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Monday, February 26, 2018

Interview with: Amy Latta of Amy Latta Creations

Adria: Hi! Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of my questions! I just started learning how to hand letter over a year ago and I love it! It’s one of the hottest hobbies today and I was wondering, how did you get into it and how long have you been hand lettering?
Amy: I started lettering in October of 2015. I had started seeing pretty lettered quotes popping up in my Instagram feed and on Pinterest, and I loved the way they looked. When I was scrolling Facebook, one day, I saw a post about a free group to join called “The Art of Hand-Lettering” that was run by artist Dawn Nicole Warnaar*. I joined the group to see what it was all about and have been lettering ever since.

*Dawn Nicole Warnaar is another hand lettering genius who has her own site, Designs by Dawn Nicole

Adria: What resources (sites, people, books etc) were most helpful to you while you were learning?
Amy: Dawn’s group was the real catalyst for me. I saw so much inspiration there, as well as on her website. For Christmas that year, I got two books, “Creative Lettering and Beyond” and, “The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering” that helped me understand the basics of the brush lettering technique as well as how to embellish and create designs. A lot of it was trial and error, and just filling sketchbook after sketchbook with practice. Practice really does make progress.

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?
Amy: For everyday lettering, my favorite has to be the Tombow Fudenosuke Soft Tip. My only complaint is that it only comes in black or the black/grey twin tip. If you want a similar size brush pen but in color, Pentel offers a Sign Pen with Brush Tip that’s pretty nice. I also love my Tombow Dual Brush Pens for color work, blending, and watercolor backgrounds. For outlining and drawing, I like the new Tombow Mono Drawing Pens or Sakura Micron Pens, which are available in different sizes: 01, 03, and 05 are the most popular and the ones I use most often.


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.
Amy: Well, as I always tell students on the blog and in my workshops, there are really two ways to do brush lettering...there’s the real technique which requires changes in pen angle and pressure to create thin and thick lines, and there’s faux calligraphy which lets you “fake it till you make it.” Faux calligraphy is easy as pie, it’s the real nitty-gritty brush technique that takes awhile to get the hang of. Learning when and where to apply and release pressure is a skill that takes time and practice to develop.

Adria: In your opinion, what makes hand lettering the perfect hobby?
Amy: Personally, I love lettering because you can use it in so many ways {cards, signs, gifts, home decor, t-shirts, etc.} and it’s also super-portable. If you have a few pens and some paper, you can letter anywhere and on just about anything!

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?
Amy: There’s a lot to learn in any hobby you want to pursue, whether it’s learning to golf or ballroom dance or quilt or letter. Just take it one step at a time. The nice thing about lettering is that you can create really beautiful things even when you only have a few basic skills...then you’ll only get better with time. I have found the hand lettering community to be incredibly supportive and encouraging, so I wouldn’t worry a bit about that part.

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?
Amy: “What if I have terrible handwriting?”
The answer to that is that you need to think of the letters as shapes to imitate rather than necessarily writing them the way you normally would.

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 you look up to in particular?
Amy: I follow tons of lettering artists on Instagram, so my feed is full of beautiful inspiration all day long!
Adria: I’m a new visitor to your site, One Artsy Mama ** and what I love is that you offer so many freebies for beginners from tutorials to practice sheets and even non-hand lettering projects for people to do. You also have a book available for people to buy, Hand lettering for Relaxation that came out this past summer. Can you tell me a little bit about it? How long did it take to put together and what can people expect if they buy it? Is it newbie friendly or just for pros?
Amy: The book is designed with beginners in mind, but can be an inspiration for experienced lettering artists too. There are 46 workshops, each designed to teach a particular skill {a font, an embellishment, etc} and each with space to practice and create a finished design. I started writing it in June of 2016 and it was released in July of this year. Readers can expect to learn a variety of skills that build on each other and to be able to relax and take some “me time” while they practice.

** As of January 2018, Amy has rebranded One Artsy Mama and it is now Amy Latta Creations! You can read the reason behind the change on her blog!

Adria: Any plans to do another hand lettering book in the future?
Amy: I’m currently writing a second book, this time designed for kids! The target release date is October 2018, just in time for the holidays!
Adria: What do you hope people gain from visiting your site because as I was looking through it, I noticed that it’s not only newbie friendly but extremely encouraging! I’m not a crafty person at all but I honestly felt like I could tackle any of those projects you have up there and NOT have the kitchen look like a paper bomb exploded everywhere.
Amy: The whole idea behind my site is that it’s “honest inspiration for everyday life”...projects that the average person can successfully do even if they don’t feel particularly crafty or creative. So many people want to create beautiful things for their homes and families but feel intimidated by Pinterest and other blogs. I want every project I share to be completely accessible and do-able to anyone who visits the site.

Adria: Amy, I think I’ve hogged enough of your time and I can’t thank you enough for your patience.

If you’re interested in learning how to hand letter, you can check out Amy’s site, Amy Latta Creations, or follow her on social media to see all the awesome work she does.

If you want to purchase one of Amy’s books, you can do so using the links below. Express Yourself: A Hand Lettering Workbook for Kids is a pre-order and won’t be out until October.

* Purchase Links:
Hand Lettering for Relaxation
Amazon l Kindle
Pre-Order Express Yourself: A Hand Lettering Workbook for Kids: Create Awesome Quotes the Fun & Easy Way!
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.

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