I've been asked a lot recently about how my projects start out so I thought I'd write up a short piece about it along with a collection of my sketches that, unless you follow me on Instagram, largely go unseen.
For those who don't know me, I herald from a web background (weird place to start for someone who's now a traditional sign painter I know) and up until a few years back was all about pushing pixels, learning html then giving up on it then attempting it again then punching through my screen then buying books on it and so on and so on. To take my mind away from this frustrating cycle I began picking up my pencil again and having some casual, no strings attached fun with type, a discipline I'd been interested in for a while but for some reason had never tried. On top of this, since I'd always loved drawing as a young'un, I thought it would be fun to step away from the glare of a screen and attempt to rekindle the cathartic process of getting lost in sketching again. I'm glad to say I haven't stopped since that point and hand drawn type is now my bread and butter.
Sketching for me now is arguably the most important stage of all my projects and is key to me developing my skills and honing my craft. It allows me to get ideas down quickly and because there are no creative restraints or distractions like you encounter when jumping straight onto a computer, I feel I'm able to shape my ideas into more well rounded concepts that have developed over multiple revisions. It also makes looking back on projects that little bit more poignant as you can recall when and where you were when the initial ideas and embryonic pencil chaos began to form what is now a polished product.
More fundamental than any of the above however is that sketching is the most crucial aspect of being able to call myself a hand letterer. Without it, I'm not one!
I've compiled some of the sketches I've done over the last couple of years; some for projects, some for fun. Some are petty crappy early attempts and others I'm really proud of. Likewise, most of the photos are terrible iphone shots and others are nicely captured by me talented photography pal Ian West. A smorgasblog of crap and tasteful you might say.
Thanks for having a read! Quite enjoyed doing this, might even do another soon if you're not careful.