I am not at all sure how I discovered Caroline of Made Vibrant, but I was immediately attracted to her bright, fun, and, duh, vibrant style. I may have followed her on her most colorful Instagram first--not sure (chicken or the egg?) but either way, I was sucked in!
And for good reason! Caroline is a solopreneur (my new favorite word) which essentially means she's a one-woman show. I should also mention that the type of work she does is what I'm currently aspiring to...and that's why I decided to purchase her Better Lettering Course.
I have been hand-lettering and doodling on the sides of my notebook paper since I was little, but now it is such a huge trend and marketable skill, that this little hobby could become something bigger. I especially love the feminine, whimsical style I see SO much on Pinterest and Instagram, but I wanted to find a way to develop my own flavor...and be held accountable to doing so.
For $20 you get lifetime access to the Better Lettering Course, which comes with 7 lessons and 15 videos. SO AFFORDABLE.
First, let me say, this course wasn't what I thought it would be. And I'm guessing it's not what you think it is either. She is not teaching you HOW to hand-letter. She's teaching you how to develop your style. Caroline does this through explaining what hand-lettering even means (yeah, there's a whole thing about that), taking you through the history of the practice, the countless different styles of lettering, the tools needed, and how to digitize your sketches. If you're looking for a course that will teach you an exact style, this ain't it (go on and get)!
I've seen so many webinars, practice worksheets, and various other odds, ends, and paid services geared toward teaching you how to exactly imitate a specific style. I'm sorry, but...
1) If you own a successful hand-lettering business, WHY OH WHY would you give away all your secrets and teach someone how to do EXACTLY what you do for a living? What if they perfect your style, undercharge you, and steal all your clients?
2) WHY OH WHY does anyone want to learn something someone else created/is already successful at? Are you the type of person I mentioned at the end of number 1?
I completed all the lessons and videos in the course in one day. I was excited. She also provides a 30-day prompt to help incorporate hand-lettering practice into your daily routine, which I used up in just a few days (totally not the point, but like I said, I was excited). I began the August Instagram Challenge on August 1st, and carried that through the entire month, where my practice truly became a daily ritual! Her Instagram challenges are SO helpful and fun, and I highly recommend them! It's an excellent way to be 'told' what to do, while there being zero rules and complete creative freedom! For my challenges, I used the prompted word in a sentence or phrase and lettered/illustrated in whatever way I wanted.
Here are some of my favorites:
Precision is NOT my thing. So, what I found most valuable about this course is that it taught me how to take my hand-lettered sketches from paper to digital. I was already navigating my way through the confusing world of the Adobe Creative Suite, but I greatly appreciated learning a cut and dried way to use Photoshop and Illustrator to perfect and further elaborate on my sketches!
All in all, this course has been an excellent resource to me in my creative life, if nothing else. I am still wading through this time of trying to find a style that is "me," and completely unique, but it's so hard when hand-lettering has become the insanely popular trend it is today. I am enjoying practice almost every single day and find myself reaching for lettering tools before I park myself on the couch for the night, or in my down-time at work.
Who knows what will come of this practice? If nothing else, I feel completely confident lettering my own Save the Dates and Wedding Invites (which reminds me....time is ticking). That will not only save me a TONNNNN of money but will make those elements of the wedding planning process infinitely more special to us.
Make sure to search the hashtag #BetterLetteringCourse on Instagram to see the thousands of posts inspired from Caroline's course! You won't regret it...so much eye-candy!
And please, let me know in the comments if you plan to take this course! I would love to have a more in-depth conversation about your hand-lettering practice, what you hope to get from the course, or what you have gotten from it if you're a #BLC alum!