It was back in September 2014. It had just been a year since I started lettering and things were going well. I was posting work regularly, getting great response, slowly building a little audience. I had just launched my new website a few months before after working on it for 3 months, so I felt pretty active at the time.
Yes, but there was one thing everyone was pressing me about.
Everyone was saying "you should teach".
"You should have a blog."
Blogging was super scary to me. I had never had a blog that survived 5 articles. With my day job, starting to blog weekly just sounded like purposefully adding on ton of unnecessary work to my plate. Plus, what would I say? After all it had just been a year. The idea of writing about lettering like I "knew things" suddenly felt like climbing a mountain while learning to walk.
It took me months to decide. I had this little newsletter widget on my website getting more and more newsletter subscribers, doing nothing with them. I beat around the bush for months, then something happened.
I got fed up with the indecision, so I just decided to post my first article. Just like that, no announcement, no buffer, nothing. I posted my very first article, sent out a newsletter to my then 30 subscribers, and that was it. I was now committed.
Two years after
We're two years after. Can you believe we already passed 100 articles? The newsletter has exploded with more than 700 subscribers and excellent open rate. The conversations I've had with some of my subscribers are pure gold. Clearly, the impact has far exceeded my expectations.
This blog doesn't work like others. I'm fiercely attached to its quality. First off, I don't do ads, and I will never do. I'm not scared to write this down because I know I won't. Your trust is more valuable to me than what I can make out of selling your attention to whomever. Same goes with sponsors; I decline every single request. If I'm talking about a product, it's because I use it and like it, not because some brand is paying me for it.
Every article is a direct answer to a question I've gotten from newsletter subscribers. Who knew that people still read newsletters, let alone reply to them, right!? The fact is, they do, when they're getting what they asked for. When they feel they're being listened to. And this, to me, is the prime strength of this blog.
If you're listening, you can learn a lot about people in two years. You notice patterns. You start seeing common trends. You actually get to know your audience, understand who you're talking to, and it's a real eye-opener on what to do next.
These are the reasons why I've decided to launch a brand new video show: Practice Lettering.
Practice Lettering is your fiery, no b.s. video show about lettering. Every episode tackles a different aspect of lettering and brings you the very gist of it. No need to skim through a 2,000 words article to find what you're looking for, it's all here.
Practice lettering is the perfect show for people who are just starting out with lettering and want to learn fast and right, as well as intermediate/advanced letterers who want to consolidate their existing knowledge without wasting their precious time.
Adapting to my audience
Over the past few years, there's been a huge rise of video content. People are still likely to read an article, but they're even more likely to watch a video. Video is easier and quicker to consume.
Lettering is the perfect candidate for video content. It's much easier to show kerning or overshoot in video than trying to explain it by writing and with photos.
I was also concerned about the time it takes to consume my content. While blog articles are great to get in-depth knowledge about a specific lettering aspect, it requires that you stop what you're doing and take the time to read.
The truth is, learning can be a form of procrastination. Some people are experts at this, and they don't even do it on purpose. They read big fat Donald Young books, bookmarked articles, sit in front of full-length video courses, but they never seem to ever touch a pencil. They tell themselves they're in learning mode, that they need to go through this before being able to do anything or they might do it the wrong way.
I don't want you to spend too much time reading tutorials. I want you to get a little sip of motivation and get cracking. I'm a firm believer of learning by doing. I don't want you to bury yourself under tons of studying material, I want you to start doing actual lettering as soon as possible.
Practice Lettering is designed to be short and fiery. It's meant for you to only spend a few minutes learning and be pumped to start a new piece. Hell, you can even draw while watching it.
I've made it so it only contains the very essential of what you need to know on a specific lettering aspect. This isn't the video version of the blog. Every second counts. I've eliminated all the fluff so you don't have to scrub through the video to find "when it starts". Basically, it's like I'm always available to explain this very thing about lettering, whenever you need.
So... is the blog over?
No! Definitely not.
Practice Lettering isn't the death of the blog. I'm going to keep writing weekly just like before. Really, there's no catch. Nothing changes.
I know you're attached to the blog and I'm not taking it away from you. Practice Lettering doesn't make it irrelevant, it's just a new form of lettering educational content.
In addition to the blog and the videos, Practice Lettering will come with shownotes. Basically it's a transcript of what's being said on the show. Therefore, if you're the reading type, or you can't play the video right away, or you just don't understand my lovely accent, you can fallback on shownotes. Pretty neat, right?
When is it coming out?
Practice Lettering isn't ready yet. I've been working hard on it for the past few weeks and I'm not done, but I'm getting there.
You can expect Practice Lettering in early 2017.
In the meantime, you can subscribe to the newsletter and be notified as soon as the first episode goes up. You'll also get updates about the show.
If you're already on the newsletter, you can update your preferences simply add Practice Lettering. Either find the link at the bottom of one of my newsletters, or try to subscribe again and click the "update preferences" link.
I know! Me too. This is an exciting new adventure and I can't wait to start to with you. I'll be releasing more information about Practice Lettering in the following weeks, so stay tuned and don't hesitate to reply to my newsletters. Remember: I read everything, and I reply to most :)