10 DIY Hand Lettering & Calligraphy Kits!

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

*This post contains affiliate links – if you purchase any of these beautiful kits, The Art Spectrum receives a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I’m so excited to share these 10 beautiful DIY hand lettering and calligraphy kits with you! These kits will have you hand lettering like a pro in no time!

Brush Lettering Kit from Wildflower Art Studio 

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This Brush Lettering Kit from Wildflower Art Studio on Etsy is the perfect kit for beginners. The kit includes the following:

 Step-by-Step Instructions

Brush Lettering Guide with Illustrations

2 Fine-tip Brush Pens (black ink)

2 Wide-tip Brush Pens (black ink)

1 Gold + 1 Silver Brush Pen

4 Practice Alphabets

Sketchbook with 16 pages of tracing paper

Project Guide (including ideas for creating your own brush-lettered Greeting Card & Coffee Mug)

1 Blank Greeting Card and Envelope

3 Blank Tags

1 Sheet of Blank Cardstock

Click here to get this kit

Modern Calligraphy Kit from Amber Wilson Designs

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This modern calligraphy kit was designed to take the anxiety out of learning modern calligraphy. This kit can be purchased three different ways – as an e-book, an e-book with pens, a physical book, or the physical book with the pens – you choose! The full kit contains:

 90-page spiral bound workbook *including THREE fonts*

9 different lettering tools:

2 Tombow Dual Brush Pens

1 Tombow Fudenosuke

1 Artline Stix Ombre Brush Pen (color varies)

1 Pilot G2 Pen

1 Tombow MonoTwin

1 PaperMate Flair Pen

1 Pencil

1 Eraser

LIFETIME ACCESS to extra copies of the worksheets.

Support from the artist

Click here to get this kit

Modern Calligraphy Starter Kit from Angelique Ink 

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This classy modern calligraphy kit from Angelique Ink is perfect for those interested in getting into modern pointed pen calligraphy! The kit contains:

1 Personalized Name Card

1 Oblique Pen Staff (or straight pen staff for left-handed)

2 Pointed Nibs

1 Bottle of Sumi Ink with Dropper

1 Hand-crafted Wooden Inkwell with Standard Dinky Dip Vial

1 Notepad of Calligraphy Practice Paper with Traceable Alphabet

Sheets and Guidelines

1 Beautiful Screen Printed Tote Bag to Hold Your Supplies

1 Beginner Booklet to Guide You Through the Practice, With Full

Alphabet Exemplars, Warm Up Exercises, Tips and Tricks, and

Guidance for Developing Style and Finding Supplies

Click here to get this kit

Brush Lettering Starter Kit from Aria Paperie

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This starter kit from Aria Paperie is perfect for beginners! The kit contains:

22 pg Intro to Brush Lettering Terms, Basic Strokes, the Alphabet, and More

1 Tombow Dual Brush Pen

1 Pentel Sign Brush Pen

Click here to get this kit

DIY Water Brush Lettering Kit from Winterbird

 

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This beautifully curated kit from Winterbird is perfect for those interested in hand lettering in watercolor! This kit contains:

4 Royal Talens Ecoline Watercolor Jars (various colors)

1 Pentel Aquash Water Brush (Small)

1 Pentel Aquash Water Brush (Medium)

1 Tombow Fudenosuke Twin Brush Pen

1 Sakura Pigma Micron 03

1 Blending Tray with 10 Wells

2 2ml Droppers

1 Canson XL Watercolor Paper Pad

Blank Paper Sample of the Artist’s Favorite Paper for Water Brush Lettering

40 pg Booklet with Instructions, Practice and Some of the Artist’s Best Water Brush Lettering Tips

Click here to get this kit

Calligraphy Starter Kit from Rachel Carl

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This beautiful calligraphy starter kit from Rachel Carl comes in a gift box and a short instruction page – this kit may be easier for those who have already tried their hand at calligraphy. The kit includes:

1 Oblique Pen Holder

4 of Rachel Carl’s Favorite Nibs

Small or Large, Black or White Ink Bottles

4 Ink Holders

1 Wooden Ink Well Holder

1 Calligraphy Journal for Practicing (you can customize this with a name)

2 Exemplar Alphabets of Rachel Carl’s Signature Modern Calligraphy Font as well as a an additional Calligraphy Style Alphabet

A short instruction page to get started

1 Nice White Storage Gift Box with label

Click here to get this kit

Modern Brush Calligraphy Kit from Dashing Letters

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This stylish modern brush calligraphy kit from Dashing Letters would make a beautiful gift or starter kit for yourself! The kit contains:

60+ Page Modern Brush Calligraphy Workbook + Guide

12 Digital PDF Files of Brush Guides

1 Tombow Dual Brush of Your Choice, Hot Pink 743, Dark Teal 346, or Black N15

 1 Tombow Fude, Soft Tip

Tracing Paper Pad

Click here to get this kit




Kids Brush Lettering Calligraphy Kit from Kirsten Burke Designs

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

Looking for a kit good for the kids? This brush lettering calligraphy kit from Kirsten Burke Designs is perfect! This kit contains:

Special Calligraphy Carry Case

2 Brush Pens

1 Watercolor Paint Pallette

1 Small Fine Brush for Lettering

1 Large Brush for Mixing

Variety Pack of Folded Cards & Envelopes, Metallic Cards for Lettering, Blank Luggage/Gift Tags

Worksheets Designed for children ages 9+

Click here to get this kit

Hand Lettering Starter Kit from Cellar Designs

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This clean and simple hand lettering starter kit from Cellar Designs includes the following items:

1 Resource Sheet with the Artist’s Favorite Products

1 Info Sheet with Calligraphy Terms

Worksheets Teaching Basic Strokes, Upper & Lowercase Letters, Traditional & Modern Calligraphy Styles, Etc.

Canson Marker Paper

1 Tombow Fudenoske Hard Tip Brush Pen

1 Tombow Dual Brush Pen

1 Tombow Mono Eraser

1 Free 5×7 Cellar Designs Hand Lettering Print

Click here to get this kit

Beautiful Modern Calligraphy Kit from By Moon and Tide

10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies

This stunning modern calligraphy set from By Moon and Tide comes with a personalized journal and classy elements, and you can choose between a kit for right handers and one for left handers. The kit includes:

A4 presentation box

Personalized Journal

Introduction to Modern Calligraphy Book (32 Pages)

1 Jar of Black Calligraphy Ink

Black Oblique Pen Holder

High quality calligraphy nib

10 Blank Gift Tags

Brush Lettering Pen

Starter Pack of Paper with Printed Gridlines

Click here to get this kit


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10 Hand Lettering Calligraphy Kits! These kits are great for hand lettering for beginners! #learncalligraphy #learnhandlettering #handlettering #handletteringfonts #handletteringalphabet #handletteringforbeginners #handletteringkit #etsy #shopsmall #calligraphy #moderncalligraphy #typography #calligraphyalphabet #calligraphyforbeginners #calligraphysupplies #handletteringsupplies


If you’re the type of person to learn more easily from video tutorials, check out these awesome hand lettering classes on Skillshare! The Art Spectrum has partnered with Skillshare to give readers 2 free months of Skillshare Premium

Classes: 

Hand Lettering: 4 Easy Steps to Modern Calligraphy

Hand Lettering Essentials for Beginners

Hand Lettering for Chalk Murals

What’s in your Lettering Toolbox? Know Your Hand Lettering Tools Like a Pro!

Learn on Skillshare

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Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

It is my pleasure to feature artist and graphic designer Rachel Roe on the blog! Rachel is a St. Louis based artist and you can check out her Etsy shop, her website, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?

My name is Rachel Roe. I am an artist and graphic designer based in St. Louis, MO. I work from my backyard art studio — a space my husband built for me to encourage my career as a full-time artist.

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in graphic design. So out of college, and for 4 years after, I was a full-time graphic designer (doing art on the side) working for a company that wasn’t fulfilling or pushing my creative limits.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

I’ve always had an interest in art but I never thought I could do it as a career — partly because of the sheer logistics of it but also partly because it was a scary transition from my comfortable job as a designer. But after a few encouraging voices and a leap of faith, I quit my 9-5, and started my career as a full-time artist.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

What is life like in Missouri? Any places in the area that inspire you or that you generally like to hang out?

I live in the outskirts of St. Louis so I get the hustle of the city but also the serenity of hiking trails, rivers and lakes all around me.

I’m lucky to live close to some pretty amazing/inspiring art museums. However, lately I’ve been trying to rely less on inspiration and more on discipline. Inspiration and motivation can be oh so fleeting. I’m learning I may not always be motivated but I can always be disciplined.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

Can you tell me a little bit about your vintage uniform series? What was the impetus behind the people being faceless?

The vintage inspired pieces were initially created around my admiration for vintage uniforms. By abstracting the faces and settings, the piece becomes more about the uniform and the type of persona it creates rather than focusing on a specific individual. The fluid/abstracted brushstrokes compliment the piece making it feel like a faded memory.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

What are some of your favorite art products/materials?

I love painting on birch wood panels. Being able to see the grain beneath the paint adds a natural element to the overall composition.

What have been some of your favorite projects and/or commissions? Any exciting paintings, projects or upcoming events in the works?

I’m always honored when people ask me to paint a commissioned piece of their loved one. I’ve done faces, families, dogs and buildings. It’s always crazy for me to be painting, painting, painting and all of a sudden… I stand back and there’s a personality staring back at me. Faces aren’t always the easiest things to paint but they sure are rewarding.

Interview with Rachel Roe | St. Louis Based Artist & Graphic Designer

I’m currently preparing for my first big art show. I’m producing tons of new works so it’s been so exciting watching my studio fill up with art.

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Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

I’m so excited to introduce everyone to artist and adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co. – Deanna creates durable gear for adventurers, and you can follow her blog and Instagram for the inside scoop on what’s new!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself, your business, and your blog? What does it take to run a handmade business?

I’m a full-time mom and wife from the Midwest with a healthy addiction to mountains and the outdoors in general. I own Dear Summit Supply Co. – a brand with which I’ve made leather journals and sketch books for over eight years, and more recently began adding in vinyl stickers and hand-printed shirts with my designs, all aimed at inspiring and equipping outdoor adventures. I also write the occasional blog post about my National Park shenanigans or sharing tips on creativity and journaling.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Running your own handmade business is not an easy thing to do, but it is incredibly rewarding. It takes a lot of hard work, self discipline, and follow through. I think people imagine me sketching and painting away all the time, but the reality is that the business side of the work (paperwork, emailing, planning, marketing, etc.) takes up a lot more of my time than the creative work.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.
But whenever I start to feel overwhelmed with the business end of my work, I remind myself that those parts of the job are what allow me to pursue the creative work I’m truly passionate about, and that’s totally worth all the struggle along the way.

What are your favorite national parks and why?

I am a huge fan of America’s National Parks system and the amazing natural landscapes they preserve. My favorite national parks right now are Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. My husband and daughter and I spent several days hiking there last summer and it was just magical. The Giant Sequoia trees are so huge and majestic, and will take your breath away. Hiking among them made me feel like I was in on some grand, enchanting secret.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

And of course, that trip was also a goldmine of inspiration for my art!

If I could, I’d love to go on an extended road trip someday, visiting as many national parks as possible and staying a week or two in each one.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Giant Sequoia trees
What are your thoughts on adventuring?

I define adventuring as just about anything that pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you – but ideally outdoors. That could mean a two-week backpacking trip, far removed from civilization, or it could mean a walk around the block in the rain. This is something I’m really passionate about because I believe that getting outside and seeing new landscapes and trying new experiences is one of the best things we can do for ourselves as humans. Study after study continues to confirm the stunning array of ways in which spending time in nature positively affects our minds and bodies.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.
We spend so much time sitting down and staring at screens that I think we forget what it feels like to have dirt between our toes or to listen, really listen, to the music of birds calling to each other. There’s something about walking through a forest or hiking on a mountainside that reminds us that the world is much bigger and more beautiful than our own worries!

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

What is the process like creating one of your stickers versus one of your handmade journals?

The process for creating a journal is quite different from the process to create a sticker. Making a leather journal is very time and labor intensive, requiring hours of precise work for each individual journal, even if I’m making multiples of the same design. I start with blank paper and hand-tear the pages down to the proper size, then fold them and punch the holes for stitching. The leather has to be cut and carefully punched as well before I stitch the two together with waxed linen thread.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co. #handmadejournals
I made journals for over eight years and even developed my own method to screen-print my mountain design onto the leather covers, but I’ve recently decided to retire my journals because of some shifts in my personal and business priorities.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.
With stickers, I draw out the design on paper and then edit it in Illustrator, where I might smooth out edges and play with the arrangement of words or other elements. This process feels really free and fun for me, plus, once a design is done, it’s done. I can send it off to the printers and I don’t have to repeat the process over and over for each sticker I sell, freeing me up to create more new designs (or just spend more time outside with my daughter).

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Can you tell me about your Tiny Pages Project? Do you have any other projects in the making?

A while ago I challenged myself to fill up a teeny tiny sketchbook I had made, whose pages were about 3/4 inch tall and 1/2 inch wide, and I called the series of sketches and paintings that ensued the Tiny Pages Project. It was a great exercise in figuring out which details to focus on in order to make each tree or mountain or bear recognizable in such a tiny size. I learned a lot from it and had a lot of fun with those tiny sketches!

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.
Currently, I’m doing a daily sketching challenge in a Baron Fig planner (inspired by my friend Jonny of @drawntosketching on Instagram). Instead of tiny size, this time I’m challenging myself with all sorts of subject matter I have never attempted before, in addition to my usual landscapes. Each week, I’m alternating between black-and-white and color illustrations, to hopefully improve in both. I’m only a few weeks into this new project, and I’ve already learned quite a bit with both methods.

Interview with Artist & Adventurer Deanna Jensen from Dear Summit Supply Co.

Watch Deanna’s Thoreau Quote Sketch Timelapse: “We Can Never Have Enough of Nature”

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Skillshare classes for those looking to dabble in journal-making:

Bookbinding: Make a Pocket-Sized Notebook

Click here to take this class

Introduction to Handmade Art Journals

Click here to take this class

 

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Artist Interview with Virginia Diakaki from The Greener Pastures

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art

It’s my pleasure to introduce artist Virginia Diakaki from The Greener Pastures Etsy shop. You can follow Virginia on Facebook and definitely check out her website!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I am an introvert with fits of extraversion.

I think with images and I try to put my thoughts on paper.

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art

Where do your draw inspiration from? What is the goal of your work?

I draw inspirations from various things seemingly diverse. It could be a person or Victorian advertisement. Most of my inspiration though comes from my personal experiences and feelings.

I love it when people connect with my images. The fact that no mater the distance or the difference in culture, age etc we all share the same thoughts and feelings, makes me feel part of a whole.

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art #lowbrowart #forbiddenlove #art #etsyseller

What materials do you use for your illustrations? What is the process like?

Currently I am using gouache on paper. I used to paint on wooden boards using acrylics but felt the need to experiment with something different.

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art #lowbrowart #art #etsyseller #etsyart

I start off with a pencil sketch on translucent vellum paper and I work on that until I have a very clear idea of what I want. Then I trace it on a white gouache paper and work on the color.

Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art #lowbrowart #etsyseller #etsyart #artprints #wallart #gothic


Interview with Artist Virginia Diakaki - Lowbrow Art #lowbrowart #etsyseller #etsyart #artprint #wallart #quoteart

Do you listen to music while you create? What have you been listening to lately?

I absolutely do! These days I’m listening to ‘Music from Before the Storm’ the latest album from the band Daughter.

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Artist Interview with Essi Kimpimäki from Essi Illustration

Artist Interview with Essi Kimpimäki from Essi Illustration #animalartprints #etsyartist #wallart #elephantartprints

I am excited to introduce everyone to Essi Kimpimäki from South-East Finland! Essi’s shop, Essi Illustration, is the perfect place to find colorful art prints and gifts – please feel free to take a look. You can also find Essi’s work on her artist website, and you can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art? What is life like in Finland?

I am a freelance illustrator, originally from Finland but I’ve been living in Scotland for the past 10 years. Drawing was always my favourite thing to do as a kid, and I can’t remember ever seriously considering of studying anything else than art. To be honest, I never thought I would actually make a living out of it but wanted to give it a go anyway, and so far it has worked out alright!

Artist Interview with Essi Kimpimäki from Essi Illustration #animalartprints #etsyartist #wallart

Artist Interview with Essi Kimpimäki from Essi Illustration #boatartprint #etsyartist #wallart #nauticalart

I moved to Glasgow to study at the Glasgow School of Art, and graduated with a degree in Illustration in 2011. The year after graduating was a bit hard, the difference between the art school and the real world was so drastic, I didn’t really know how to get commissions and how to in general start pursuing a freelance illustrator career. I ended up doing other random jobs, travelling, and eventually even went to study graphic design as I thought it would be easier to find work as a graphic designer. However, studying graphic design made me realize very fast that my passion lies in illustration, and that it really was all I wanted to do. So I dropped out after one year, and started working on my illustration career with a new motivation, and am still on that path!

Artist Interview with Essi Kimpimäki from Essi Illustration #travelphotography

So many of your pieces seem inspired by faraway places. What is the thought process and creative process like for these?

Yes! It really is one of my all time favourite themes to draw. The world is so full of magical, interesting places and cultures, so many countries that I want to visit – I know I probably won’t be able to see them all in real life, but on some level illustrating them can take me there. It can start from seeing a documentary, a photograph, hearing a song. It can also be a place I’ve visited myself, a feel of a location that I want to remember. I do some research, which can be reading about related topics, and of course looking at a lot of pictures. But I don’t want to replicate existing places exactly the way they are, my goal is to recreate the atmosphere of the location, to hopefully make the viewer be able to imagine how the place would feel (or to take them back there, if they’ve visited).

Artist Interview with Essi Kimpimäki from Essi Illustration #travelartprints #wallart #etsyart #architectureart #santorini

I do a lot of sketches of existing places, and then try to create my own scene from those. I also pay a lot of attention to colour, as I think every place has its own unique colour palette so getting the colours right can really help you to feel the place.

Artist Interview with Essi Kimpimäki from Essi Illustration

What has been one of your favorite projects or prints that you’ve worked on?

There’s been a lot of fun ones, but for some reason I’m now thinking about a project I did for my degree show years ago. I did a series of four screenprints called Sacred Animals, in which I looked at different cultures and their relationships with animals, and picked four interesting ones for my project. I had for example the royal white elephant of Thailand, where they are sacred and a symbol of royal power, and all those discovered belong to the king. It was the hectic final year of art school, but I got really into the research and loved reading and finding out more about the different customs and cultures. It combined my two favourite things, making images and learning about different cultures, and I guess that is why it still remains as one of my favourite projects ever. Which actually makes me think that I should do more of those!

Artist Interview with Essi Kimpimäki from Essi Illustration #animalartprints #etsyartist #wallart #elephantartprints

Do you listen to music while you create – if so what are some of your current favorite artists or songs?

I usually do like to have something on in the background. But when I’m reading a brief, doing research or trying to solve a problem (composition, colours, whatever), i.e. having to actually use my brain, I might often work in total silence, or just have something very chill and unnoticeable music on. My recent favourite has been this lofi hip hop radio on YouTube, very chill and nondistracting. Too fast or crazy music will make me anxious and unable to concentrate! Artist Interview with Essi Kimpimäki from Essi Illustration #animalartprints #etsyartist #wallart

Once I’m over the thinking part, I like to listen to podcasts, Radiotopia has some great ones, really love Strangers and Mortified and Criminal, then of course Serial was great as well as S-Town.. and plenty of others! And sometimes I like to watch documentaries or series on Netflix.

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Artist Interview with Rachel Gregor | Figures and Flowers

Artist Interview with Rachel Gregor | Figures and Flowers #flowerart #artist #etsyartist #painting

It is my pleasure to interview Rachel Gregor, painter and fine artist from Kansas City, Missouri. Make sure to check out her Etsy shop and her artist website as well!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your journey with art?

My name is Rachel Gregor and I’m a fine artist living and working in Kansas City, Missouri.  I grew up about 30 minutes west of Minneapolis, Minnesota where my parents own and operate their own retail greenhouse and nursery.  My mom was a freelance illustrator and graphic designer before getting involved with the greenhouse with my dad and grandfather, so that’s where a lot of my interest in art came from.  I remember as a child while she worked at her seeding bench she would place me at a table nearby with blank pieces of paper and crayons.  I was always drawing at a young age and she rarely bought me coloring books, so I had to invent scenes and stories to draw.  That’s how it always was throughout grade school, I was the kid with the sketchbook drawing Pokemon and trying to sell the drawings for 25 cents.  Eventually that led me to applying to an arts high school in Minnesota called Perpich Center For the Arts Education, I always knew I wanted to be an “artist” but that’s when I started to learn what that meant and then it became real.  I then went on to receive my BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute, gained a lot of great mentorships, and now here I am.

Artist Interview with Rachel Gregor | Figures and Flowers #flowerart #artist #etsyartist #painting #portraitpainting

What are you inspired by? What are the stories behind some of your portrait paintings?

A lot of my work is inspired by nostalgia.  When I was in college my grandparents started the process of moving out of their home and into a nursing home, and I started to become really homesick for their old house.  Even if the setting in a portrait is vague, I’m usually thinking back to their house and trying to get the idea or sensation of what it was like there.  I’m a huge fan of mid century patterns and household kitsch so oddly enough just surfing Etsy for weird ceramic knick knacks and table cloths gets me excited for painting.   In my larger compositions I usually try to hide away objects that I remember from my childhood.  I want my portraits to feel very still and mundane, but underneath the cheer and kitsch there is some darkness.   Even if they’re surrounded by flowers and cute prints, my figures are typically alone and isolated.

Artist Interview with Rachel Gregor | Figures and Flowers #flowerart #artist #etsyartist #painting #portraitpainting

What does the process look like for creating your portrait paintings? What are some of your favorite paint, paintbrush, and canvas brands?

I like to get pretty nerdy over my material process, but I think to be a painter you have to be very familiar with your medium.  When I’m doing a larger piece I work on stretched linen, typically a finer weave, always raw and never pre-primed.  I stretch and size my linen myself with rabbit skin glue, and once it’s prepped with an oil ground and has had time to cure, I can get to work.  I use rounds and filberts for my brushes, typically hogs hair, from various brands, it doesn’t really matter too much which brand as long as the brushes are the size I want and bristles aren’t shedding.  Rarely do I need fine sable brushes but I sometimes use these when working on really slick surfaces and for details, like with my still lives.  For my figurative work I like to work in a really direct method, wet into wet, and then switch to more indirect methods and using a dry brush.  Lately I’ve been really enjoying doing a grisaille, which is painting with a single pigment like burnt sienna or an umber, and white, letting that dry, and then doing layers of scumbling on top of that, which is essentially glazing but with little to no added oil medium.

When in comes to smaller pieces or studies, I really enjoy painting on toned paper prepared with acrylic gesso and ground pumice stone.   I prepare this myself but ColourFix makes great toning gessos with grit in them and ready to use pre-toned paper.   The nice thing about prepping it yourself is you can tint the paper tone to any color you like and because I’m using acrylic, the paper is sealed so I can use the surface for dry media, wet, or oil.  The pumice stone adds a really nice grip as well, so it has a nice tooth for both pastels and for painting, the brush can grab the surface and it doesn’t feel like you’re just smearing paint.  I also like to keep a roll of Grafix’s Dura-lar acrylic film around for the same reason, if I want to do a quick, small painting or study I simply cut a piece from the roll and no prep work is required.  One side of the film is foggy and has a bit of a grip, it’s not totally smooth, so again your brush has something to grab to and it doesn’t feel like you’re just smearing paint.

As far as specifics go with mediums and brands, I like M. Graham & Co. walnut oil for a painting medium and walnut alkyd if I’m working with dark earth tones.  Walnut oil has a slower dry time than linseed and is clearer and a bit more glossy.  Alkyds will start to form a skin within a few hours so be ready! I only use alkyds in the final layers.  If you want your paint to have that varnished look, sun dry your walnut oil by placing it in a shallow bowl and let it sit out for a few days.  It will become thick like honey and give your paints a beautiful gloss, much like an alkyd but I find it’s a bit more forgiving and workable.  I don’t like relying on varnish to give my paintings that final polish, it can become a crutch.  If a painting is built up with the proper mediums, it shouldn’t need an immediate coat of varnish as soon as it’s dried.

At this moment I probably have around 10 or more different brands of paint tubes, from Old Holland, Michael Harding, Winsor & Newton, to store brands like Utrecht.  I’m not really loyal to any particular brand.  Brands specialize in different products and mediums and I think it can be foolish to swear by one brand for all of your mediums and pigments.  When I’m at the art store shopping for paint, I look at the individual pigment, let’s say burnt sienna.  I like my burnt sienna to be very hot and orange, which goes against what a lot of people say burnt sienna should be-that it should have purple undertones.  So I go through each brand and sample the paint on a piece of paper and look for one that has the right temperature and undertones that I like.  I also look for how much medium they add to the paint, if it’s separated, if it feels dry, ect.  Even if I have a go to brand for one type of pigment, I always check because there can be variances between the batches.  Look for what you want in your pigment, just because Winsor & Newton makes a beautiful hot burnt sienna doesn’t mean that their yellow ochre is any good, it might be too green or too orange for what you want in that specific color.  Also never judge a brand by it’s price tag, more expensive brands at the store like Old Holland might make some beautiful tubed paint, but that doesn’t mean that the formulas or the pigments are right for your specific purpose.  Of all things, I actually like the student grade Winton cadmium red light a lot.  They add a wax filler to the paint to extend it, and if you are aware that it’s there that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I really like the added wax for painting flushed cheeks and ears.

Can you tell me about your Flowers from Home zine?

My zine, ‘Flowers from Home’ came about after my partner and I moved into our new house and I finally had the space to start gardening on my own.  I started thinking a lot about native plants and researching plants native to the midwest.  My studio work was consisting of a lot of still lifes based on Dutch Golden Age masters like Rachel Ruysch, and I started working on my own still life compositions based on dutch paintings but using native flowers.  Once I got a lot of sketches built up I decided to draw them out on a larger scale and reproduce them in a zine.


I decided to focus on native flowers from both Minnesota and Missouri since those are the two places I’ve so far considered ‘home’, so my native areas, and group the flowers based on blooming seasons or growing locations like prairies and woodlands.  It’s supposed to be semi-educational, since I did quite a bit of research going into the project I wanted the viewer to have to do some research as well.  Each drawing is accompanied by a list of all the flora featured, but it’s in alphabetical order by it’s scientific name, so if you want to identify a specific plant you’ll have to look up the names to try to ID it.

I like the idea of appropriating Dutch Still Life and using midwestern native flowers in place of the exotic and cultivated plants the Dutch loved.  Often times art scholars brush aside Dutch Still Life as a genre that’s purely aesthetic, but I find it extremely philosophical.  Many gardeners as well tend to ignore the possibility of using native plants because they aren’t showy enough or they think they can get weedy, without realizing that actually a lot of cultivars you find in nurseries are bred from US native wildflowers, or that there are many possibilities and ways to include native plants in your landscape along with cultivated plant species.  Both seem to be kind of mundane and humble in their own right, and I like the idea of combining them and using them to elevate each other.

Do you listen to music while you create? If so, what are some of your favorite music artists or bands?

While I’m working sometimes music can become too distracting and I find myself wasting time at the computer trying to find something or I realize I’ve been sitting there for several minutes just hitting the “skip” button.  If I’m listening to something, it has to be familiar so I can use it to fill the silence but I can also just ignore it, but I usually don’t mind silence, a lot of the time I prefer it.  If I need some sort of background noise though, I typically open up Pandora and put it on the Mirah station.  I also like Pinback, Death Cab for Cutie, and Wilco for working music.  A lot of the same indie music I’ve listened to since high school.  Very often though, I will listen to Brontë Sister novels via Librivox.  I’ve read them enough where I can tune in and out of listening, and I won’t ever get bored or frustrated and feel the need to skip the track.

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10 Fun DIY Art Kits

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

These 10 beginner DIY art kits are so inspiring, as well as affordable! Start with a kit to learn some basic embroidery, origami, painting, etc, and in the end you’ll also have something fun to display on your wall or shelf.

The first kit comes from The Wild Woods on Etsy – learn how to carve your own stamps with this kit, which contains all the carving tools and blades that you’ll need, as well as carving blocks and ink!

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

This DIY printable bird garland comes as an instant download from the Printspiring Etsy shop. You can see a video of this garland here. After downloading, you can print each bird yourself and follow the instructions to make the garland.

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

The Wildflower Art Studio sells beautiful starter kits, including this DIY watercolor kit. This kit includes beginner tutorials on beginner watercolor painting techniques and projects, along with all the brushes, paints, and paper needed.

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

This pop-up weaving loom from Hawthorn Handmade comes with everything needed to make your own woven wall hangings. Their shop specializes in craft kits for beginners.

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

Learn how to bind your own books with this bookbinding kit from Clever Hands.

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

This DIY Leaf and Flower Press Kit is handmade in the US  with cherry and maple wood, and details are included on how to collect your leaves, press and mount them.

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

Wooden Deckle sells a beautiful DIY paper making kit to help you make usable artistic paper.

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

This DIY string art kit from ARTERNO contains everything needed for making fun string art designs.

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

This nature inspired embroidery kit sold by the Jenny Blair Kits shop is perfect for beginner embroiderers.

10 Fun DIY Art Kits

This DIY zentangle painting kit from Mayhem Here comes with a printed giraffe on cotton canvas mounted to a custom piece of wood, resulting in a fished piece of art once painted.


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Artist Interview with Vera J. from Studio VerSie: Wall Hangings & Weavings

Wall hangings by Vera J. on Etsy

It is my pleasure to feature Vera Jonkers from the Studio VerSie Etsy shop in Delft, Netherlands who makes modern woven wall hangings! I hope you get some awesome wall decor ideas after reading this post!

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how you got into weaving? 

I’ve been a crafter for as long as I can remember. As a child I was always drawing, painting and making things. But it wasn’t until I got pregnant with my first child that I started gravitating towards yarn. I studied Architecture at the Technical University of Delft, but that didn’t result in a creative job. This creativity had to come out somehow, so I dabbled in a few creative hobbies, like knitting, crochet, painting and even screen printing. That’s when I discovered woven wall hangings in magazines, online and in stores, which sparked my interest towards weaving. It wasn’t until my husband coincidentally bought a loom for my daughter that I really started to pursue the idea of weaving. I started looking for tutorials online, stole my daughters loom and got started. It instantly got me addicted! I’ve been weaving almost every day for a year and half now and I love it. Finally, I have found something I am very passionate about.

Woven wall hangings by Vera J. on Etsy

Woven wall hangings by Vera J. on Etsy

What is the creative process like of creating one of your wall hangings? How long does it take to complete the entire process?

Most of the time it starts with me seeing something inspiring, like a combination of colors or an interesting pattern. This usually gives me a visual idea of something I could make. Then I will sit on it for a while to let the idea grow and take form. When I feel it’s time, I make a little sketch in my notebook and lately I even paint them. From there I start weaving. It usually takes me about a week to make the larger weavings.

Woven wall hangings by Vera J. on Etsy

Woven wall hangings by Vera J. on Etsy

How do you like to organize your studio/work space?

At the moment I have a temporary studio, but in a few months I’ll be moving and I’m so looking forward to that. I really love everything interior and I want my work space to be a happy place. I envision shelves filled with yarn, a large desk with a lot of space to weave and pack orders, a lot of light and inspiration on the walls.

Woven wall hangings by Vera J. on Etsy

Woven wall hangings by Vera J. on Etsy

Do you like to listen to music while creating? If so what artists or songs have been favorites lately?

I love listening to music. My taste is very diverse, it depends so much on my mood. Among my favourites are the soundtrack of the movie ‘Into the Wild’, the Common Linnets (Dutch) with ‘Calm After the Storm’ (you should really listen to that one!). One of my favourite songs is ‘Follow the Sun’ from Xavier Rudd. But I also love to listen to Dance music, from artists like Martin Garrix. You can find me dancing in my studio regularly!

What is life like in the Netherlands?

Besides the weather, I love living in the Netherlands. The people are fun and outgoing, the cities are filled with so much history. The Netherlands is a small country, but we are an innovative little bunch of people and I really appreciate being a part of that. There is one thing I miss though and that is mountains, it is so flat here. I guess that’s why we can basically live on our bicycles!

Woven wall hangings by Vera J. on EtsyWoven wall hangings by Vera J. on Etsy

Follow Vera on Instagram to see more affordable wall art

Get a custom fluffy cloud from Vera here!


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Recommended Reading  

Learning to Weave


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Artist Interview with Sally Welchman from Mogg Shop

I’m excited to introduce Sally Welchman from Mogg Shop on Etsy!

Can you give me a little background on yourself and how you developed your unique style?

Hi, my name is Sally and I live in Brighton in the UK. I went to art school and took a degree in design and then a masters in ceramics in Cardiff, Wales. I was then awarded funding by the Welsh Arts Council to do a one year ceramics residency in a small town in Germany. I had already been doing a lot of drawing during my M.A. and had produced some kind of 3D assemblages with wood I picked up in the street and other items collaged together, and in Germany I continued with this, creating paintings of animals using some of the ceramics tools and techniques I was using on my pots too. I think working on wood is a little like decorating the surface of a pot, because its an absorbent hard surface that can be carved into or sanded back. I like that you can keep a design simple whilst still giving it depth in that way.

Why the use of reclaimed wood?

Partly I use reclaimed wood because I like the idea of turning old things into new and reusing something that already exists. From an ecological standpoint I think that’s a good thing to do. Also though I just really like the look of wood that has already had a life and looks a bit battered, so its also for the aesthetic.


What are your sources of inspiration?

My inspiration comes from animals, our two pets (a dog and a cat) but also from feelings and human emotion. I am really interested in facial expressions and what they do and don’t reveal and how human expressions do not always reflect our true feelings: animals and young babies don’t cover their sadness or anger with a smile or “put on” a confident face when they are nervous etc. That’s something that interests me.

I work as a facilitator on a great project at the Brighton Museum, which is about providing a space for marginalized artists – often people with a diagnosed mental health issue or learning disability to make art. This is a project that has been running now for several years and is very inclusive and person centered. People can pretty much create what they want there and I find that very positive and inspiring. For my own work, I honestly feel that every day that I can make art is pretty exciting – I feel like I have the best “job” in the world!

Have you worked on, or are you working on, any exciting projects?

Coming soon I think is a book that will feature one of my cat paintings. It will be written by Desmond Morris (a famous and respected sociologist and author in the UK and a painter himself). The book is called Cats in Art and is due out in September (the book is now out and you can purchase it here!). I have also just finished taking part in an Open House exhibition with other artists at Bright Moon Studios in Brighton, which was a lovely experience.

What is life like as an artist in Brighton?

Life for an artist in Brighton is really good. Brighton has a large artist community and many galleries and events where you can show work and take part in open houses, craft fairs and networking opportunities. People here seem very supportive and interested in art and the city itself is close to London, with its major museums and galleries and also the countryside of the Sussex Downs and the wonderful seaside. Sussex has a long artistic history going back years and the Charleston House (home of Vanessa Bell) (@CharlestonTrust) and Virginia Woolf‘s house are nearby as well as the Ditchling Museum which showcases the work of significant local artists and craftspeople of the last century.

Thank you for reading and make sure to check out Mogg Shop on Etsy and get one of Sally’s reclaimed wood paintings!

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Contemporary Abstract Artist Melissa Mary Jenkins: Small Business and The Creative Design Process

I am pleased to introduce abstract artist Melissa Mary Jenkins, a 2016 Etsy Awards Finalist based in Erin, Canada. Please visit her shop at melissamaryjenkins.etsy.com. In the following interview she discusses the creative design process related to her abstract contemporary art paintings and her small business on Etsy.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and the development of your artistic style?

I was a high school teacher for several years before I began painting. I would say that I was always a creative person, from a musical and artistic family, but I didn’t begin painting till about 10 years ago. A good friend of mine and a very talented artist @kylahkussmannart began painting with me to help guide me through the loss of a pregnancy. I was immediately hooked on the magical feeling that arises from being the sole creative force behind creating a piece of art. I feel as though I progress daily in my artistic style but I struggle between the ease of creating abstract floral paintings and the freedom that abstract painting provides. I love interior design and how art can enhance and “complete” the look of a room.

Do you use any kind of reference for your abstract pieces?

I often try and picture my abstract art in a room in my home. The colours of blankets, pillows and plants in specific rooms will often inspire my paintings. I live in an old stone farm house surrounded by farm fields, a pond and ever-changing gardens which also influence my colour choices. We spend most of our summers up North on a lake, so my paintings often tend to take on the vibrant colours of the lake and trees in the summer months. Instagram also plays a huge role in providing inspiration for my paintings. I live with a chronic illness and often don’t venture out into the world as much as I would like to, so following artists, interior design feeds and travel photography on Instagram helps to spark my creative juices and be connected to a fabulous support network of artists.

Can you tell me a little bit about your mudcloth paintings and the process that goes into creating them?

My mudcloth paintings were sparked by the desire to provide a more affordable alternative to the typical (and gorgeous) mudcloth pillow or tapestry. I wanted to be able to incorporate the mudcloth trend in a unique way.

I was first attracted to mud cloth because it creates a touch of boho with handmade whispers of the clean geometric lines of a modern aesthetic. But when I started to research the process of creating this traditional Malian textile, I was drawn even more to the idea that each symbol creates a story that is meant to be interpreted and that it was believed that the mud cloth had the ability to absorb powerful negative experiences. As I create each piece, I think of my story that brought me to this artistic destination. I suffer from a chronic illness, but when I am able to create, I like the idea that the work of art can absorb my pain and dashed hopes and create a story of beauty.

Are you working on any new projects? How has your experience with Etsy and your buyers been?

I am currently working on a large floral commission and when I need a “break” I am creating mini abstracts inspired by all of my house plants and terra cotta planters mixed with my love of indigo blue and a pop of blush pink. I have been selling artwork on Etsy for about 5 years and all of my experiences with customers have been amazing. All of my commissions have been positive experiences and I am yet to experience a disgruntled customer. I was honoured to be a 2016 Etsy Awards Finalist, my work was featured in a collaboration by @houseandhomemag and @EtsyCA this spring, and I have been selected to be featured on @EtsyCA social media channels in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. Etsy has provided me with a platform to sell my artwork without having to leave my home (except to mail the artwork), which works for my energy level and family responsibilities.

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Recommended Reading

Etsy Excellence: The Simple Guide to Creating a Thriving Etsy Business

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