Skillsharin'

Lately I've been on a bit of a Skillshare kick. I've been a member for quite some time but I recently started a new wave of classes. My goal is to at least complete one class per month (a bit of a challenge with a full schedule but here's to education!).

One of my absolute favorite parts about the platform is the fact that you can share your project with your classmates, be as detailed as you want in your step by steps and ask for feedback from your peers. Skillshare works on a sort of open ended schedule (you know, when you can join the class whenever and work on your project at your own pace) which can be great if you have a ton of work one week and zero the next...or if you tend to get distracted half way through projects. The downside to this formula, however, is that it's hard to figure out just who is actively working on a project, which really limits the feedback factor. 

BUT, recently, they started to introduce class sessions, where you are given more of a structured curriculum complete with a course outline and set deadlines. The idea is to get a big enough group of people that are all actively taking the class at the same time, which leads to more peer to peer interaction and consistent feedback. It even gives the instructor a chance to be present in the forums when there is the most activity. These sessions are completely optional, but I highly recommend them. Personally, I just like the pressure of having a deadline to meet (whatever works right?).

Here's an abridged version of my most recent venture: the August session of Martina Flor's "The Golden Secrets of Script Lettering...


"The End"

This is it. I can't believe it's been a year since I set myself the goal of designing something every week. I started this project at a point in my life where the opportunity to design daily was very very rare in my 9 to 5. I knew that if I wanted to improve my lettering skills I had to make time for it, no matter what. This year has been flown by and it's been amazing just how many opportunities have come because of this decision. I will be keeping every single post on the site (the great along with the not so great) because I want to be able to understand what worked for me and what didn't. I want to remember the mistakes I've made but also how far I have come in such a short time. For those of you who have stuck through this with me, I want to say thank you, truly, there are some people without whom I might've let this fall by the wayside. For those of you who might stumble upon this once it's done, I hope you enjoy what you see, even if for a second.

I am very excited about some upcoming projects that I hope to share with you soon, I am only now getting started.

TheEnd_MMartinez


"Bang"

For those who don't know, I may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with the movie Easy A. Last week it was playing in the background while I was sketching and the phrase "not with a fizzle, but with a bang." really stuck with me. I started thinking about growing up with the comic stylization of onomatopoeias and wanted to do something inspired by it.

Bang.jpg


2015

For every New Year, my family has a tradition of eating 12 grapes for every last 12 seconds of the year. For every grape you eat, you make one wish that you hope will come true in the new year. It's one of my favorite holiday traditions and I always look forward to spending these last seconds with my family as we all cheer and make our wishes as we stuff our faces impossibly fast.

Here's to a new year and the last three weeks of this project.

"Feliz Navidad"

I'm counting down the days to make it home for christmas this year and eat all the mexican food I can get my hands on! Here's to the holiday cheer!

"Wow"

This has got to be one of the brightest color palettes I've used in a while. I found a couple of sketches for just this word over and over in some scrap paper when I was doing some cleaning and I thought I was on to something. I chose one of the roughs and refined it until I got to something I liked. I wanted the colors to match the playfulness of the word as well as the impact it can sometimes have.

"Never Quit"

It seems like over the past few weeks, practicing script has been a big focus for me. I used to say that I could never work in the right flourishes and ligatures into script but the more I practice and research and look for inspiration, the more I find myself experimenting and growing with this aspect of lettering. I was on the fence about vectorizing the lettering (I thought it would give it a cleaner look) but to be quite honest I wanted the challenge of creating the cleanest lines I could and really taking my time with working by hand. I have to say I am very pleased with the outcome.

"We Belong Together"

Since the very beginning, this project has been about experimenting. The longer it has gone on, the harder it becomes to not get sucked into trying to make every detail perfect. I have to constantly keep reminding myself that I am allowed to make mistakes because in the end, I am working for me, to make myself a better designer. Every once in a while I get a week where I am everything but happy with the execution but I have learned that sometimes it's better to finish, learn from my mistakes, and move on. I love this concept and the vectoring but I really just ran out of time to give the execution the time I think it deserves. I would love to revisit this sometime in the future but for now on to the next.

"Smooth Sailing"

The past few weeks have taught me the importance of positivity through tough times. Sometimes, we are so focused on all the things that have been going wrong that we fail to realize that maybe the biggest thing in our way is ourselves. It all becomes about the "couldn'ts" and the "didn'ts" that we forget that it's okay to not know and that it's okay to struggle because at the end we come out the other side better for it. I've been reminding myself to stop and realize how far I've come and to look ahead at better things rather than looking over my shoulder waiting for something bad to happen. From now on, it's full speed ahead.


"Just Breathe"

Lately I've been experimenting a lot with swashes and serifs! Script lettering is a lot more comfortable for me but I wanted to try and challenge myself this week. I wanted to convey the feeling of putting yourself together after a rough day and how sometimes all you need is to stop and take a second to relax and breathe. I felt like adding a flow to a traditional serif was a good way to represent that feeling.

I don't usually show step by step process but I think this week's lettering style really lent itself to the idea. After figuring out the final composition, I created a close to final refined sketch. I then traced over it and corrected things like spacing and refined along the way. After bringing the scan into illustrator to digitize, I used brushes in photoshop to add the final texture.

Pencil refined sketch

Inked and scanned outline

"It's the little things"

For this week's post I went with one of my favorite phrases. My concept is simple but I wanted my execution to be a more of a challenge.

I decided to draw everything to scale instead of using the computer to resize the image. The original drawing is about an inch across. Doing this helped me keep the attention on the small details.

"Count your blessings not your problems"

This month I've spent too much of my time stressing out over a lot of things that I've never had to deal with before. I've been trying to remind myself of this quote a lot lately.

I've realized lately that I've gotten so caught up in racing to these goals that I've set myself that I've forgotten to take a break and just look at how far I've come. I've been letting the little things get in my way when in reality I should take a second to celebrate every victory and enjoy the ride.

"Reunited"

This past weekend, I ventured to AZ to visit one of my best friends. Catching up made me remember the importance of those forever friends and the impact that they still have in my life. Although our paths may lead us in different directions, we will always find a way to stay connected. That's the idea that I wanted to illustrate here. Those types of friendships are golden.