Procreate x iPad Pro

If you love lettering and drawing like I do and you're on the hunt for a drawing app for your iPad Pro, look no further than Procreate. It's fairly intuitive to use, especially if you're already familiar with Photoshop, though it does take some getting used to.

Sidenote: I kind of hate blogging and I'm in no way promoting this product for monetary gain. I just really like using it and thought it's blog-worthy enough to share!

So, why do I love Procreate so much? I've tried Adobe SketchTayasui Sketches and Paper by FiftyThree and found that the range of tools and customizable options in all three apps are limited. None can compare with the features that Procreate offers. Let's cover my favs, shall we?


LAYERS

This is a must-have feature for any design program that I use. Having the ability to create artwork on a layer and then reorder, hide or adjust that layer ONLY is crucial to my workflow. You can also give the layer a descriptive name (which you should always do as best practice) and use blending modes as you would in Photoshop. 


EYEDROPPER

This tool is helpful in a pinch when you want to get the exact color you used on a particular portion of your piece (<< try saying that 3x fast!). The eyedropper is also über awesome when you want to change up the color scheme of your work, as I did in the video below.


CUSTOM BRUSHES

Not only does Procreate already come with over 100 standard brushes to choose from, you also have the ability to customize each brush, create your own or upload someone else's. The app also comes with a large folder of images and textures which you can use as your custom brush source files. The means you have unlimited options when it comes to the tools you use. Bananas, right? I used my own custom brush on this piece and created it by fiddling with the source files and settings in the app.

 


PLAYBACK VIDEO

Okay, this has to be THE coolest feature. Once you set up a canvas and begin working, Procreate records all of your strokes - including when you mess up - and compiles a high-speed video of the entire process. It's so much fun to watch how a piece comes to life!


UNLIMITED VARIATIONS

I love doing multiple iterations of a design to test out ideas. With Procreate, you can duplicate artboards and adjust them in countless number of ways. As you can see above, I took the original design I ended up with, change the hues to a jungle-green setting and added fun characters to the backgrounds... AND I did it without destroying or touching my original piece.

(I kind of love this version, by the way. It'd be perfect for a children's book!)


THE PROCREATE COMMUNITY

I haven't fully immersed myself in the Procreate community online because I'm weirdly shy on the internet (as evidenced by my bare-bones-blog)... BUT!... I have lurked around enough to know that the people who are active in that forum are incredibly helpful and generous when it comes to sharing their expertise and knowledge. BONUS: A lot of users upload custom brushes for free!

COST: $

That's right - that single dollar sign means Procreate is super affordable... like, $5.99 affordable. This robust platform is ridiculously underpriced for all of the bells and whistles you get. I have yet to push the limits of what it (and I) can do but I can definitely say it's worth every single penny!

And there you have it - a few reasons why I absolutely love using Procreate with my iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for lettering and doodles. So...Have you tried it? Do you have tips and tricks to share? Let me know!

The Business of Hand Lettering

....Annnnd I'm back! I took a much-needed (and very long) break from blogging to focus on having fun with lettering again and not burdening myself with writing posts because I felt like I "had" to. That takes the fun out of things, y'know? A lot of fun things have happened in the past year but let's first recap a killer workshop that I wrapped up recently...

I was one of three instructors in a 3-day live online workshop on The Business of Hand Lettering that was hosted by Modern Thrive x Goodtype. Each instructor had their own one-hour session to talk about their respective freelance businesses and it was an honor to be presenting alongside two really great letterers! 

The Workshop

Day 1: Joanna Muñoz from Wink & Wonder (hey, that's me!)

  • How to find clients for your freelance business
  • Building an audience around your work
  • Finding your style and creating work that gets noticed

Day 2: Roxy Prima

  • How to create products from your designs
  • How to sell your hand-lettering products

Day 3: Ryan Hamrick

  • Creating a portfolio for commercial design
  • How to find clients and sell ideas
  • How to manage commercial design clients
  • Building your network and finding opportunity

My Takeaways

Being an instructor for a lettering workshop is a new experience for me. While the days (and minutes) leading up to it were nerve-racking, I feel like it was worthwhile to be able to share what I knew. Here are a few lessons I walked away with by the end of my session:

  • People want to learn what you're willing to teach.
  • Focus on your personal experiences when sharing stories. It makes it easier to talk about situations people can relate to.
  • You know more than you realize. All those years of hard work turn into experience and knowledge that you can then pass on.
  • Be honest. If you don't follow the status quo, say so. It gives people the confidence to try things their own way.
  • It's totally okay to take a shot of whiskey beforehand to calm your nerves. #liquidcourage

You Can Still Join In!

Did you miss sign-ups? No sweat! The workshop is now available on-demand over at Modern Thrive. Even though the instructors aren't presenting live, you'll still get access to all of the videos, follow-up course materials and private Facebook group (where all 3 instructors are available to answer questions). If you want some insight into the wonderful world of lettering, this is the perfect way to dive right in!

 

 

March Recap

I think it's good to take a step back every once in a while to reevaluate what you've done and where you're headed. With that in mind, I've decided to start a recap series at the end of the month/beginning of the next month to see what kind of progress I've made over the last couple of weeks. While I don't have any hard goals for Wink & Wonder, I do want to know that I'm improving my skills and trying new things. Here's what went down in the month of March.

Psst... you can follow my lettering journey in real time on Instagram

Know Your Own Worth

know your own worth // wink & wonder

Freelance Pro Tip #29871041: Know Your Own Worth. 

You're a smart, talented, nice person who deserves to get paid properly for their time and talent.

Don't get conned into working hard and putting your skills to use in exchange for the promise of "exposure" and/or "press." Some folks call that a collaboration. However, a collaboration (to me, at least) is when both parties benefit from the effort put in. If you feel like you'd be taking on most of the burden it's okay to say no.

A lawyer friend of mine put it this way: You wouldn't walk into Target and say, "Hey, can I have some free boxes of cards? I'll tell all my clients I got them at Target. What great exposure for you!"  Sounds absurd, right? Because IT IS.

I'm quite happy to do work for free when I genuinely care about the project or person. It gives me warm fuzzies and puts good vibes into the world and I'm all for that. 

If someone approaches you about a project but doesn't discuss compensation, it's on you to bring up the topic. Set a fair price and present it. If they balk at the cost, you have to decide if you're willing to work within their budget. If you do, great! Strip down the bang they'd be getting for their buck though. Have a price in mind that is the very least amount of money you'd do the work for and consider that your red line. If they don't budge or can't meet that baseline price, simply wish them well and walk away. Never burn bridges.

There are plenty of clients out there who are happy to pay for good work and, frankly, life's too short to settle for any less than you deserve. 

p.s. If you want more motivation, check out the CreativeMornings video below.

 

Calligraphy Resources

calligraphy resources // wink & wonder

A friend of mine wanted to learn calligraphy and asked if there were any classes available. I love getting detailed info when I ask for help and also like to pay that forward when people ask me for guidance, so I thought a dedicated post made the most sense!

I have a lot (and I mean A LOT) of bookmarks, Pinterest boards and blogs I go to when doing research and looking for inspiration. For a newbie, all that content can be really overwhelming... I know I felt that way when I first wanted to learn. Rather than giving a vague answer, I sent my friend a list of favorite places, supplies and people to follow on their new calligraphic journey. Here's are some of my calligraphy-related favs:

Note: I updated the list on 12/1/16 to include more awesomeness!

Suppliers
• Paper & Ink Arts
• John Neal Books
Ashley Bush Ink
* I'm in love with AshBush's custom carrot holders. Check her Instagram feed for flash sales!

Basic Supplies
• Nikko G Nib
• Zebra Comic G Nib
Brause EF 66 Nib
Hiro 40 Nib
• Moon Palace Sumi Ink
Glass Ink Jar (S276 - 1oz.)
• Speedball Straight Holder
• Speedball Oblique Holder
Rhodia Paper

Books
• Modern Calligraphy
• Mastering Cooperplate Calligraphy

Skillshare Classes
• Introduction to Modern Calligraphy
• Digitizing Calligraphy: From Sketch to Vector

Community
• The Flourish Forum
• Modern Calligraphy Summit

Blogs / References
Calligrafile
• Besotted Blog
• Antiquaria

Phew! ... and that's only a fraction of the stuff I have to share. If you need help, have questions or want to know more, send me an email!