8 Lettering Artists To Follow On Instagram

Pinterest

Lettering Artists to Follow on Instagram via Happy Hands Project

Instagram has been an important part of my journey in calligraphy and lettering. I’d say I’m quite a visual person — I get inspired by the things I see. The lettering and calligraphy community on Insta is like one big happy family, and when one is stuck in a rut, there’s always someone out there who’s ready to help. I’ve personally met some really inspiring people over there (if you’re reading this, hi!) and it was awesome.

For those of you looking for inspiration on social media, look no further. Here, I’ve compiled 8 up-and-coming lettering artists from different parts of the globe to inspire the handlettering lover in you!

Indonesia
@anggiiveeLettering Artist Anggiivee via Happy Hands Project

 Spain
@gartz_
Lettering Artist gartz_ via Happy Hands Project

Russia
@oh_letters
Lettering Artist oh_letters via Happy Hands Project

Australia
@letterhstudio
Lettering Artist letterhstudio via Happy Hands Project

USA
@jaekimdesigns
Lettering Artist jaekimdesigns via Happy Hands Project

USA
@artbyhal
Lettering Artist artbyhal via Happy Hands Project

Belarus
@dimaphew
Lettering Artist dimaphew via Happy Hands Project

United Kingdom
@yourgrayce
Lettering Artist yourgrayce via Happy Hands Project

 

My Calligraphy Oblique Holder Collection (so far)

Pinterest

Calligraphy Oblique Holders via Happy Hands Project

When I started with calligraphy, I was writing with a straight wooden holder. I became familiar with the oblique when I learned Copperplate with Eleanor Winters, and I never used a straight one since then. Because Copperplate needs to strictly follow the 55-degree angle, the oblique pen holder has helped me maintain a consistent angle.

After using a Speedball for some time, I felt that I was ready to have a custom pen made. It was kind of like a coming-of-age moment (in calligraphy years). I had an ergonomic one made by Heber Miranda and it’s still by far one of my favourites because it’s lightweight and has a Bullock-style flange that’s perfect for someone who uses various kinds of nibs.

I received one comment on Instagram asking me why I have quite a number of holders when they all work the same way. Well… it’s kind of like shoes. You may have several strappy high heels, but they come in different colours and each pair fits your feet differently. They’re all strappy high heels but one pair is used for a particular dress style, and some of them won’t look nice with jeans. I could go on and on but well, you get the picture. So I guess it’s the same with my holders! I have ones with Bullock-style flanges, and I have a couple of ergonomic ones, so depending on the nib — and my mood — I would reach for one that would be best suited for the job. Oh, and I have a leather pen roll that fits 18 or so pens so I want to fill it to the brim.

If you’re curious, here are the oblique holders from my collection so far:

1 :: The Curious Artisan, Philippines (I wrote a review here)
2 :: MP Obliques, Turkey
3 :: Yoke Pen Co, USA
4 :: Heber Miranda, USA
5 :: ObliquePen.ru, Russia
6 :: The Curious Artisan, Philippines
7 :: Huy Hoang Dao, Vietnam
8 :: Bukvawood, Russia
9 :: Unique Obliques, USA

I have one more pen that I have yet to reveal, and it deserves its very own blog post because it’s extremely special. I’ll update you all next month, but in the meantime, I hope you liked reading about my modest collection. If you have a pen maker in mind, let me know in the comments so I and the lovely readers can check their work out!

Mixing Your Own White Gouache

Pinterest

Mixing Your Own Gouache via Happy Hands Project

I remember the time when I was on my diligent quest for the perfect white ink. I wanted something opaque, yet thin enough to flow through a variety of nibs. At some point I thought I’ve found it — I was happy with the PH Martins Pen White. It could be the stuffy weather here in Singapore, or it could be the way I was storing my inks (like all over the place… oops), but every time I pick up the bottle and open it, I had to add a few drops of water to thin the ink out. If I have to add water every single time, then it’s not so perfect after all, isn’t it?

Then I had to mix some custom ink colours for a project. Before I used gouache, I was using pre-mixed inks in various colours (note: I wouldn’t recommend that at all). Aside from the fact that I had to buy a bottle of ink for every colour I need, the pre-mixed inks just can’t do the job. They’re too watery (yes, I’m talking about you, Daler Rowney Calli!).

Mixing Your Own Gouache via Happy Hands Project

During that time, I’ve heard about calligraphers mixing their own gouache. It was intimidating, and I thought I had to leave that to the pros. But I’m glad I experimented! As with all experiments, the first try wasn’t as good. But… BUT! I got better with it, and I realised it’s not that difficult at all.

So now I mix my own white ink using gouache. What you’ll need is pretty simple actually:

:: tube of white gouache (I use Daler Rowney Designer Gouache)
:: plastic pipette
:: gum arabic powder (optional, I use Jacquard)
:: tap water
:: ink jar

Ok, so what do we do now? Before we mix everything up, let me give you some background about gum arabic. There is liquid gum arabic, and there’s powder. I use powder and dissolve it in warm tap water — I usually mix 1 part powder to 3 parts water, stir it and keep it in a small plastic jar for multiple uses. Warm water dissolves the powder easily and does not result in a clumpy mess. Gum arabic is basically a binder that controls viscosity and does a great job in preventing feathering. It’s optional because mixing gouache and water alone produces great results as well, depending on the paper used.

Mixing Your Own Gouache via Happy Hands Project

Mixing your own gouache is trial-and-error, and you’ll get better the more often you do this (pretty much like calligraphy!). So fill your jar with some white gouache, add a few drops of your gum arabic mixture, and a few drops of water. Mix it well and add a few drops of water until you reach the right consistency. Test it with your nib to see if your ink flows. If not, then it’s still too thick. Just keep on adding drops of water and testing till you get the consistency that works well for you.

And there you have it — solid white ink that’s better than store-bought ones! What’s your favourite white ink? Let me know in the comments!

 

Boracay Wedding Invitations: Aiza and Melvin

Pinterest

I love designing destination wedding invites, specially Boracay Island wedding invitations. It usually has a very carefree feel, and this invite for Aiza and Melvin is no different.

This is a combination of watercolour washes, illustrations and calligraphy using very soft hues that displayed a sweet, relaxed vibe. We started out with the Save the Date cards with a hand-illustrated ‘relationship timeline’ where I painted some landmarks close to the couple’s hearts — think Japan’s Mount Fuji for instance (where he proposed! Insert hearts here).

Once the Save the Dates were out, I then worked with the bride on the wedding logo which will appear on the main invite card. More painting ensued, including a map of Boracay Island (that was FUN, I’m telling ya). What I love about this invitation suite is how  pointed pen calligraphy, watercolours and illustrations in ink complemented each other beautifully.

Here are photos from Aiza and Melvin’s wedding… enjoy!
Photography: Niceprint Photography
Venue: Asya Premiere Suites, Boracay Island

Boracay Calligraphy Wedding Invitations via Happy Hands Project

Boracay Calligraphy Wedding Invitations via Happy Hands Project

 

Aiza-Melvin-Wedding-via-Happy-Hands-Project-3

Boracay Calligraphy Wedding Invitations via Happy Hands Project

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 31 |