Sketchbook 5.29.12

Here are some sketchbook pages from when I was working on this year’s Father’s Day cards. I love hand lettering, but it doesn’t come naturally to me. I really have to work for each letter, and I usually mess up a bazillion times before I get something that looks decent.

In early elementary school I remember getting an “N” on my report card for “not satisfactory” in handwriting. I cried. After that I tried harder, and for one of my handwriting exercises I even drew tiny curls on the ends of each letter in an attempt to go above and beyond “satisfactory.” My teacher gave me a check minus because I didn’t copy the letters exactly as they appeared in the handbook. Then she made me erase all the curls. Then she hit me with a ruler (not really, but the rest is true).

I’ve been making a point to incorporate more hand lettering into my designs. Practice makes perfect, right? I’ve also collected a lot of great examples of hand lettering on my Pinterest Typography board. If I really want to motivate myself I visit Molly Jacques’ website. I feel a little sick every time I look at her work because I’m so jealous of so inspired by her lettering skills.


  1. Tori

    This is such a cool story and I’m glad you never gave up! I sew, so messing up over and over again is pretty normal and frustrating for me, it’s cool to here other artists back stories on their creative process and the challenges they face : )

  2. Shawn

    I can see why you would be jealous…err I mean inspired by Molly Jacques website. I am glad that you didn’t give up on your printing because in a weird way, I like your knocked up cards and love the sketchbook showing your process.

  3. Lauren

    You’re hand lettering is gorgeous! Not that I regularly quote Journey, but don’t stop believing (in your talents).

  4. Wendy

    Have I told you how much I love you stuff? Well, I do. And I just went over and bought a couple of father’s day cards from your shop. The hairy chested one is so perfect for my father-in-law.

    Also, your hand lettering is gorgeous. Pretty with just the right amount of wonky. You’re an inspiration!

    1. Amanda (wit & whistle) Post author

      Gee thanks Wendy! :) Hahaha, “wonky” is the perfect way to describe my lettering!

  5. Kristen

    Wow, I thought I was the only one with a handwriting back story! The exact same thing happened to me – well sort of! :D We were practicing handwriting letters that were a “ball and a stick” and a “circle”, like b, d, o, etc. I was done before everyone else, so I thought I could make the paper more pretty by using crayons to color in all the holes. Boy did I get in trouble! I guess we creative-types can’t be stopped! :-)

  6. Heather

    Hello! I’m stopping by from BYW and fell in love with your blog! I’m so inspired by this story! I too have a difficult time with the handwritten letter but have fallen in love with the handwriting I see popping up all over! You’ve inspired me to simply practice and take my time. Your art is beautiful! Hope to see you around class! ;)

  7. Mary C. Nasser

    Love seeing your sketchbook and lettering.
    What an inspiring post that you kept practicing despite discouragement, and your lettering is fabulous!

    Going to follow your Pinterest typography board…
    So nice to meet you through BYW 2.0.
    All the best,

  8. Eman

    The “flaws” make it so much more endearing, it would be so boring if you have perfect lettering.
    Also, I’ve come to learn that some teachers are dumb and evil.

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