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    FREE Hand Illustrated TypeSet Vectors

    FREE Hand Illustrated TypeSet Vectors

    Hey friends,

    Want some free stuff? Of course you do! Download this free set of vectors from the Hand Illustrated Typeset! These will work with Adobe Illustrator CS or newer and can be used for personal or commercial projects! Just don't resell or redistribute as your own work. Kapish? All right, have fun!

    And if you like these babies and want the whole kit, you can buy it right here or on Creative Market.

    DOWNLOAD

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    Freebie Vectors

    For the New Year, I'm resurrecting some freebie vectors from a while back. Feel Free to use these in your Personal or Commercial projects. Just don't resell them as your own work. Happy New Year Friends!

    Download

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    FREE HAND LETTERED WRAPPING PAPER (PRINTABLE)

    Hey Friends,

    Looking for some fun, printable wrapping paper? No problem! I just whipped up this hand-lettered goodness for the holidays. Feel free to print this PDF file on standard 8.5x11 inch paper for smaller wrapping jobs. It's a vector file, so you can also change colors if you open in Illustrator or Inkscape. :)

    Usage: For PERSONAL use only! Be Cool. Don't save and resell this as your own work, okay?!

    Happy Holidays!

    DOWNLOAD HERE!

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    THE WORK-LIFE BALANCE MYTH (FOR MAMAS)

    I often hear other working mothers discuss how difficult it is to raise a family and simultaneously hold down a career. And I'm here to say, "AMEN SISTERS."

    They're right. They're ALL right. It is hard. Real hard. So hard, that some days just feel heavy. Don't get me wrong, there are days where you can really let your hair down, and truly enjoy the moment. I mean, it's not all chaos. But there are other days where you'll visit the Chick-fil-a drive thru more than once (guilty). And days where the laundry gets refreshed 5 times, but never folded (You know who you are. Also guilty). And other days where a shower is out of the question before 10pm, but you're so tired. Too tired. So, you just tell yourself, "I'll tackle that tomorrow," while generously applying Cherry Blossom body mist. Trust me, there will be those days...

    I recently exchanged emails with a fellow designer (who I really admire), and he curiously asked what my workday looks like. He wanted to know how I build relationships with my customers, "create such elaborate products" and basically, juggle it all. I believe his exact sentiment was, "Honestly, I don't know how you do it."

    Well, I don't.

    And I don't want to pretend to either. Giving false hope to other working moms, is the last thing I want to do. I want to be honest. And real. And I want people to be forgiving of me, when it's 8:00pm and a support request rolls in as I'm trying to get my son to bed. Because I'm sooooo tired at 8:00pm. And I'm probably still wearing yoga pants, with a sink full of dishes waiting for me. And the last thing I want to do is explain how to install a font, or give a refund because someone doesn't have Photoshop. At this point, the business-owner in me says, "just answer the request and go back to what you were doing," but the logical, exhausted mom in me says, "just deal with it in the morning." And then there's 4% of me that just wants to set my computer on fire.

    And you know what, 9 out of 10 times, the 'business-owner' wins. Because, customer service or something like that. And part of me feels guilty for answering the request. And another part of me feels guilty if I don't. It's a lose-lose situation, but it's one I signed up for. I just roll with the punches around here.

    But despite the endless 'to-do' list, the stressful moments, the missed moments, the 'mom guilt,' the 10 pounds you're still trying to lose, but can't find time to workout, the brimming inbox, and the proverbial juggling act, there's one thing that makes me feel better...the fact that EVERY SINGLE working mom I talk to, shares the EXACT SAME sentiment.

    Nobody has this game figured out. And if you do, I'd like to meet you, because you are about as rare as a unicorn. Can I rub up against you for good luck? Maybe you can go with me to buy a lottery ticket?

    Some days, you may feel like a well-oiled machine, where everything just falls into place, but those moments are fleeting. I'm here to tell you, there's no such thing as the 'work-life balance.' It simply doesn't exist. You do what you have to do to survive, and don't feel guilty about it. That's called, life.

    So, take heart working-moms, you're doing great. Give yourself a pat on the back. And don't feel bad if you need to feed the kids chicken nuggets again tonight. It happens. They'll be fine. ;)

    XOXO

    Callie

    GETTING STARTED WITH HAND LETTERING

    Everyday I pick through roughly 200+ pens, pencils and paint brushes that litter my desk. And I'm not kidding about the 'litter' part. ;) My collection includes everything from hairline gel rollers to thick brush pens, to glitter brushes, to sharpies, and just about everything in between.

    I'm not shy about trying new writing utensils. Heck, I've even been known to 'borrow' my son's Crayola Markers from time to time. BTW, those actually work great! ;)

    People often ask what kind of pens and brushes I use, and what I recommend for beginners. Since writing utensils aren't really designed with ability-level in mind, it's hard to give recommendations for newbies, so lemme just tell you how I got started, and what I use today. I'll even breakdown my faves, and share a few tips along the way. Ready? Okay, let's do this!

    Initially I only had experience with Faber Castell, PITT Artist Pens. Those are great for illustration work, and they come in 4 or 5 basic sizes that you can play with (you can buy these in a set). They also don't bleed, and your work will scan really nicely if you draw on plain, white paper (I'll get to the paper in a sec). I prefer these for detail work and illustrations, but I do use them frequently for lettering too. You really can't go wrong with these on hand.

    Those PITT pens soon evolved into Pentel Brush Pens which are just awesome! I mean seriously, soooo awesome! I have so many at this point, that I'm thinking Pentel should probably send me a gift basket or a thank you card, or something. ;) These babies write like a dream, and provide, nice, thick strokes which can be 'broken' if you write fast. Now here's a handy, little tip about these brushes: If you want a super-rich, unbroken stroke, dip the end of the pen into some Winsor & Newton, Black Indian Ink. You'll thank me later for this. ;) And no, I'm not getting any royalties from Winsor & Newton. I just really like their ink. It's not watery like some of the others, and it writes like a dream. Trust me. Get some.

    After dabbling in brush pens, I was feeling pretty brave, so I opted for Copic Markers, Tombows and various gel pens. I'm gonna be honest - if you've never tried lettering before, those thick, Copic markers might not be a great place to start. Yes, they are awesome pens. And yes, they do make beautiful strokes, but I had a tough time with them initially. I really wanted to write fast, but they prefer to be used slowly and methodically. If you try these, take your time, and really study your lettering. If you're committed to perfect letter-forms, these will certainly help. Just go slow.

    Okay, moving on to Tombows. Ah, people love their Tombows. Not gonna lie, these were intimidating at first. I have the Tombow Fudenosukes. One is considered, 'hard' and the other 'soft.' Personally, I like the hard one. I enjoy 'abusing' my pens to some degree, and the harder pen allows me to really press into the paper without totally collapsing. Plus, it gives me a nice, gritty stroke. Mind you, pens don't last that long if you're a 'hard presser' like me, so be aware that you'll have to replace them regularly if you plan on taking a page out of my playbook. Handy Tip: You know those insanely popular handwritten, grungy fonts that you see everywhere? Yeah, the Tombow Fude will make that happen. Just write fast. :)

    Now for a fan favorite, the Tombow Dual Brush Pens. Ah, these are great! I bought a nice, introductory set for my mom's birthday. (She's really into those adult coloring books right now). So, of course, I had to take 'em for a test drive. Tee hee. ;) They write like a dream, come in a TON of colors, and the blending set is particularly cool. Just go slow with these, as they have a similar quality to the Copic Markers. If you want really nice letter forms, immense patience and/or tremendous lettering skills will go a long way.

    I also have a really beautiful Kuretake water-based brush pen that just adore, and I recently stumbled upon the Koi and Niji water brushes, both of which are glorious. If you like the Pentel brush pens, you're gonna love these. They have a smaller tip, and are more rigid, so they're better for more detailed, controlled letters. If you add these to your arsenal, you won't be disappointed.

    And now for what kind of paper I use. I mentioned it earlier, only because someone asked me about it last week. Okay, get ready...drumroll please...

    I buy the plain, white cardstock at Michael's. That's it. Nothing fancy. No watercolor, Bristol or drawing pads for my lettering. Just the cardstock. And If you're thrifty like me, just wait for a sale, and you can get 3 reams for $10. Otherwise, I think they're around $5 each. But still, that's a pretty good price for 50 sheets. I love this paper. It's bright, smooth, doesn't allow any bleed, and fits in my printer. Boom! Sold.

    So, if you're just starting out, I might give the Pentel brush pens a shot. Those are a ton of fun, and very forgiving. Definitely try some basic PITT artist pens too. Those will help build your confidence, give you nice clean lines, and help polish your letterforms. Then, once you feel pretty comfortable with your new skillset, shake things up with a few Tombows and Copic markers.

    And when you really get brave....we'll move on to Calligraphy. ;)

    Happy lettering, my friends.