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Monday, November 13, 2017

Say Hello to Shelly from Letters by Shells!

I started learning to hand letter earlier this year thanks to Anna and I’ve just become obsessed with looking at other people’s progress and works on Instagram and one of those people is Shelly from Letters by Shells! She’s amazing guys and one of the people I look up to so I was super thrilled when she agreed to answer a few questions of mine!

Adria: Hi Shelly! Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of my questions! How are things in your corner of the world? I hope you don’t mind me jumping right on into the questions and I hope you’ll feel free to ask a few of your own.
Shelly: Hi Adria! Thank you again for interviewing me today I am so honored! Life is always amazing and I am enjoying the process of learning and being present. Let’s get started!

Lettering by Shelly @lettersbyshells
Adria: I just started learning how to hand letter back in January after an online friend of mine did a post about how she was learning. I’m curious, how did you get into it and how long have you been hand lettering?
Shelly: That is so awesome! I get so happy when I hear other people who want to learn the beauty of lettering! I discovered Modern Brush Lettering back in 2015. I have always had a love for typography and enjoyed writing different Art Deco styles before. When I first discovered this art, I thought it would be neat to combine my life motto, which is promoting positivity with my hand lettering. I always enjoyed writing positive quotes to my friends & family members and wanted to personalize these messages through my lettering.

Adria: What resources (sites, people, books etc) were most helpful to you while you were learning?
Shelly: When I first started lettering, I really had no idea what I was doing. I did not understand the process at first. I was also unsure of what blogs or books could be the most helpful during this process. I was just eager to learn and get started. I honestly just enjoyed this process and taught myself how to get started while being inspired by many other artists on social media.

Adria: Since you’ve been hand lettering for a while now, what are your go-to pens/markers and which ones would you recommend for people who are barely learning?
Shelly: My absolute go-to brush pens would have to be the Tombow Dual Brush Pens, Tombow Fudenosuke, Crayola markers, and Pentel Fude Brush Pen! They are currently on my desk as we speak! After exploring so many different brands and testing out which ones were the easiest to use, I would have to recommend that beginners start with the Tombow Fudenosuke, Crayola markers (broad line), and Pentel Fude Brush Pen!

Adria: While you were learning, what did you find was the most challenging thing to learn? For me it was essentially re-learning how to hand write because I hadn’t written anything other than hastily scribbled grocery lists in years.
Shelly: When I first started lettering, the most challenging thing for me was understanding that the down strokes were thick lines and upstrokes were thin lines. Believe it or not, this step did not make sense to me and I kept forgetting when to transition…It all made sense about 6 months later! Hehe ;)

Adria: In your opinion, what makes hand lettering the perfect hobby?
Shelly: I love hand lettering because it’s not only therapeutic, but it’s a great way for anyone to discover their creative side. I was honestly amazed and never realized that I would be able to create these pieces on my own. Now, I am able to personalize cards, prints, and so much more! I was blown away with all the different mediums I could use when lettering. One of the greatest things I love about lettering is that you are constantly learning!

She doesn't just hand letter guys, she paints!
Adria: I admit, I was pretty intimidated when I decided I wanted to learn how to hand letter. I looked up how to begin and I just had a mini freak out moment at how much there was to learn and how many “pros” were out there. What would you say to someone who wants to learn how to hand letter but is feeling super intimidated by all there is to learn and is worried about how they’ll be received in the hand lettering community?
Shelly: I think it’s so awesome to start hand lettering with all the resources available these days! But I totally understand that getting into lettering can be quite intimidating…that’s exactly how I felt and I totally understand that! For anyone who wants to learn lettering, I would recommend that they reflect on their own goals, purpose, and really think about what they would like to do with lettering. For example, do they have goals of making cards, lettering scripture, or maybe lettering different quotes to decorate their home? Once they break it down and create an idea of what they want to do, it should all come together. Now the next thing I recommend is for them to reflect on how they typically learn? Are they a visual learner, do they learn by reading books, etc.? If they are a visual learner like me, I would recommend attending a workshop class or finding someone they are inspired by and asking them questions via email. The last bit of advice I can possibly give is to just focus on you and know that this journey is all about you!

Adria: While we’re on the subject of newbies, what is the most common question you get asked by people who want to start hand lettering?
Shelly: One of the common questions I get asked is, “what brush pens should I use to get started?” I honestly love this question because finding the right pen for you is where it all starts! I would hope that they won’t do what I did and purchase every brand of brush pens! Hehe ;)
*sheepishly raises hand*

Adria: I still consider myself a beginner and I find the motivation to keep learning by following people on Instagram and looking at their progress or even their finished projects. Is there anyone in particular that you look up to?
Shelly: I absolutely love the lettering community on Instagram because everyone is so kind and truly amazing! I find inspiration and motivation on everyone’s account I run into! I really mean that because everyone has their own style, purpose, goals, and their favorite medium they like to use! This inspires me to go out of my comfort zone and explore other ways I can create art.

Adria: I’m a new visitor to your site, Letters By Shells and you offer so many resources for beginners! I also noticed that you have Learn to Create Modern Calligraphy Lettering and Learn to Create Art Deco Lettering cards coming out on November 14. Can you tell people what they are?
Shelly: Yay, of course! My Modern Calligraphy and Art Deco cards are basically another way to compliment and elevate your lettering learning experience! They can be purchased online on Amazon, at some of your local bookstores and at some bookstores worldwide! The cards are a great reference guide, learning tool and they are travel friendly too! The tins include twenty-six uppercase letter cards and twenty-six lowercase letter cards with a few tips on tools + techniques on other cards. Each card features four to six steps of instruction for each letter on one side of the card, and an ornate example of the letter on the other side.

Adria: I also checked out your Etsy shop and saw that aside from having hand lettered prints for purchase you also have these pretty trinket dishes that are hand lettered with phrases like “Hello Gorgeous” (My favorite). How long does it take you to do something like that? I also saw that you accept custom orders, what kind of custom orders have you received in the past?
Shelly: This is a fun one! I enjoy the process of making these trinket dishes because it’s another way to explore my creative outlet. I first letter the piece or phrase, upload it to my computer, digitize the phrase, upload it to my Silhouette Studio Program, then send it to my Silhouette Cameo machine to create the vinyl. Next, I pick out the negatives once the vinyl is cut, clean my trinket dish and apply the vinyl onto it. The processing time varies, but it could take me 1-2 hours sometimes. One of my favorite custom orders I have received in the past was creating an 11”x14” sized print that had over 85 words! The process was long, but so rewarding to see the final piece! ☺

Adria: You also have some workshops coming up this month and in December. These are physical workshops in the SoCal area but for people like me who don’t live in the area is there a possibility that you’ll ever host one online?
Shelly: Absolutely! I have not announced this yet, but I will definitely be hosting online workshops sometime next year! My subscribers on my mailing list will be the first to know so definitely stay tuned for that! ☺

Adria: Shelly, I think I’ve hogged enough of your time and I can’t thank you enough for your patience. Is there anything you’d like to add or ask?
Shelly: Thank you again Adria for having me! It was such a pleasure being interviewed today! ☺ I would like to just thank everyone for their love and support! I am so amazed by everyone and this entire journey has been a true blessing. I am forever thankful for everyone! Always stay awesome! ☺

Guys go give Shelly a follow on Instagram, she has some of the most eye catching hand lettering designs out there and if you're really into hand lettering be sure to buy one or both of Shelly's awesome lettering cards! I have them on my Christmas list but I'm sure I'll find someway to buy them before then!

Find Shelly:
Letters By Shells l Facebook l Pinterest l Instagram l YouTube l Etsy Shop

* Buy Learn to Create Modern Calligraphy Lettering:
Amazon l

* Buy Learn to Create Art Deco Lettering :
Amazon l

* Using the purchase links on this blog allows me to see a small percentage of the sale. It will help sponsor future giveaways. You can read the full disclosure OVER HERE

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