A favorite client came to me with this delightful poem “You Are My I Love You” by Maryann Cusimano Love. They had me create it for their daughter as she was turning one. Since people are always asking ,”How do you do that?” I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how a project like this is made.
First I determined from the client, the size and shape of the final piece. She asked me to emphasize certain phrases that were her favorite. She had a particular place on a wall that she wanted to hang it. Next I discussed my vision of a combination of lettering styles and the flow of the words. After that I created a rough layout on tracing paper.
Two colors are chosen and mixed. This can take a long time and lots of testing but they need to be just right. A sample of the colors is lettered on the chosen paper ( Arches 140lb 300 gsm hot press Watercolor ) and sent to the client for approval.
The rough layout is tweeked a bit before the paper is placed on my light table and the first color and style of lettering is brushed in.
After the second color of lettering is done, I used black strips of paper to help me gage where the piece should be cropped. The original poem is then mounted on foam core and given to the client for framing.
The client was so thrilled she even had me make a color copy for display at the child’s birthday party while the original was being framed.
For me, it’s a nice feeling to create something that expresses so much love and whose words will be cherished by this little girl as she grows into a young woman.
I hope this gives you a better understanding of the process of a lettering artist and the time and care it takes to do what we do!