and I started up said like I want to learn from you because I want to you know start doing these for myself so don't be fake and don't try to weasel your way don't take advantage of people but collaborations yeah just don't be shy the tip that I will recommend is a magic eraser a lot of people that I've talked to you you know they'll use their board they'll get frustrated because they will have written on it and then they can't change it you know welcome to our kitchen is permanently on their board even if they've moved it to their office so the magic eraser is great because it's it's meant to remove scuff marks from hate and chalkboard paint is paint I find going on a platform that's not Instagram Pinterest is my favorite I find it's more personal you can make boards that are hidden so you're not making it for anybody else and just the fact that you can pin things for yourself that inspire you having the pressure people seeing it that will spark something in me like I know I have well I'm telling people no but I have a board that's like it's called drawing and I post things that I could potentially draw so when I do get that spark to draw for myself again I know that's there and I can go back and just see things that inspire me so the difference between gouache and watercolor is that gouache is just gonna have this really opaque finish I like it because the colors are gonna be bold and vibrant and it's really easy to layer and produce these beautiful florals we always recommend that you paint your first mural or first couple murals do it for free as a learning experience for either not in profit a school or just in your house not for like a client that you can end up charging money for so if you know what you want to accomplish then you can reverse-engineer it and have small little steps each day and my big focus instead of feeling like you have to climb Mount Everest overnight you know you can just hit one little milestone checkpoint as you go and that's the same thing as doing one big thing each day or you don't have to feel so stressed out to eat the whole extra-large pizza in one bite just take one bite in one slice at a time I'm a pizza guy so that might that might resonate but yeah I plan one thing each day one two three things and it's a successful day if I showed up and I knocked out one thing each day whether there's lots of different ways that you can clean your nibs some people I you can do soap and water just kind of scrub with an old toothbrush or you can you can even use your hands I use a lazy method and I just dip it into the ink and clean it dip it and clean it dip it and clean it just like I'm doing now until the ink sticks a little more fully wavy edges I'm going to add a thicker line one thing that I've learned just from years of drawing is one way to make your drawings look a lot more realistic is actually the contrast so having really white lights and really black blacks makes a photo just pop all that much more make it a lot more interesting to look at so even just adding this darker line doesn't really serve any other purpose other than adding a little bit more contrast between the different elements here so you can see here now this is a much more central piece of the flower that sort of stands on its own I'm gonna do the same thing here against the edges all of the individual petals I'm going to go around this petal here and I'm going to do it around every petal here on this flower and this one I'm a left-handed calligrapher and you can use both a straight or an oblique but for me I actually switched from a straight holder straight holders look more like this where it just looks like your nib can just go right into the straight holder the oblique holder actually helps you to stay on slant which has been very helpful for me and even as a lefty I use a right oblique holder I just turned my paper 90 degrees to the right so that I don't you know I don't butt into smearing and I still see my letters really clearly so one of my tips that I like to do when I'm lettering on around surfaces you soft with the bottom can I use the tracers on the side is floral foam floral foam is an awesome thing to have at all times I buy like a whole bunch at like the dollar store it's not expensive you can find them in like floral floral shops and things like that too the reason why floral foam is so great is because you can mold this to almost any shape just by pressing pressing on it so what I like to do is I like to use it and then if I was lettering a lemon or an apple or anything or ornaments during Christmastime that one's like a really popular one I would kind of just use it and I would create like a little dip within the floral foam so I just press it in so as you can see like that if you don't have that you can either use washi tape or even use your actual laser level to mark the middle so what I would do is kind of measure here these are a seven plus envelopes so they're a little bit bigger than seven and a half inches so we're going to be somewhere around three and the recorders so I might put a little washi tape right here just to mark the middle and sometimes I put it down at the bottom well so when I ask people to make a straight line I ask them to touch the top and the bottom line and I've just made a mistake so I'm I'm going to I've stopped and I'm going to start again because if you continue the mistake then you're reinforcing in your mind that that mistake is okay and that's it for the 50 nuggets of wisdom from all of my past interviewees I hope you enjoyed this and I cannot wait to do 50 more in the future thanks for watching

4 Comments

  • Maria Imran says:

    Loveeee

  • Maria Imran says:

    Awesomeness.

  • Sharon Russell says:

    Being a relative newer viewer to your channel makes these highlights very helpful. I will be going back and watching those that particularly affect my studio work. BTW, have I told you this channel is awesome for those of us who have been lettering for many years. Thanks.

  • Sarah Hahn says:

    This compilation you've put together is awesome! And time saving for us, I don't have to hunt for a highlight 🙂 I'll have to think about favorite takeaway. ….maybe the overall excitement and encouragement to just go out there and do it. So many stories of just doing it and growing 🙂

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