50 Nuggets of Wisdom: Part 1


Somebody pinch me because I can hardly believe it…My Artist Interview series just hit 50 interviews!

FIFTY. 5-0.

I think that’s a cause for celebration! Don’t you?

What better way to celebrate the 50 first interviews with something extra special: nuggets. But I’m not talking about chicken nuggets, I’m talking about GOLD NUGGETS.

I’ve gone over all 50 first interviews and found THE GOLD NUGGET (aka the BEST tip/trick/advice) from each and every one of them and then compiled all of the nuggets into two 25 nugget videos.

Yes, that’s a whole lotta nuggets.


NUGGET #1: Only showcase what you WANT to be known for– don’t show yourself doing work you don’t actually want to be hired for!

From “How To Turn Your Lettering Passion Into A Business” (watch it here) with Emma Witte of @blackchalkco

It’s easy to get caught up in what you see online, but Emma believes that you should “do what YOU are interested in doing, and keep putting it out there” so that you will become known for (and get hired for) what you are actually interested in doing.

Interested in reading the full blog post about my interview with Emma? Find it here.

NUGGET #2: Don’t FORCE the flourish! Only do it if it makes sense.

From “The Ins & Outs of Flourishing” (watch it here) with Suzanne Cunningham of @suzcunningham

Flourishes work only when you have room for them. So, if you don’t have the space to use a flourish, don’t use a flourish!!

BONUS: Suzanne shared free flourishing cheat sheets, so be sure to check out the original blog post for them!

NUGGET #3: Pay attention to the nuances of letters- the centre bar in the E should be shorter than the others!

From “The Basics Of Sans Serif Lettering” (watch it here) with Ian Barnard of @ianbarnard

Did you know that the letter E central bar cannot be as long as the other upper and lower bars, because visually, it’ll actually look longer? (Sort of like an optical illusion…) So you actually need to draw it a bit shorter! Great tip, Ian!

BONUS: The original blog post has a really great sans-serif lettering worksheet, so head on over to grab them!

NUGGET #4: You can still create traditional styles using a magic marker – just be slow & intentional!

From “How to do Crayligraphy” (watch it here) with Colin Tierney of @tierneystudio

Crayligraphy was created by Colin to be fun and whimsical, but if you’re intentional you can still create the same copperplate essence of traditional calligraphy with a magic marker, thanks to the broad edge and fine tip.

BONUS: If you’re interested in trying out Crayligraphy, visit the original blog post to snag Colin’s free worksheets!! 

NUGGET #5: If you need help with business finances, read “Profit First”!

From “Setting Up Your Small Business Finances” (watch it here) with Desirae Odjick of @desiraeo

 If there is one book every entrepreneur needs to read, Desirae reckons it should be “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz. The one main take-away? You need to divide all of your business income into 4 different accounts:

50% – Owners Compensation (What you use to pay yourself!)

20% – Operating expenses (Business expenses)

25% – Taxes (Better safe than sorry!)

5% – Profit!

For more finance tips, check out the original blog post here.

NUGGET #6: Be super specific and niche – not everyone will understand it, but those who do will LOVE it!

From “How to Start & Grow a Passion Project” (watch it here) with Lauren Hom of @homsweethom

Creating something unique or unusual as your passion project and putting it online might seem like a bad move, but It’s actually smart to be specific. Not everyone is going to understand it, but the people who do see it and resonate with it will be blown away! That’s the kind of fan base you want to cultivate.

You can learn more about the benefits of starting a passion project on the original blog post!


NUGGET #7: Your work is “copyright” the SECOND you create it!you don’t need to file a copyright to have rights to it!

From “The Need-To-Know on Copyright for Creatives” (watch it here) with Christina Scalera of @thecontrqactshop

You might not realize it, but you actually don’t need to file a copyright to have rights to it! The moment you created something, you have full rights to it.

You can learn more about copyrights for creatives on the original blog post!

NUGGET #8: Changing the proportions can dramatically change your style!

 From “How To Create New Styles In Your Lettering” (watch it here) with Jordan Truster and Jillian Reece of @loveleighloops

A really easy thing you can change when creating a new style, is proportions! You can change the width to make the strokes really narrow or really wide.

BONUS: Check out the original post to get your hands on some FREE worksheets!

NUGGET #9: Copying is a GREAT way to learn – just don’t claim it as your own.

From “Creating Lettering Compositions”(watch it here) with Stefan Kunz of @stefankunz

Copy and learn: copying is a GREAT way to learn, you just don’t (ever) claim it as your own! Copying elements of another artist you admire can help you figure out what does and DOES NOT work for you.

For more composition tips, check out the original blog post.

NUGGET #10: Organize by colour groups before starting to blend colours!

From “Using Liquid Watercolours for Lettering” (watch it here) with Liss Amyah of @lissamyah

Organize your paints by colour groups before you start to blend your colours! Like colours, such as warm with warm and cool with cool, work best together.

For more colourful tips on using liquid watercolour, you can visit the Liss’ blog post!

NUGGET #11: Tap and hold your screen over your artwork and your phone will lock the exposure and focus!

From How to Take Better Photos of Your Work (watch it here) with Emma Haidar of @photosbyemmah

I did NOT know you can do this cool trick! When taking photos using your mobile device, you can lock the exposure and focus by tapping and holding your screen over your artwork!

This seeeriously blew my mind! Check out the other cool tips Emma shared on the original blog post!

NUGGET #12: If you have an idea in your head, just PUT IT ON PAPER!

From “3 Simple Activities to Tap Into Your Creativity” (watch it here) with Peggy Dean of @thepigeonletters

Sometimes, you just have to get pen to paper. Peggy shared some of her favourite lettering and creative prompts in our interview, but everything comes down to one point: if you have something in your head, just put it. on. the. paper.

 Peggy shared other fun activities, so be sure to check out the original blog post, too.

NUGGET #13: Always curve your shading lines back to the centre of the flower.

From “How To Draw Modern Florals” (watch it here) with Alli Koch of @allikdesign

When adding shade and detail lines to your modern floral illustrations, make sure that the lines always curve at the same angle as the petal and that they go towards the centre of the flower.

You can learn how to draw a modern style flower on the original blog post. Check it out!

NUGGET #14: Sharpen your chalk!

From “The Basics of Chalk Lettering” (watch it here) with Valerie McKeehan of @valeriemckeehan

One of, if not THE biggest trade secret of chalk lettering is that you can sharpen your piece of chalk! You just need a pencil sharpener with the two sized openings, and you will have so much more control of your chalk!

 Want more chalk lettering tips and tricks? You can find more on the original blog post!

NUGGET #15: Do something right at the start of the show to generate buzz in your booth! Giveaways, sales, etc.

 From “How to Nail Your Booth at a Craft Marker” (watch it here) with Amanda Cockburn of @freewheelingcraft

If you’re participating in your first ever craft market, a great way to get clients through the doors and to YOUR booth is with a special time-sensitive sale. Do something to get people into your booth early and create some buzz!

Need more info? Amanda shared more tips! You can find them in the original blog post!

NUGGET #16: Study other people’s work and integrate pieces that you like into your own!

From “Managing Mental Health & Staying Positive in the Lettering World” (watch it here) with Amanda Arneill of @amandaarneill

If you love someone else’s works, there are ways you can take elements without copying. Figure out what aspects are drawing your attention. Is it the shadow? Is it the layout? When you figure it out, try to integrate that specific element or technique into your work.

 Amanda had some other really helpful suggestions when it came to mental health and social media, so feel free to check it out here, on the original blog post!

NUGGET #17: If you’re struggling with smudges, hold your pen a little higher

From 5 Tips for Lefty Lettering (watch it here) with Sarah Pearson of @theinkyhand

If you’re a lefty, the best thing you can do for yourself is to experiment with everything. Experiment with the angle of your paper, how you hold your pen, the angle of your hand…and eventually you’ll find something that works. And if you’re finding that you still smudge your hand through wet ink, try holding the pen a little higher than usual.

 If you’re a leftie, you’ll definitely want to check out more of Sarah’s tips from the original blog post.

NUGGET #18: You don’t need to practice for hours every day– just make sure that the time you DO practice is INTENTIONAL.

From “5 Beginner Brush Lettering Mistakes” (watch it here) with Sharisse DeLeon of @piecescalligraphy

We all lead very busy lives and sometimes making time to practice can be hard. You don’t need to practice for hours and hours every day, so long as the practice you put in is intentional.

 To find out more, check out the original blog post, here.

NUGGET #19: Put your hands in photos– it makes it way more personal and relatable.

From “4 Steps to Great Stationery  Flat Lay Photos” (watch it here) with Amy Eaton of @amy.takes.pictures

 Having hands in your photos (especially as calligraphers and letterers) is a great way to tell a story and add life to your social media posts and create a connection and makes your post a little more personal.

 There are other tips you might be interested in, so have a look at the original blog post for them!

NUGGET #20: Make sure you write about things you CARE about and enjoy.

From “How to Start a Blog as a Creative Business” (watch it here) with Dawn Nicole of @bydawnnicole

Blogging takes loads of work, so write what you’re passionate about. Write what you know and what interests you, and you’ll never run out of ideas for potential blog posts.

Dawn is a prooo when it comes to blogging! You can find more, here

NUGGET #21: Double tap your screen to erase the last thing you did!

From “Getting Started with iPad Lettering: The Very Basics” (watch it here) with Karin Newport of @ipadlettering

Do you know the iPad erase tricks? If you double tap your screen with two fingers, you will erase your last mark. Want to erase the whole layer? Shake three fingers on the screen! Tada!

 Karin is my go-to whenever I have any iPad related questions, so if you’re like me and you’re not the mooost tech savvy, the original blog post will most likely be really helpful for you, too!

NUGGET #22: Just get started with Etsy. You can tweak as you go.

From “How to Excel on Etsy: From Setup to Sales” (watch it here) with Jami King of @handmadejourney

The idea of starting an Etsy shop might seem a little scary, but if you’re interested, get going! You can always change things as you go!

 If you’re new to having an Etsy shop or maybe you’re considering opening one, Jami has other knowledgable information on the original blog post. Check it out!

NUGGET #23: Encourage kids to add things like bubbles, hearts, and stars!

From “3 Hand Lettering Projects for Kids” (watch it here) with Nicole Miyuki Santo of @nicolemiyuki

Nicoles new book, The Kids Book of Hand Lettering, is jammed packed with fun projects for kids. But if your child is new to the crafting world, the book also has tips, such as adding bubbles, hearts, and stars at the joint of letters.

 And if you’re in the mood to create something today, the original blog post has a step-by-step guide for creating a banner, so fun!

NUGGET #24: Get “ruler” masking tape! Genius!

From “Wedding Signage: Tips, Tricks and Tools” (watch it here) with Jesi Machete of @cabincalligraphy

Two things: Scotch masking tape with ruler marks. It. Is. Brilliant. And two, Jesi creates all sorts of beautiful wedding signage and has figures that seating charts should stay between ¾ to ½ of an inch per name/line.

 Jesi creates some of the most beautiful wedding signage out there. For more of her tips, you can check out the original blog post.

NUGGET #25: If you add too much water to the palette, just wait a few minutes.

From “3 Fun Ways to Use Metallic Inks: A Live Lesson” (watch it here) with Shelly Kim of @lettersbyshells

Metallic inks are just so. much. fun. But they also tend to be a little more costly. If you add too much water to the palette, don’t freak out! Just wait a few minutes for the water and ink to combine, and everything will be good as new!

For more tips and tricks, you can check out the original blog post, here.

There you have it! The first 25 GOLD NUGGETS in this two-part series!

Thanks to all of the incredible people who allowed me to interview them for my Artist Interview series, I LITERALLY could not have done it without them.

Check back soon for PART TWO…aka, MORE NUGGETS!










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