This is the latest project in my sketchbook. I call it a "Friend Want Ad" because it highlights all the characteristics I most appreciate in a friend.
As you can see, I'm always on the lookout for happy, thoughtful, ethical, generous, honest, smart, funny, creative people to add to my group of friends. And, apparently, I'm looking for neat, curious, practical people. I accidentally put all three of those words twice.
This is a fun project to do with kids because it's so interesting to see what words they choose. You may be thinking that everyone wants friends who are fun, kind, and nice, but once you look closer, you start to see words that don't appear on everyone's list. For example, I included the words careful, calm, and practical. Spending too much time with daredevils or highly energetic or impractical people both stresses me out and exhausts me. I want to spend time with interesting, responsible, well-read people. On someone else's Friend Want Ad, you might find words like active, social, outgoing, crazy, spontaneous, athletic, brave, wild, mysterious, trendy, extroverted, imaginative, rustic, solemn, or zany. All positive attributes, but not the best fit for me.
This project actually started when I was reorganizing my paint storage shelves to include the newest colors from Plaid. I ended up with a fun mix of colors on my desk and used them to paint random swatches in my sketchbook. At this point, I had no idea what I'd be doing with this spread.
And then, the Freehand Lettering Guidebook (affiliate link) showed up in the mail. They'd contacted me about reviewing it back in June; I'd forgotten about it by the time it arrived. But it turned out to be just the inspiration I needed to do something with the paint swatches.
The Guidebook starts with an introduction to hand lettering, with tips about the various media and substrates used for lettering. The first two chapters provide examples of alphabets written with fine, medium, and broad pens. Chapter 3 has examples of open face letters and Chapter 4 has script letters. Chapter 5 is all about setting, transforming, arranging, and decorating text.
After reading the introduction and flipping through the rest of the Guidebook, I grabbed some colored pencils and jumped in with adding words to my painted pages. Each word is inspired by a different alphabet from the book. I had different levels of success drawing them with colored pencil over paint. And I didn't plan out any of the words in advance, which explains any wonky spacing and repeated words. All part of the charm, right?
This was a fun project to do. I can see myself playing around with both the Friend Want Ad concept as well as the many alphabets in the Freehand Lettering Guidebook!