It’s that time again where I share my favourite things of the month with you in the hopes that maybe you will give them a go to and it will improve your creative life or the way you do things even just a little, or that it’ll just bring you a little bit of joy and fun! This month I bought a few new books and took on a new lettering challenge so prepare for some reading and lettering favourites and enjoy!
Don’t Get a Job, Make a Job: How to make it as a creative graduate - Gem Barton
Now I’m not going to lie to you, I mostly bought this book because it just looked so cool with the bright yellow cover and the cute rounded corners, so yes, I may have judged a book by it’s cover, but don’t panic, the inside is just as beautiful! This book not only breaks down advice about making it outside of university, but most importantly, it provides real life experiences from creatives who have gone out and made a job for themselves. I don’t know about you, but to hear somebody else talk about how they made it and succeeded in doing what they love just encourages me that I can do that too! Even if you aren’t able to get a “conventional” job at a design agency for example, there are so many ways to pursue your passion and create a job that works for you! I am still working my way through this book, trying to take it all in and let it inspire me about what exciting creative ventures I could create for myself, and even though I’m not finished, I’ve been so motivated and inspired already! The content of this book is brilliant and the bright colours and interesting photographs make it a really fun read too! There are quite a few different books about making it after design school or as a creative graduate, but if you are going to read any, I would definitely recommend starting with this one!
Soppy - Philippa Rice
I am so in love with this book it’s ridiculous! My partner Sam and I discovered Philippa Rice’s work online a few years ago and we loved it so much. Her beautiful, adorable illustrations about the daily lives of a couple are so accurate and relatable that we were convinced that they were made about our relationship. For years we have laughed about how the girl sort of looks like me sometimes, and they do all the silly things that we do together, and Philippa became one of our favourite artists as each time we saw her work we laughed and remembered how great her illustrations are. Recently I found a wishlist of mine with her book on, and I decided to finally buy it as a surprise for Sam and when it arrived I was so happy! There were so many illustrations that I hadn’t seen before, and as Sam and I sat reading and enjoying them, we laughed and smiled even more! Now this might all sound a bit cheesy, so I’ll stop with all that, but in all honesty, the illustrations themselves are what make this book so amazing! Philippa’s red, black and white colours are so simple but so effective, and work so well with the cute style of drawing. Even if you’re not in a relationship and these comics maybe don’t relate to you as much, I would definitely still have a look at them just for the beautiful illustrations!
If you know anything about me or have followed me for a while, you’ll know that I love hand lettering so so so much! I am obsessed with trawling through instagram looking at people’s work but I mostly end up feeling sad and frustrated because I just want to be that good! I know that if I really committed to practicing, I would improve so much, but I just haven’t made the time to sit down and hone my skills, so the cycle continues. This month, a friend of mine suggested that we try the #30daysofbiblelettering challenge as a way of trying something fun and motivating us to practice some more, so I thought, why not?! This may have been a bit silly to pile another commitment on top of all the other things that I’m doing, but oh well! I have missed a few days so far, but I’m trying to keep up as much as possible, and trying different things each day to see what works for me and what doesn’t. I don’t think I really have a particular style in hand lettering yet, so it’s good to just have some fun and experiment with different aesthetics to see what I like. I’ve posted a few of the pieces that weren’t complete failures on my instagram so you can head over there to see how it’s going if you want! Doing this has made it into my favourites because it’s been a great challenge and also just fun to actually set some time aside and do something I love! Once I finish my degree I would love to dedicate some more time to actually practicing my lettering skills, but for now, this is fun!
Fabriano EcoQua A4 Dot Notebook
It’s a terrible excuse, but one of the reasons that I missed some days of the #30daysofbiblelettering challenge is because I ran out of my favourite paper. I know, I know, I could just use some other paper, but trust me, it’s not the same! I bought the Fabriano EcoQua A4 dot notebook a while ago in my favourite colour, orange, and I was so excited! The blank pages were ripe with possibilities and I didn’t waste time getting creative and embracing the powers of dotted paper. From branding projects, to random personal pieces, to church promotions, to lettering workshops and more, this notebook has been with me through it all! The paper is just the right weight, with an amazing texture and beautiful colours, and there’s enough pages to last you a good while. Luckily a friend bought me an A5 version of this notebook so all is not completely lost, but A4 is just the perfect size really so I need to buy a new one! If you’re doing any kind of lettering or illustration, the dotted paper is so helpful in maintaining proportions and keeping things neat, so while there are plain, grid and lined notebooks in the Fabriano range, I would definitely recommend the dotted version!
Tombow Dual Brush Pen
If you have been following my #30daysofbiblelettering work, you might notice that I’ve basically used this pen in every single one as it is slowly becoming one of my favourites! The Tombow Dual Brush Pen has two ends; one is a flexible brush tip and the other is a fine tip so it’s great for so many different situations. I haven’t mastered using the brush tip yet in order to get the thick and thin lines happening well, but I’m working on it! Having both ends in one pen means that it’s easy to switch between flowing, paint-like lines to strong, thin, consistent lines and use them together to create a great piece. I currently only have a black version of this pen but I would love to try some different colours, especially so I can give blending them a try!
So these have been my favourite things this month! I hope that you enjoyed them, and maybe even feel inspired to try them yourself! Let me know what you’ve been enjoying too, I would love to hear your favourite things!
Much Love, Hollie! :D