Video: Don't Quit Your Daydream - Watercolor Brush Lettering

For most of my life, I had an irrational fear/aversion towards watercolors, painting, and art in general. Going to art class was pure torture for me. My mind would always go blank when it was time to draw, sculpt, paint, or whatever project that involved creating something tangible.

Words, on the other hand, were my comfort zone. I aced spelling tests, wrote short stories for fun, kept a diary, got in trouble with my mom for reading "too much", and had several pen pals whom I'd send endless pages of nonsense.

If you had told me three years ago, that I'd pick up watercolor brush calligraphy at the age of 36, without having picked up a paint brush in over two decades, I would have looked at you funny. But these mesmerizing lettering videos just kept popping up on Instagram and I just had to try it for myself.

Watercolor brush lettering | Video at 8x speed | Music: "Sunrise" by Nicolai Heidlas 

I was living in Taiwan at that time, and had spent the stifling, hot summer lettering away in the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment. After three months of daily practice, I was still struggling with the brush pen and decided it was time for something new. I got my hands on a couple of generic waterbrushes and a cheap watercolor pan. Turns out, lettering with a paint brush came more naturally to me than a brush pen (what!?) - the soft bristles were much more flexible and I found it easier to achieve the thick and thin strokes. The watercolors glided over the paper so effortlessly - I didn't understand why I had wasted so much time trying those markers everyone else was fawning over!

I eventually got the hang of brush pens, obviously - but, I carved my own path to get here.

So, if you're just starting out with brush calligraphy, I want to encourage you to try new things. Things that might make you uncomfortable. Don't quit just because you can't get that one thing to work. Experiment, play, create something - even if it sucks. 


Below, are some recommendations if you're interested in the tools that I used for this video. But, you don't need expensive supplies - remember, I started with a $5 watercolor pan (you can get a similar one from Michael's) and a generic waterbrush.

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites - which, just means I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase via one of these recommended links. There is no additional cost to you and I will only share products I personally use and love. Thanks for your support!

Video: Valentine's Day Lettering on Macarons

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! I hope it's filled with lots of love and sweet treats! 💕

I've never been a big fan of this "holiday" but in recent years it's inspired me to tap into my creative side as a baker/blogger and now, a calligrapher.

Lately, I've been obsessed with these cookie/cake artists on Instagram that specialize in painting on treats using edible paints and markers - they even inspired me to host a holiday cookie painting/lettering workshop over the holidays!

Too bad my macaron-making days are long over - these are courtesy of Trader Joe's. They're surprisingly tastier than some of the ones I've had from local bakeries. Much cheaper, too. 

macaron-calligraphy.jpg

So now that I've tried lettering on macarons, and fondant-covered sugar cookies, next on my bucket list is a cake. Any takers? ;)

Just for fun, here's a time-lapse video of the macaron painting/lettering process - over 10 minutes in real-time, condensed to about 40 seconds. Apologies for the weird lighting - I thought the sunlight would help show off the gold shimmer but it just ended up being overexposed in some parts. 

I used "faux calligraphy" on these macs as they were on the smaller side, and I didn't trust the cheap-o craft detailer brushes I had on hand to create a clean, elegant look. The edible pen has two tips - one is a bullet tip and the other is like a fine liner. Worked liked a charm!

Supplies used: 

 

Free Download | Screenlock | Done is Better than Perfect

Every now and then, I will offer some of my original work free for download -images, printables, desktop/smartphone wallpapers, etc. I'm still learning as I go in this graphic design/lettering world, but practice makes progress. And practice will inevitably lead to a lot of completed work that will just sit and collect digital dust unless I share them with others. Although the pieces/designs may not be perfect, I hope they will still encourage and inspire. I've learned that some things don't have to be perfect to be shared.  Done is better than perfect.


To download, tap on image or FREE DOWNLOAD link below. Download/Save image to your phone and set as wallpaper and/or screenlock.

For personal use only. Hand lettering by lillianliming.

  F  REE DOWNLOAD  | SCREENLOCK | DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT

FREE DOWNLOAD | SCREENLOCK | DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT

Done is better than perfect.
— Sheryl Sandberg

For the last year, I've been trying to make this quote my motto (re: blogging) but somehow I keep getting stuck. Whether it's the blog layout or the photo edits, I get overwhelmed with the idea that each aspect should be perfect - that it should look like this blogger who has properly lit, crystal clear photos or that blogger who has such a pretty & professional blog design. Ugh. Why do we put ourselves through that? 

I need this constant reminder for myself - that's why I created this wallpaper/screenlock. And the irony is that while lettering and editing it, I started noticing minuscule flaws and allowing doubts creep into my brain. So what if there are hundreds of other similar designs out there? NO ONE has my handwriting/lettering style! So what if I don't use professional/paid programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator or whatever you're supposed to use? I make do with the free ones out there, and you know what? The images I create are not too shabby for someone without any formal training in graphic design or the visual arts. 

Hopefully, this freebie will be helpful to at least one other person out there. Please give me a shout in the comments if you decide to use it - and do let me know if I can make any improvements as far as dimensions and alignment goes. I would love your feedback. Thanks!

PS. Eventually, I would like to post a tutorial or write-up of how I create my images but for now, my go-to (FREE) online programs are PicMonkey, LunaPic, and Canva.

What design tools do you use for creating graphics?