In the spring of 2017, I randomly came across lettering videos on Instagram. I was intrigued and got a bunch of supplies to try lettering myself. Initially my work sucked, it didn’t look “nice” like the videos and it wasn’t as easy as I had expected. So, I kept the supplies aside (aka, I gave up!). But thanks to the Instagram algorithm, I kept seeing those videos again and again. And each time I tried lettering, I got a little bit better. Soon, I came across the #The100DayProject, where I had to choose a creative project, do it for 100 days and post it on Instagram for external accountability. I decided to jump on that bandwagon and haven’t looked back since!
By the end of 2018, I had completed the #The100DayProject challenges two years in a row and was posting on Instagram “semi-regularly”. Friends and family started to appreciate my artwork and asked if I could teach them. After the initial self-doubt of “Am I good enough to teach?”, I decided to give it a shot.
Two years later, as of December 2020 – I have taught nearly 600 participants at over 60 lettering and watercolor workshops. Through teaching, I get to share the joy and positivity that lettering brought into my life.
I’m a self-taught artist and I don’t have any formal education in art. I, like many other immigrants, moved to the United States for my Masters in Computer Science. I worked in the technology industry for many years before becoming a freelance artist.
The world of art and hand lettering has changed my life. What started as a hobby is now my full-time business. The one thing I have learned from this experience is that everyone is creative - they just don’t know it yet.
To try hand lettering yourself, all you have to do is write a word of your choice and then thicken the downstrokes (the lines you make when your pen moves downward on the paper). Check out the step-by-step process below.
Want to learn more? Grab my beginner-friendly, FREE hand-lettering worksheets here. Use any pen or pencil to get started. I also have a Skillshare class where I cover hand lettering in great detail, so do check it out!
Remember, anyone can (hand) letter!
Swetha Shenoy is the self-taught artist behind The Paisley Corner. She lives in New Jersey and specializes in lettering & watercolor art. You can check out her work at her Etsy store and Instagram. Book her art workshops for your next team-building or private event.