Speaking of serendipity, about 2 weeks ago, while I was eking away at my first hand lettering sketches all DIY style, I got an email from Skillshare announcing their “July Hand Lettering Challenge” featuring classes with the very talented Mary Kate McDevitt (I’d already started working my way through her Hand Lettering Ledger and liked her teaching style and fabulous lettering). So I signed up for the challenge!

The first class, The First Steps of Hand-Lettering: Concept to Sketch (Lettering I) was about 2 hours long and included everything from how to gather ideas for your sketch, to initial thumbnails, to some great pointers on common newbie mistakes (SO HELPFUL – THANKS MARY KATE!). Our project for the first half of the challenge was to letter one of your favorite quotes.

My First Assignment

For my first assignment, a quote, I picked a longtime favorite of mine from Samuel Beckett’s novel “Westward Ho”

“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

I shortened this to the bolded bit “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

I attached some of my initial sketches and thumbnails here. It was really helpful to think about each word or phrase as individual parts of the design before putting them together on the page. I had a really hard time deciding which way to lay the final quote out too, so the thumbnail process made it a little less intimidating.

Overall, I really enjoyed the course, especially the ability to post my own project to share and follow along with other students as they worked through the same material. Next post will include the final project!