Sketchbook Tour: A Look Inside My Doodling Process

Hey everyone!!! I have had this post on my brain since last week's post on my blogging and lettering lifesaver--the Photojojo Foldio 2--but I knew this one would require me to give up some of my perfectionist tendencies in order to keep it real with you guys. 

Since I've been posting lettering videos to Instagram, a lot of people will ask me when or how I began hand-lettering, and if I had a naturally good handwriting or artistic abilities before I started (the answers are 'not particularly' for both questions). And while I plan to talk about how I got into hand-lettering next week, this week I wanted to take a little time to re-hash the first sketchbook I bought specifically for hand-lettering, and how far I have come (7 sketchbooks later) in just 6 months. In those six months, I've not only honed in on my personal style, but I've started exploring other mediums as well, like colored pencils and copic markers. This sketchbook tour is also to show you that no one is perfect--I'm certainly not--and everything I post on Instagram has been planned, practiced, and perfected as much as possible before sitting down and hitting record. Like I said, I'm trying to keep it real! And also--more keeping it real: Some of these photos are taken at very "artistic" angles because my lightbox isn't quite big enough for a perfect overhead shot!

Let's get started!

This is on one of the very first pages in my first hand-lettering sketchbook purchased back in August. This was also way before Tombows were on my radar and I was using regular Pentel ink pens. In the beginning of my hand-lettering "journey" (ick, I don't like that word--trying to find a better one for it) I struggled a lot with shaky hands. I'm not totally sure if it was all the coffee I was drinking (well, still doing that, so that can't be it!) or if I simply needed lots of practice to get my muscles in the habit. I still have those Pentel ink pens and use them quite often, now that I have more experience under my belt. 

Sketching in pencil, laying out my design, trying to see what works. 
There is a definite recurring theme of this in my doodling....lots of the same thing written over and over again in slightly varying designs. 
P.S. I still totally abide by this rule!

The show I was watching while doodling made its way onto this page. Guess what it was?

A rejected alphabet. I have since discovered I prefer thicker, more bold lines and big, obnoxious flourishes. 'Dainty' is MEH for me.

Adding coloring pencils into the mix

I really love this quote and I like all of these designs....I can definitely see myself revisiting them!

Doodling at it's most fun: A coloring page I made for myself. I also abide by this rule! 

The Pentel Aquash Water Brush has been one of my favorite lettering tools EVER! I love playing around with it. Sadly, I could not find any sheets of watercolor paper from when I first purchased these bad boys....but believe me, the beginning of our relationship was allllll about getting to know one another

*This was the layout and planning stage of a recent Instagram post I did....Here is the finished version.

Another unfinished and forgotten doodle that I would love to revisit

It's unbelievable how much steadier my hand has gotten!

"Hustle" in my brand new (at the time) Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen. I. Love. That. Thing.
Maybe my favorite pen of all time.

Man, forgotten doodles are the best. I definitely want to create something solid from this design.

A self-portrait in coloring pencil...but not really, because I don't have cute bangs and I know I don't look cute in straight bangs because I tried it last year. :-/ A girl can live vicariously through her own doodles!

For a friend...

Beginning to play with Copics and LOVING THEM. Not loving those smudges though.

More Copic practice!

This one is with my favorite purple Tombow! I got this idea from the Facebook word bubbles people were posting last year. These are words I love and/or live by. 

Trying new things is always recommended. I need to take my own advice more often

In taking a look through past sketchbooks, I got a definite sense of one thing: practice makes permanent. Although I didn't show it here, I had that phrase written on EVERYTHING. I lived it then and I live it now. No matter what skill level you are in your doodling or hand-lettering practice, PRACTICE is the only thing that will take you above and beyond. Sometimes, I feel like I haven't improved at all in the past two months, but taking a look back at my very first designs really reinforced that I am doing right by myself in continuing to practice and allow new styles and mediums into my toolbox.

I hope this has helped you out in some way or given you any sort of reassurance that YOU GOT THIS! Have you taken a look at the very first pages in your sketchbook? If so, what did you find? Tell me in the comments below...I would love to hear about your philosophies on practice and progress!

And for the BIG NEWS: I am currently working on an online class centered on stirring your own creative juices in the world of hand-lettering and doodling! If this is something you are interested in, and would like to be the first to know when this class opens up, sign up below! 

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