With April already here, there are a lot of new lettering challenges out there that you are probably thinking of joining.
As you know, I host a monthly lettering challenge on Instagram, and I just wanted to give you some tips on how to make the best of it, not just by doing it every day for the heck of it, but using it as practice so you can actually get better at lettering, and how to make you Instagram feed look pretty cool too.
Pick a challenge
If you're a beginner choose a challenge that has short words or phrases or that isn't all that strict when it comes to following the prompts. Because when you're a beginner it may be a little overwhelming to letter a long quote. So stick to shorter words.
If you already did a short word one, now would be a good time to step up and try longer phrases to work on your layouts.
Decide on your tools
Do you want to get better at brush markers? Crayola lettering? Pointed pen? Or maybe iPad lettering?
Choose a tool you want to master, or get better at using. That way you get 30 days to practice with just that one tool and really get a chance to explore it. Think of it as a mini niche.
But, of course if you don't want to, no pressure, you can experiment with all the tools you want and just explore and see where your heart leads you. You can use this time to find that tool you love if you don't have one already.
Pick a style
Do you have your own lettering style yet? If yes, then obviously you would choose that, it helps when you work in your style because you can be easily recognized by others. But if you don't have your own style yet, but maybe you have one in mind and just don't know if it's all the way there yet, use these 30 days to really nurture it and see if that's the direction you want to go in.
Believe me, after doing something for 30 days you will definitely know if you like it enough to stick with it or not.
Chose a theme
Since the challenge theme is already chosen for you when you join a challenge, you don't have to worry about what to letter, but it's a good idea for choose how you want it to look.
Do you want it to look colorful? Clean and white? Dark and spooky? Try to stick to something that you can do every single day. Think of backgrounds, colors, and decorative elements you want to use. Like props or frames.
The 100 Day Project
In my 100-day project I chose to do all my pieces on a square piece of paper, then I used a square sheet of colored paper as a background.
I also cut out a pice of paper with the #100daysofletterbefun on it so I didn't have to write it on the piece of paper itself, I always placed that in the upper right corner.
I took a flat lay photo of that every day. So when you look at the whole feed it's very colorful and you can definitely recognize that it's mine from a mile away.
March 30-day Challenge
In my 30 day March challenge I decided to show my students how I do my lettering, and actually record the whole process.
From the beginning I decided to use a horizontal multimedia pad, and colored papers as backgrounds to give it that pop of color again. I'm all about the fun colors here.
I didn't care about the tools I was using or the style, I just wanted the lettering to be playful and colorful and to show how I go from sketching to inking in under 20 minutes per piece using different tools.
Stick with it
I know that it may seem easy when you start the challenge, what's a little lettering every day for a month, no biggie right? And sure, the first days will be easy, but it gets tougher the further along you get.
So prepare yourself, make sure you actually have time in your life right now to start a challenge, and if you don't, maybe try a weekly challenge first.
Oops I missed a day
Most challenges will let you make up missing days later on, I do that in my challenges, as long as you finish before the end date. But trust me, it's easier to do 1 per day instead of 6, because then you're not taking your time to practice, you're just rushing through them to get them done.
With my 100 day project I was actually due with my second baby the day the challenge was supposed to end, and since I knew that going in, about 2 weeks before the due date I started doing two pieces a day, and sure enough I had the baby a week before, so all the extra days I did and scheduled to post were a life saver. I was able to just enjoy the baby instead of worrying about the challenge.
Are you ready?
I hope this helps you when choosing a challenge, think of it as practice and a way to spruce up your Instagram feed, because we all know, that a cool looking Instagram gets more followers.
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