Brush lettering workshop

Brush lettering is one of those things that the experts make look really easy.

Watching Joyce from Artsynibs give demonstrations, it was like some kind of magic power she was wielding with the brush and inks.

I soon found out that wasn’t a magic power but pure will, and, of course, lots, and lots of practice. Joyce has been doing this for years.

I took part in an Artsynibs Brush Lettering for Beginners workshop held upstairs in Form Lifestyle Store, which I featured here.

brush lettering workshop

The workshop was three hours, which on the face of it seems a long time. But believe me, when you are grappling with how to close your “o”, the time flies by.

After an intro to Brush Lettering and the equipment, we’d be using it was time to crack on with the task in hand and work through the Artsynibs worksheets.

worksheets for brush lettering

The booklet full of Artsynibs teaching materials is all designed and created by Joyce.

The reminders to pause and breathe between each exercise was helpful and timely. I’d had a week of events, leading up to a busy weekend and was feeling rather internally frazzled. I found myself holding my breath as I practised the brush lettering and this is why Joyce makes such a point, to breathe, relax and take breaks.

brush lettering manchester

It seems it is very common when learning a new skill like brush lettering or calligraphy, that we tense up. It was almost like being back at my Yoga class where the teacher often reminds me to breathe. I must really hold my breath when concentrating, especially when trying to be so precise, or in the case of Yoga; not fall over.

brush lettering with artsynibs

So was I any good at brush lettering?

Well, let’s just say that with some shapes and letters, I was pretty good. With others, I was rather dreadful! Some of the movements came very naturally but I felt a sense of frustration that I wasn’t great at it straight away.

That’s my ego talking, of course. We seriously can’t expect to nail something on the first attempt. I had to remind myself that it is part of the creative process to make mistakes and not be perfect. Especially when its the first time trying something.

brush lettering in manchester creative class

Vegan Matcha Cupcake!

It turns out the upstairs at Form Lifestyle Store is a great space for workshops. It was nice to hear the buzz of the shop below and be surrounded by the plants and gorgeous smelling products they stock.

We had refreshments and I was grateful for the matcha cupcakes that I could eat. We also got to take home some of the equipment, including the brush pen and walnut ink.

Joyce’s teaching style was down to earth and approachable, she understood our (the class’s) frustrations and guided us through.

For me, brush lettering felt therapeutic and frustrating at the same time. I think if I gave it some more time, I could grow to love it and improve. I can picture doing this in the future, perhaps whilst listen to a podcast.

What new things have you tried, which you found frustrating or soothing or fun? Let me know in the comments!


  • I was gifted my place on this workshop in exchange for an honest feature on my experience.
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  1. Kirsty
    November 22, 2017 / 7:52 am

    I’ve done calligraphy workshops and it’s soooo hard but so fun! Loved reading about your brush lettering experience!

    • Susie
      November 22, 2017 / 9:30 am

      Ah thanks, Kirsty! It takes a lot of focus, doesn’t it!

  2. November 22, 2017 / 10:31 am

    I’ve never done calligraphy, BUT I did take up double-dutch skipping a few years back and I must say I NAILED it! It was so much fun. Highly recommend giving it a go! But you need 3 people and some really really long ropes!

    My Nain (Welsh gran) used to do calligraphy and it was beautiful, I might give it a go, see If I can replicate the talents!

    Great post x

    • Susie
      November 22, 2017 / 10:43 am

      Oh, you might be lucky and it be genetic!

  3. hairwday
    November 22, 2017 / 10:49 am

    Calligraphy is something I have never done would be so interested! Also, vegan matcha cake really got my attention! xx

    • Susie
      November 22, 2017 / 11:32 am

      It’s such a great skill to have!

  4. freshdesignblog
    November 22, 2017 / 11:17 am

    This sounds like a fun course to have done. I’m not surprised you felt tensed up to start with, but glad you felt that you nailed at least some of the letters and numbers – practice makes perfect, as they say!

    • Susie
      November 22, 2017 / 11:32 am

      I need a lot more practice!! Thanks love

  5. Ellie
    November 22, 2017 / 11:37 am

    I would love to get into brush lettering – I feel like as a creative, it would be only beneficial! x

    • Susie
      November 22, 2017 / 12:39 pm

      Yes! Imagine the Instagram shots!

  6. kate
    November 22, 2017 / 3:59 pm

    Your lettering looks fab Sus! Joyce is such a great tutor, and Form is a great space for a workshop – happy to hear you had such a fun afternoon x

    • Susie
      November 22, 2017 / 7:07 pm

      Ah, thanks, Kate! Its such a great size- not too big, not too small. And yes Joyce is so patient!

  7. November 23, 2017 / 9:42 am

    What a lovely workshop to go on. It’s a beautiful craft and it looks like you got great results. It made me laugh the part about holding your breath as I do exactly that in Pilates!

    • Susie
      November 23, 2017 / 9:53 am

      Hehe!! What are we like! Thanks for stopping by today x

  8. November 24, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    What a treat – I bet you weren’t dreadful! I love brush lettering – you should keep at it! x

    • Susie
      November 28, 2017 / 12:22 pm

      I will be digging my folder out over Christmas! Thanks!

  9. November 25, 2017 / 7:55 am

    I’d love to do something like this. I remember doing calligraphy with my mum as a child. It looks like a fab workshop. I bet it’s a really relaxing activity once you get the hang of it and get past the frustration.

    • Susie
      November 28, 2017 / 12:23 pm

      Yes!! Totally that, I just need more practice!

  10. December 7, 2017 / 7:22 am

    I’ve tried to learn by myself through Pinterest for a while, but I think I need a workshop like this to really get me going. It looks really fun, too! (I spy cake!)

    • Susie
      December 8, 2017 / 11:01 am

      It really helps to have some there with you!