Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Sign Painting Inspired Photo Backdrop

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Sometimes I enthusiastically say, “Yes!” to a project before understanding the scale. It’s a problem I get myself into constantly. As much as these decisions cost me in time, I benefit in learning new things: new methods, techniques and at the very least when I should say, “no.”

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AlixMegan and I were asked to head up a photo booth for Alt Summit this year. After mulling through several ideas, our theme was b&w pre-internet, we settled on some typographic backdrop for the photo booth for Alt Summit (summer 2015). It took until the 11th hour to think of what words to use.

I’m no copy editor. Coming up with copy is difficult for me. I can make it beautiful, but figuring out what to write can be like pulling teeth for me. It took several conversations as a team and an hour long phone call with my mom. I figured it would make the most sense to do onomatopoeias. Since it’s B&W pre-internet (which I thought was kind of vague) I started with the sounds you would hear from pre-internet technology like the “click and clack” from a typewriter. Then it grew from there to include any onomatopoeia that I could think of. I didn’t want to repeat the words too many times.

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Initially I had thought about inspirational words or phrases, but we didn’t want readability to be an issue. The short words turned out to be great.

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This sign ended up being roughly 9′ wide and 4′ tall. Doing something this large isn’t typical of my day-to-day work. Also, sign painting and lettering isn’t something that I do often. I was more than a bit out of my comfort zone here. Between that and the fact that the only space I could complete the sign was the kitchen area, stress levels were at an all-time high. My stress always sky-rockets around Alt Summit. So Chris knew he needed to steer clear. The kids quickly learned that lesson after an embarrassing amount of yelling, “GET OUT!! I can’t have you touching the paper!!”

I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking they live in a mausoleum, but I also can’t have their sticky otter pop hands anywhere close to the paper. My paranoia mounted the further along I got. Stakes were escalating, I couldn’t start over!

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In my efforts to keep Pen and Felix out of trouble and my precious paper out of harm’s way, I barricaded the kitchen off with various chairs and a car seat. Chris got a kick out of it. That buffer saved my bacon a couple of times by keeping Felix from barreling through the room on his way outside.

At one point Alix came over to help fill in words with her two littles in tow. 5 kids under the age of 7 made for some interesting work time. Her kids were so good at staying clear of the paper and paint. Mine, not so much.

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The event went well, but as we were setting up for the backdrop I noticed that we had an awkward blank space on the top left corner of the backdrop. I made it a point to have my art supplies with me so that I could letter names for people (that was so fun!). So it was no big deal to whip out the white paint and brush and get to work on a couple extra pieces to fill out the negative space.

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If you look carefully, you’ll see that the “alt.” logo, arrow and “BAM” are a slightly different white. I had a different white, a teeny brush and I had to do it while the backdrop was hanging so I didn’t have a hard surface to work on. It certainly wasn’t my best work, but I was able to fill in the blank and make it look like it was supposed to be there.

I may be biased, but we rocked the photobooth. I’m glad I said yes to this project and got out of my comfort zone.

Project materials:

A Simple Guide to Brush Markers

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I’ve had so much fun traveling the last few months. It’s been amazing to be able to go to places I’ve never been before (more places to come soon, I just have to complete a couple things first! Charlotte, NYC and Austin are up on my list!). It’s been wonderful to be able to travel, meet so many creative people and share my love for calligraphy with those I meet.

While at the Inspired Conference in April, I contacted 3 generous companies that provided each attendee with brush markers. Me personally, rad pens and markers are the best kind of swag ever.

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I use these markers all the time (and a few others, see below). And get asked constantly what kind of pen/marker I’m using. So here you go. Here’s what I use.

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You can expect to see a full-fledged class coming soon! But for now, you may as well stock up on some fun pens while you wait. Here are more of my go-to brush markers:

 

Each marker has its own personality and works well on different surfaces. I used the Sakura pigma brush marker to sign my name on the side of a Giovanni’s food truck while in Hawaii. I have a smattering of markers and pens with me at any given time. And many cases it’s come in handy to be able to write on just about any surface at just about any scale.

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If lettering isn’t your thing, try using any of these awesome markers for illustrating! Even the most crude drawings look awesome with line-variation. The above I drew for a lesson I taught at church about taking care of our bodies. And of course doughnuts cookies and chocolate had to make an appearance on the handout. :) All things in moderation, right?

If you’d like to learn more about brush calligraphy and when my class goes live, sign up through the form below. Your information is never shared with third parties.

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*All opinions are my own. Affiliate links are used to help support my crafting addiction. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Every Time I Practice. . .

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Only 2 spots left for The Little Retreats by Jane Calligraphy workshop in Orem! February 11, 2015. See event listing for more details. We’ll have an evening of amazing food, craftiness and best of all Calligraphy! This workshop is geared toward beginners. Beginning/intermediate calligraphers welcome, though!

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Can’t attend? Try my online class. We have a ton of fun online as well (minus the tasty food, though ;)). Sign up for the online class here.

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Photos by Becky Kimball. 

The Pressure of Expressing Thanks

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Since before the arrival of Miss Juniper, we’ve had so many friends, family members and neighbors lend a helping hand for our little family. It’s been a real blessing to have such great support. A considerable amount of it is from the great support network of my church. It’s incredible. I couldn’t imagine welcoming a new baby without that.

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With all of the help, I’ve tried so hard to stay on top of all of the ‘Thank You’s. It’s hard sometimes! Why would a self-proclaimed calligrapher have a hard time doing that? I tell you why –

For some reason, I put pressure on myself that if I don’t bust out the calligraphy pens or if I (heaven forbid) use a thank you that someone else designed the sentiment is cheapened. It’s like I’m cheating or trying passing off someone else’s work as my own if I use a store-bought card. Also if I use the same card twice.

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I’m not trying to complain. These thoughts are completely ridiculous, if you ask me. But no less real. Does anyone else suffer from the same psychosis?

I have found a solution to help me send those much-deserved ‘Thank You’s:

  • Always have a variety of colored envelopes and blank flat cards on-hand so I can mix and match as I choose.
  • Always have a stockpile of stamps (which reminds me, I need to order more!)
  • Keep a list of owed ‘Thank You’s at my desk so when I have a spare moment for practice work, I can work through the list.

I didn’t implement these things until about July of this year. And I’m still working out the kinks in the process. If I were smarter, I would have a pile of hand-lettered cards like you see above already completed. All I’d have to do is write a note on the back. Maybe I’ll get on that bandwagon in the next few months. Change happens so slowly around my neck of the woods. :)

So how do you make sure those ‘Thank You’s get out?

Random Calligraphy Thoughts

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It wasn’t until September 2009 that I discovered calligraphy was part of my personal history. I’ve always loved letters; finding out that my great-great grandfather was a sign painter in Ogden, Utah made me love them more. It was like I was destined to love calligraphy. I can’t describe how perfectly timed that gift was. It was like God was telling me that calligraphy was what I was meant to do. It gave me more direction in my life.

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Since getting more involved in calligraphy, I’ve felt even more validated that I’m supposed to be here. Over the summer I attended a calligraphy conference. Spending a week with some of the world’s most amazing calligraphers was incredible and eye-opening.

In art school, I felt like I was somewhat of an outcast because I was in the strange gap between commercial and fine art. My professors nearly failed my BFA final show because it was “too commercial”. It bothered me that they couldn’t see that commercial art can be fine art.

I feel like calligraphy strikes that harmonious balance. The people in the calligraphy community get it, too. There’s a shared love for modern and traditional, commercial and fine art, formal and casual. I love that.

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Here’s a little birthday card I made for my cousin. It’s no fine art piece, but it required the creative process in order to complete. And isn’t that what creating art is about at the end of the day?

What art will you be creating?

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