I often get asked through social media what products/supplies I use to create my work so I thought I would try break it down as a part of this series..
I use so many different types of brushes and never really stick to any certain brands. You can guarantee that if I am in a store with brushes.. I will buy them. If you are starting out I would definitely recommend not buying very expensive brushes and trying out a few different types to see how that influences your lettering style. I can pick up a few different round tip brushes and my writing will be completely different. For my "signature" style I mainly use large round tipped brushes which I first picked up from just office works. Otherwise I like picking up really cheap brushes that create some really great rough textures.
I also use some re-fillable watercolour brushes that you can pick up from most art stores. I also use some paint pens which I then customise the tip of with a knife so that I can get some more texture from it.
I pick up any pigment ink from the art store, normally just the largest one I can find. I also have heard you can get some great ink at Daiso.
I used to spend so so so much money on expensive paper to try find something that works really well with ink... then I ran out one day and had to use printer paper. The printer paper worked better than any other paper I had used so that is what I have used ever since. Doesn't seem very "arty" at all but I just pick them up at the grocery store.
Once I am happy with the original, I then use my scanner to scan it onto my macbook at a high resolution. I normally scan them in at grayscale 600 - 1200 DPI. After I have the file I use photoshop to clean up the background and do any adjustments that I need to. This is normally how I like to keep it but for certain commissions I do have to take it into Illustrator to trace it and recreate it as a vector file.
I also get a few questions about the printers I use for printing my typography and I use two main printers depending what I need. For high quality digital printing I use Colour Chiefs in Brisbane & for Foil / Specialty printing I use Stitch Press in Melbourne.
Don't Say What You Can Do - Show What You Can Do
From the moment I put brush to paper, I was uploading it to Instagram. And looking back at my first attempts is now like telling someone my first hotmail address.. it wasn't the greatest thing I have ever done but it was necessary. When I did that first attempt I could have looked down and thought.. "that isn't great who would pay me for this or why would they?" But I knew I wanted to continue and practice the skill. So at this stage I had no clients, no contacts and wasn't really broadcasting to my friends what I was doing. So I started created my own briefs and creating things that I really liked. I think my first personal project was around modern love letters.. kind of funny writing this now as I am currently writing love letters to my coffee *this is what happens when you're alone working a lot (sorry michael)
Because I really wanted to practice a lot, I thought the best way to jump into it all was by creating custom prints.. but I didn't have customers. So I first started by creating typography prints that I personally loved and getting them printed, styling them and posting them online. From there I got my first print orders which steamrolled into my first ever serious collaboration with Molten Store. I was beyond stoked, I love the brand that is Molten Store and Jessy is such a gem so it was a perfect match. From that collaboration I started my own online store in the months after selling my own prints. After that I was putting up more typography projects like logos and illustrating my fashion blog titles to put it out there like "hey I can do this" Once I started getting fashion clients from the mix of having a style blog and creating typography it kind of all fell into place. It is so so important to create work (even if the client is made up or yourself) that is like work you want to get and put it out there. There is no point just saying "I want to work as a creative director" that means nothing - show them what you can do. It isn't going to happen overnight.. in a paragraph it all seems very fast and easy but it meant giving up most of a social life for 2 years for it all to happen.
I hope this part helps a little, I still am not even half way through but I will try keep these posts coming. Excuse my late night ramble also, I am waiting for a phone meeting at 11PM (it's now 10:30 Friday) and I am trying to stay awake :|