New Rivers + New Roads

Live boldly. I have these two words hanging up on the wall above my desk and they have together become a sort of motto for my life. I’d like to think that this year, I’ll do something that pushes¬†me in new directions¬†and challenges the boundaries of my comfort zone.¬†The most prominent¬†way I’ve done this as of now is through taking on an internship at The Move Church.

If someone¬†told me a few months ago that I’d one day join the church team as an intern, I probably would have laughed in his or her face. I’m normally¬†the one who tends to say “that sounds like a really cool opportunity,”not¬†the one who¬†says “that sounds like a really cool opportunity that¬†I should take advantage of.” But actually acting on my impulses this time around turned out to be one¬†of the best things I could have done for myself.¬†I’ve only been a part of The Move Church’s team for a¬†week,¬†but it¬†has already challenged¬†me in a multitude of areas in my life, most importantly in my faith. It has been a big leap into the unknown, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey thus far.

I’m sure I’ll post more about The Move in the future, but right now I wanted to take a moment to share our¬†first project.¬†My incredibly talented friends¬†and I covered¬†a large area on the wall with chalk paint, and on it we wrote the central verse for the current campaign “New Rivers New Roads,” which says

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

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Can I just put it into writing that I am so proud of my team¬†who stuck with me to make this project possible? I can’t wait to work with them and make more things!

And happy Wednesday: live boldly today!

Crash Course: How to Make a Print

In the midst of the busyness and stress that comes with Finals Week, it’s important to take breaks and rest from studying every once in awhile. And what better way to do that than make a fun lettered print? I personally believe lettering is therapeutic and is a constructive way to spend your down time. And if you’re struggling to find good Christmas presents for someone, these are great gifts because they’re customizable and, more importantly, hand-made by you:))

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This post describes the broad process I generally follow in drawing out this print. I am by no means an expert, so you should take my instructions with a grain of salt!

How I Letter

Choose a quote:¬†Do you have a favorite Bible verse or saying? Then letter it! Try to keep the quote at around ten words in length. That way, your print will look cleaner and planning the layout of the print will also be much easier. But if you are feeling ambitious and want to letter something longer, go for it! For this print, I chose a quote I stumbled upon on Pinterest that reads “Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures.”

Plan the layout: Now that you have chosen your quote, it’s time to plan out the format of the print. I typically start by thinking of any words I want to emphasize. I want to emphasize the words or phrases that mean the most¬†to me; for¬†my¬†print, I wanted to draw attention to¬†blessed, curious, and adventures.

On to the layout! This is the part I have the most fun with because there is an endless combination of ways you can arrange your words. Grab some scratch paper and start¬†sketching. Play around with fonts and word size. I like to make more “important” words cursive and larger while making minor words smaller and in print. If you’re feeling fancy, incorporate a banner to draw the eye to a word or phrase.¬†Of course, the most important thing to keep in mind is that flexibility is key and that there are no such things as mistakes. There is no wrong way to do things in the planning stage.

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the final sketch, drawn on some old guitar tabs

In these pictures, hopefully you can see the evolution of my ideas. I knew I wanted to put “curious” in a banner, so that was set from the start. After tweaking¬†the shape of the banner, adding in¬†the arrow, and changing¬†up the arrangement of a few¬†words, I was finally happy with my sketch.

So once you have an idea you are satisfied with, transfer it to your “real” paper.¬†From this point on, I make sure I have all the materials I need: some good paper (I use Canson’s 100lb/260g Bristol smooth paper and cut it down to¬†8″x10″), a non-mechanical pencil (I find they’re easier to erase later on), a ruler for measuring and drawing guide lines, and a really good eraser. The eraser is definitely an important component because if you’re anything like me, you will be doing a lot of erasing.

Sketch it out: I normally start this process by drawing out some guidelines. If anything, I draw lines to divide the paper into half vertically and horizontally. For this print, I drew a lot more lines since so many different things were going on.

After drawing the guidelines, start adding in elements. I usually start in the middle and work upward/downward to ensure the print is centered vertically.

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The above is a rough sketch of what I wanted the print to look like. The general placement¬†of everything was¬†on the page, and every time I reach¬†this point on any print, I¬†breathe a sigh of relief because from this point on, it’s generally smooth sailing! I might do some light erasing to fix some fine details, and I definitely trace over things once or twice so I can solidify the shape of everything.

So once I did my fine editing, my paper looked something like this:

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Trace over with pen or marker: Trace over the pencil with a pen or marker. I used the Tombow Fudenosuke hard-tip calligraphy pen which I like because rather than having to retrace over strokes to make them thicker, I can make thin or thick strokes just by adding or taking away pressure. Use a calligraphy pen if you want, or you can definitely use a Crayola marker and get the same results! The important thing to be mindful of here is keeping your strokes as even as possible.

Erase all the pencil marks once you’re done tracing to finish up the print!

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My final product:

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I hope this was a helpful read, and I would love to see what your print looks like if you decide to make one yourself!

Healing

He said, ‘If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.’ Exodus 15:26 (NLT)

When I heard this verse maybe a month or so ago at church, I knew it was something that would definitely end up in my lettering journal. I forget why this particular verse was mentioned, but nevertheless, it resonated in me and I just had to put it out there. At around that same time, I had just learned how to draw a floral wreath from my favorite IG letterer and decided that this verse would be a great place to practice my newly acquired skill:

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After this print circulated social media for awhile, my mom contacted me and told me someone wanted two of these prints for her daughter, flower wreaths and all. I will admit that I was slightly confused; of all the verses in the Bible, why would someone choose that verse? I just went with it and still was skeptical until my mom clarified the situation for me.

The person that placed this order wanted two copies of this print for her daughter. One copy would be for her daughter, B (I feel so bad–I know her name starts with B, but I don’t remember what her name is!!), and the other for B’s¬†friend Olivia. B and Olivia are both nine years old.¬†B¬†picked¬†this print out herself because¬†Olivia is currently battling osteosarcoma. She wanted this print to remind her and Olivia both that God can heal anything, even Olivia’s bone cancer.

So lettering these pieces was a really humbling experience. I find myself still in a state of admiration when I think about just how much faith B and Olivia have. For this, I look up to these girls who are demonstrating what unwavering faith in the midst of challenging circumstances looks like. And as for Olivia, I know that God has already used her story and will continue using it to shape the lives of many. I know she has shaped mine.

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And lastly, I ask that if you’ve gotten this far in the post, could you join me in praying for Olivia and for God to bring complete healing to her body? That would mean the world.

Pursuit

Happy Monday!

As some of you may know, I picked up hand lettering over the summer and it has been my newest crazy obsession.¬†Lately, I’ve been especially busy with custom lettering orders as I’m fundraising for an ISL trip coming up in the spring, but hey I’m not complaining.

The cool thing about custom orders is that I have no idea what people will ask of me. I never thought it would turn into this, but doing lettering orders has definitely been a learning experience. Not only does completing orders allow¬†me to refine my lettering style and work on my skill, but¬†I’ve also gained new exposure to a lot of good quotes and Bible verses. More importantly, I’ve had to scribble¬†so many thumbnails, sketch¬†so many¬†drafts,¬†and erase and rewrite so many times that these verses and quotes have become internalized in my mind.

Lettering is also a means of meditation for me. When I letter my orders, I have plenty of time to think about what I’m writing about, what value it holds, and what it could mean in the context of my life. So this post is hopefully the start of a fun series where¬†I’ll be sharing a piece I’ve done as well as my personal reflection on it.

So…yeah. Let’s go ahead and get started!
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Look for Christ, and you will find Him. And with Him, everything else.

-C.S. Lewis

When a good friend of mine asked me to letter this quote, I was really excited to do so because 1.) everyone knows C.S. Lewis is pretty much the best, and 2.) I found this quote to be applicable to life, especially as a college student.

I know that at least for me, I¬†dedicate a good majority of my time as a Biology major hunkered down in my room over Organic Chemistry or Genetics textbooks. I spend so much of myself on my work that if and when¬†I’m not careful, it draws¬†me away from¬†what, or rather Who, is truly¬†important.¬†God shouldn’t be an afterthought or a second resort, and sometimes I get so caught up with my pursuits in my future career path or in other things that I forget that.

Yesterday at church, our pastor talked about how the things of this earth will fade, but heavenly things will remain forever. I need to be reminded constantly that¬†my pursuit of God’s face is the most important thing I will ever do because it is everlasting. And when I choose to find Him first and choose to prioritize Him over everything else, everything else will fall into place.


Want a print? Let me know!