Monday, November 15, 2010

Hand lettering by Alex Savakis

Remember that discussion we had the other day about leaping?  Well I took a little leap last week and I'd like to tell you about it.

Ever since I began creating my journal pages, I have wanted to include hand lettering along with my other hand drawn elements, but I have not been confident in my lettering skills.  That is something that I think is about to change and it's all thanks to an artist named Alex Savakis.

Last week, I visited Savakis's blog, Handlettering Cite, after reading about it at Oh So Beautiful Paper.  This is just a small sampling of the beautiful words I found there:

Not only does Savakis post his own stunning hand lettered pieces, but he links to other lettering artists, gives his readers a peek into the work and processes of those artists, and encourages readers to submit their own designs.

I left a comment on a particularly fitting quote by Van Gogh that he'd lettered -- "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." -- and he invited me to submit a design.  Just like that.  And I thought, yeah, I'd really like to do that.  Except that I have zero hand lettering experience and probably an equal amount of skill in that regard.

I spent all of my spare time over the next two days -- two days -- drawing on my pen tablet; starting with cursive handwriting, discarding it, and ultimately deciding on a super simple (and much neater) variation of my own printing.  Then, not entirely sure that it was a good idea, I sent it off to Savakis with an email describing my beginner status and welcoming any and all words of advice.

You know when you hit that send button and then you think what, on earth, did I just do?  Well, he posted it.  But better than that, he sent me the most gracious email in reply with advice and some concrete starter tips and words of encouragement that made me feel like this was a good leap after all. 

Thank you, Alex Savakis.

To see more of Savakis's work, check out his website


  1. HAPPY Monday! I'm SO glad you went out on that limb, lettered, and submitted. Hooray for you!!! Still love the Colette quote you chose. However, this time was hardly a foolish endeavor but definitely full of enthusiasm!

  2. What a wonderful job you did -- thank you for sharing! It's inspiring to see someone else taking a chance...

  3. I love your lettering! Looks perfect to me! (And makes me want to pick up my doodling habit again!! :p)

  4. It's beautiful! Great job! I'd love to have really "cool" handwriting/printing. Maybe I should look into this!

  5. It's awesome, Christie, great job!

  6. Yay for you...congratulations! It looks terrific - you CAN do it!

  7. Ooo, Christie, that's really GOOD! You did so awesome! Truly! And, I have to tell, I just fell in love with that quote you mentioned: "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." This kind of describes a lot of what I like to do -- dabbling in many crafty things -- because I want to try my hand at it. I like to say I'm a Jill-of-All-Trades, Mistress of None. And ... Van Gogh is my favorite painter. I can't believe I've never heard that quote before. Yay, thank you!

    (Oh, and a side note about lettering. A blog I read that's mostly about handmade cards, the owner does beautiful lettering on her cards, and she says she looks at many different fonts and tries to duplicate them, just by practicing. I've tried it to, a little, and it's a great source of inspiration. Just my two cents.)

    Gabby (

  8. AWESOME! I love your lettering sample and it doesn't look the slightest bit beginner-ish to me!
    I, too, wish I had nice lettering and i often feel frustrated at my lack.
    I'm so glad that your 'leap' had such positive results and that you shared about it here with us. This was a very inspiring and uplifting post to read!
    I look forward to seeing hand lettering in your journal pages (or in any other way) when the time feels right for you :)

  9. Thanks Scribbler, Hungry Crafter, Meg, Laura, Cate, Nancy, Amy K, Gabby and Liberty!

    I plan to practice, practice, practice and hopefully add some hand lettered elements soon. Hmmm, maybe on the next giveaway page. It's been a while.


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