Okie dokie, friend. Today we’re talking about the perfection game. I don’t think we really talk about this little game that we all play too often, because it’s supposed to be effortless, right? If you’ve been following my blog for any period of time or seen my journey with my weight, perfection is not really in my vocabulary (other than when I’m bashing it!) and when it comes to lettering, it’s no different.
I was NOT perfect when I first started learning lettering and calligraphy a year ago, and I’m definitely still not perfect now. I still sit there when I’m done and think, oh I should have made the ‘o’ different, why did I make it like that, I really should have made the loop bigger, now it looks stupid, oy. Why didn’t I erase it a million more times until it looked right? Wow, this entire thing is ruined now.
Well, maybe I’m not that hard on myself, but pretty darn close. My friend, lettering and calligraphy is hard!! There’s no way around it, even if you’re artistically inclined, the motion of writing in cursive alone is not normal to us anymore. I mean come on, when was the last time you wrote in cursive? 3rd grade when you first learned and were being forced to? Yep, that’s the last time I used cursive too!
And then if you’ve gone as far as to purchase a calligraphy pen and you’ve started trying it, man that sucker is hard to use. You have to know when to put pressure and when to ease up, it really takes time to train your brain and it takes practice! Once you get into lettering more, you’ll want to take it a step further and start varying your text, making some text bold or drawn in different fonts, maybe you’ll want to draw some florals to make a whole artistic piece. Now this is another task that takes some time to figure out how to format and design a piece that looks pretty, all kind of goes/fits together AND is still readable.
So if you’re new, or even if you’re not so new to lettering and calligraphy, give yourself some grace and ask yourself why you’re really doing this. Is it so you can post it on social media for all to see and think you’re so amazingly talented? Or is it for the worship of the one true King? Or meditation over His Word? What about memorizing scripture?
Worship, meditation, and memorizing scripture are my reasons for lettering.
You see, worship doesn’t have to be through music. I know we call the music on Sundays, Sunday Morning Worship, or we have specific music that is titled Worship Music, but all worship doesn’t have to be in the form of a song. This was a brand new concept to me last year when I first discovered lettering. Worship is simply defined as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” Basically, anything could be worship as long as it’s pleasing to God and giving glory to Him.
I also do lettering each week as means to spending time with God, in His Word and spending time in a verse. Has anyone else ever found a verse that you just loved, and it just spoke to you and your situation so deeply that you just keep rereading it over and over and over again. I know I have. With lettering you’re spending intentional time inside of that verse. As you look at the verse, pick out which words to bold, or make bigger, which words to be calligraphy and which ones to do bubble letters and color in; as you take the time to make those decisions and then sit there and slowly draw it all out, something happens. You start praying, you start thinking about what those words mean to you, you starting looking at how you can apply this piece of scripture to your life. God starts speaking to you and imparting Himself into you. I know, right, can anyone say multitasking? But it’s in a good way, not in a, let me just check all this off my list and kill 5 birds with 1 stone way.
Also, did you notice a few key words up there? One of the key words is slowly. No rushing, no clock to beat or deadline to make. This is between you and God. And when you take things slow, you really can take the time to shut your mouth and listen to what the Spirit is telling you. The second key word was draw. Lettering and calligraphy is really more like drawing than writing. Once I started thinking about it as doing more of a sketch (using a pencil first of course!), it became so much easier.
In the end lettering should be all about God.
It shouldn’t be about comparing yourself to other letterers (is that a word?). This is your time with God, to worship Him for who He is, draw nearer to Him so He will in turn draw near to you. So what if your ‘o’ looked like crap? If you’re entering this with a heart after His, it doesn’t matter. In our weakness, He is strong.
And in the words of Bob Ross, “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.” Ha! I love it.
Loverly friend, I hope this helped give you a little encouragement and some extra umph to start or continue lettering for the right reasons and to not worry about it being perfect, cause it’s just all for Him anyway! If you need more tips and tricks of how to get started lettering or what lettering supplies you need, I’ve done a few posts about it all, you can check them out here. Love you, friend!
Oh, wait! Last thing. If you want to follow my blog more closely feel free to subscribe with your email. You’ll get an email every time there’s a new post (about once/week). This is especially helpful if you feel like you keep missing new blog posts just because you’re maybe not seeing a post on FB or insta about it, which I know happens so often.