If you scroll through Instagram for lettering inspiration, chances are you’ll stumble across the same inspirational quotes, motivational phrases, and the word “travel” or “adventure” lettered on top of a photo of the mountains or something. Want to know my personal favorite?
Live, love, laugh. (You're probably wondering why I lettered "Live, love, loaf" in the image above then.) Here's why:
If you've ever lettered this quote, I'm not trying to shame you. I used to have it written on my high school binder, no joke. While I appreciate a good inspirational quote once in a while and totally support positivity, this phrase (and many others like it) are quite overused as lettering prompts.
I chose “Loaf” because as most of you know, bread is life. If you also love bread, feel free to use loaf too. If you love makeup, you could do “Live, Love, Lipstick”. If you love pasta, you could do “Live, love, lasagna.” To get you started, here’s a list of words that start with L.
After you complete the assignment, the second part of the challenge is to snap a photo of your drawing and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #HOMwork so we can see what everyone created. In the caption, please tell us a little bit about what your new "L" word means to you & why you chose it.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with lettering inspirational quotes (and the lettering is often quite technically good), but one of the most commonly asked questions I get is "How do I stand out online and get my work noticed?"
Well one thing for certain is this: it’s infinitely harder to stand out in a sea of inspirational quotes...if you’re also publishing inspirational quotes.
I’m a firm believer that *what* you letter is just as important as *how* you letter it, so this week I want to encourage you to letter something more surprising.
Remember, people aren’t just paying attention to your lettering skills; they’re reading what you’re lettering too. Make it weird, make it funny, or make it different to increase your chances of catching someone’s eye!
I'm a big fan of coming up with puns and clever wordplay to letter, but I know that humor isn't everyone's cup of tea. If you don't know where to start, I recommend looking towards your inside jokes, personal stories, and life lessons for inspiration on what to letter next.
This week's exercise is a chance to flex your creative writing muscles a tiny bit. By lettering phrases that people aren’t used to seeing, you’ll 1) be more likely to catch a viewer’s attention and 2) show off your personality & start to establish a unique voice behind your work.
Let's inspire others to 'live, love, laugh', send 'good vibes only' and 'dream big'...without using those exact words. I know it's already a challenge to get creative with your letters, but I encourage you to get creative with your words if you want to grow your audience faster.
Happy lettering! Looking forward to seeing all of your posts this week.
PS For inspiration on how to move away from inspirational quotes, I highly recommend checking out Nim Ben-Reuven's work on Instagram. He mixes beautiful, gold lettering with funny spins on popular phrases.