Be Brave Enough to be Bad at Something New | Free Download

Honestly, how is it already October?? I'm sorry I've been such a stranger around these parts...

You may have noticed my Instagram feed has been pretty quiet lately, too. There's been a lot going on behind the scenes - especially with Gather + Create, as well as working on some exciting new projects with my new friend, Shelly  (<-- I helped design her website!) and on a more personal note, dealing with some unpleasant dental work (unfortunate side effect of my past baking life...sigh).

But that's not why I'm writing. I've been meaning to share a little design I created weeks ago on the iPad (download the free phone wallpaper below!) --

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This quote by Jon Acuff has been my anthem of sorts for the last few years. Ever since I read it, I knew I had to letter it (see below for the two previous versions). The three styles are completely different from one another, and somehow the 2016 iteration has been saved/pinned over 2,000 times on Pinterest in just the last 3 months alone.

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I don't share this to toot my own horn, but as an encouragement. In 2016, I was only ONE year into my calligraphy journey, still figuring out my style and still had SO much to learn. I remember being quite proud of this piece - I had tried a new style - a bit edgier and looser than the neat, controlled look I had grown used to. 

With this newest version, I opted for a monoline, modern script and stepped out of my comfort zone by adding some modern abstract shapes/illustrations. Which, are actually just Procreate brushes/stamps that I purchased for the iPad Pro. Drawing shapes other than letters still scares me, but I was a little braver to try a new design style after taking a freestyle drawing workshop over the summer.

We all have to start somewhere. To be brave enough to even try something new, to take that first step and be okay with being bad at it - no matter what it is.

Introducing: Gather + Create

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At the beginning of the summer, I sent out an email to my newsletter subscribers asking if they enjoy dabbling in other types of art/crafts mostly because I was curious and itching to try new things. At the same time, I had also started a Meetup group for crafters, and ended up having a blast at our first gathering learning about all different types of crafts! It made me nostalgic for my younger days, when I dabbled in any new crafty thing that caught my eye.

These days, teaching, and calligraphy use up most of my creative brain. In my down time, I peruse and pin DIY projects on Pinterest and rarely follow through on any of them. After the crafter meetup, it got me thinking…what if I could coordinate with local crafters and artists to teach workshops in the new gallery space? This way, I could learn new crafty things, support other creative women and at the same time, give myself a break from teaching calligraphy a couple weekends a month.

It was one of those light bulb moments like in cartoons; ding! I immediately hopped into planning mode, first things first - what do i call it? One night, literally as my head hit my pillow, it just came to me - Gather + Create!

This is the name I used for the Meetup group but why not expand on it and actually organize structured workshops just like I do with calligraphy?

So, here we are - more than half-way through the summer and I’m in the midst of coordinating some amazing workshops for the coming weeks and months. I haven't felt this level of excitement in a while...when I plan/teach my calligraphy workshops, most of the time I'm on my own throughout the entire process. With this new venture, I'm collaborating and communicating with fellow creatives; guiding them through the process, sharing their work and brainstorming ideas.

Community is something I've sought after most of my life, and whenever I couldn't find the right fit, I would create it. Whether it was organizing events for my church youth group in high school, fellowship in college; planning field trips as a summer day camp director, or planning food blogger fundraisers in NYC, I thrived in the behind-the-scenes admin stuff — putting the plans together to bring people together for a common purpose.

With Gather + Create, my hope is to inspire connection, community, courage, and creativity among women here in my local community.

If you're local, I invite you to join us as an attendee, instructor, or both! Check out the workshops we have so far - more to come soon!

Brush Calligraphy Workshops at a Brand New Venue [Highlights]

Most of the time, I like to schedule my modern calligraphy workshops 3-4 weeks ahead. But, since discovering this new venue in Nyack, I’ve taken a no-holds-barred approach and listed a brush calligraphy workshop on my calendar, less than two weeks in advance. I was just too darn excited about using this space and setting it up to my liking, which for most of my previous workshops was not possible due to cost, time, space, and other logistics.

While the turnout was small (as expected), I couldn’t have been more content or comfortable in this space. I didn’t feel flustered like I usually would in the past due to running around, driving/commuting, parking, lugging supplies, etc. The art gallery is literally down the street from me so I don’t have to deal with parking, but I also have my own little storage space there so all of my workshop supplies will be housed there. Now, I can focus more on the little details, and not feel out of breath before class begins.

See some of the details from the workshop in the images below!

Missed out on this class? There’s lots more to come - check out my events calendar!