Tuesday, March 29, 2016

New Art Series // Hand-Lettering

I finally got to my next post in this series.  Took me long enough, right?  If you missed the first post in the series, A New Art Series // Adult Coloring, click here.  After this post, there will be one more in the series... and I'm saving the best for last (at least, that's my opinion).

About a year ago, I started getting into hand-lettering.  It's like modern calligraphy.  I can't do calligraphy to save my life.  I've tried.  Not happening.  I can however do "fake" calligraphy.  IT'S A MILLION TIMES EASIER.  It just takes some traditional cursive.  (My cursive is a scribbly mess, but that's okay.  I have a trick. *wink*)

Before I get started with the "tutorial", let's take a look at a sample of hand-lettering.  See what we're up against.  HAHAHA.  Just kidding.  It's really simple.  Wait, did I just say I was going to show you a sample?  Excuse me a moment while I dig through my overflowing folders of artwork to find a decent drawing.

That is the best one I could find.  It happens to be one of the few I have done in color.  Personally, I prefer black and white, but either way works.

One more thing before I start.  Hand-lettering is't made to be perfect.  It can have flaws.  Those flaws are what makes it so pleasing to the eye.  It shows that is was hand-done, not typed out on the computer.  Don't worry about the tiny mistakes you make.  Perfection is not the goal.

There are a couple essential tools needed, and then there are some that are optional.  Let's start with the necessary tools.

- Paper
- Pencil
- Fine-liner pen or Sharpie pen/marker

Now for the optional items.  I didn't start using these until after I got some experience.

- Ruler
- Graph Paper
- Colored markers
- Colored fine-liner pen

I have my own unique handwriting - the way I write when I don't think about exactly how a stroke is going to be.  So, how do I overcome that?  How do I develop a font that has no relation to my handwriting?  Here's that trick I was talking about earlier.  I think about the letters as shapes.  For example, the "M" is an upside-down triangle, minus the top edge.  Then, two lines come down from each side.  I really hope all that jabbering made sense.

Okay, let's talk fonts.  I'll go through a couple different ones that I use the most, like calligraphy, all-caps, and block.

If you need some ideas for fonts, check out dafont.com.  SUPER HELPFUL AND AWESOME!

How to: Calligraphy

For this, no special tools are needed.  Just a pencil and fine-liner pen/sharpie.  First, I draw the word in cursive with a pencil, spacing out the letters more than normal.  If I need to adjust it, I can easily erase.  Next, on the down strokes, I thicken up the line as shown below.  Lastly, I go over my work with a fine-liner pen or sharpie and erase the pencil marks.  I illustrated this process in the picture below. 

Step 1: Draw the word in cursive with a pencil.  Erase and adjust as needed.

Step 2: Thicken the down strokes in the word.  Then, go over with a fine-liner pen or Sharpie.

How to: All-Caps

All caps is one of the easiest fonts to do.  The hardest part about this font is keeping the letters consistent in height and width.  All caps is self-explanatory, so instead I will show you a couple twists I use to jazz up the capitol letters.  

How to: Block

Block is another one of my favorites.  The Block font is the word "Child" on my sample.  The easiest way to draw block is to put graph paper under the paper I'm drawing on.  By doing this, it's way easier to make sure my thickness stays consistent.

Now it's time to put all of this together.  This process is how I do it, but you might do it differently.  That's okay.  Everyone has their own style.

Make a plan.  This is my first step.  I take a scrap piece of paper and write out the quote or phrase in all caps.  I circle the words I want to be larger and more emphasized on the paper.  Then I draw a mini version of my paper.  Just a rectangle.  I decide my overall position of the words, borders, and other shapes. In this stage, I begin to experiment with fonts.  I have my basic design down.  Is it readable?  Is it arranged so all the words fit on the page?  When I finally get everything the way I want it, I ask myself the most important question.

Not only is the drawing about the words themselves, but the way they are designed and placed on the page.

Sketch out the design.  I have my plan.  Now it's time for me to do the dirty work.  I grab my pencil and eraser and get to work.  The reason I don't use a pen in this step is because a pen is permanent.  If I make a mistake, which I will, I can't erase it.  This step is where I can draw, change, and tweak things.  When I start drawing in pen, there is no changing it, so it has to be perfect now.  Once I have a sketch in pencil and I am satisfied with my work, I bring out the pens.

Go over the sketch in pen.  I typically use a black fine-liner pen for this, but some other options are a black sharpie, or even other colors.  I would go with darker colors, though.  The pencil marks might show through and mess up a yellow.  This step takes some time and a smooth hand, but my drawing really starts to shape in this step.

Touch up the drawing.  I can fix some of my squiggly lines by going over them again, but remember, the imperfections are what adds to the beauty of it.  If I choose to add color, I do so in this step.  Once the drawing is exactly the way I want it, I erase my pencil marks.  And its done!

Whew... that was much longer than I thought it would be!  There is so many tips and tricks for hand-lettering that I could go on for days.  For more help with hand-lettering, I found YouTube a very helpful tool.  Have fun with it!

- Mickayla

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Liebster Award

I have been nominated by Hosanna at Having a Heart Like His for the Liebster Award!  Thanks so much, Hosanna.  Since I just did a tag on Tuesday, I decided that I should probably not post this award on a Tuesday.  Without further ado...


- Link back to the person who tagged you
- Answer a 11 questions
- Tag 11 bloggers who have less than a thousand readers
- Ask them 11 questions
- Let them know you've tagged them through social media

Hosanna's Questions:

1. Why did you start a blog?
While everyone I know has a writing blog, I was searching the internet for a artist blog.  I had a lot of trouble finding one.  Then I thought, I should just start one.  And that's what I did.  It evolved from there into a drawing/writing blog.

2. What was the last book your read?
Charlie Bone and the Red Knight.  This series was my absolute favorite when I was 7 (or 8), so I had to read them again.  Who doesn't like to re-read their childhood books?

3. What is your favorite word that starts with a "t"?
Hmmm.  I would have to think about that one.  *thinks about words that starts with a "t"*  I would have to say "tuxedo".  Yes, super random.  I know.  The story behind it?  Awkward silences.  They're... awkward.  After about 10 seconds of this silence, I would blurt out the word "tuxedo" and everyone would laugh.

4. Violet or Green?

5. What is a country you would love to visit?
New Zealand.  It's where Lord of the Rings was filmed.  I'll stay in Hobbiton.  Or just move there. =)  I mean, why not?

6. Who is the most inspirational blog you follow?
That's a though one.  Probably Go Teen Writers.  If I have any writing questions, I can find the answer there.

7. Do you have a story behind your blogs name?
Not really.  Sorry!  When I thought up the name, I wanted it to be something that encompassed both drawing and writing.  And drawing and writing can change the world!

8. In one word, describe on of your story's main characters? (and explain why your chose that word!)
Broken.  She has been through so much (by my choosing of course *smiles*).

9. What is your favorite time period of history?
I'm not a big history person, but I would say the medieval times.  Come on, knights and castles and swords!

10. Do you prefer fantasy or mystery?
Fantasy.  Not the kind with fairies and mermaids, but books like Lord of the Rings.

11. Favorite bible verse?
I have so many, I can't decide.  If I had to choose just one, I would say 2 Corinthians 12:9.  And I'm not going to tell you what it says.  Look it up for yourselves *evil laugh*; and print it out... because it's awesome.

My Questions for You:

1. What was the first story your ever wrote?  What was it about?
2. What do you like on your pizza?
3. Vanilla or chocolate ice cream? (Can you tell I'm hungry?  Okay, no more food questions.  I promise.)
4. If you could choose one author to stay at your house and write with, who would it be? (It doesn't matter if they're dead.  You have a time machine, too.)
5. Doctor Who or Sherlock?  Or neither? :(
6. What is one artistic thing you were better at?
7. What is your favorite sport?
8. If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with it?
9. Tell me the first thing that pops into your mind when I say "swimming".  (Why I chose that?  First word that came to my head.  That's ironic.
10. When you were young, what was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?  (Does that make sense... I hope so.
11. Do you make references in daily conversation? (I do.  Typical fangirl.)

11 people??  All the bloggers I know have already been tagged.  I nominate anyone who wants to.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Making Decisions the Christian Way

Have you ever played the Game of Life?  You go through the game, spin your turn, and land wherever you land.  The game decides when you get married, have kids, retire.  There are a couple choices in the game, like if you want to go to college or straight to your career, but mostly, the game determines everything.  

Real life is not that way.  Every second of everyday you have a choice.  A choice whether you want to keep working on that homework, or obey your mom when she asks you to wash the dishes.  You have to make a choice on what to say to your friends and family.  There are the small decisions we have to make, and there are the big decisions in life, too.  Life is not like the game of life.  We don't spin the answer to our decision.  Are you overwhelmed already?  I am.  That's why I can't do this by myself.  I need God.  The problem is, it is really hard to know what his will is.  How can we be sure that this isn't our own little voice inside our heads?

In my Bible study this week, called Simple Surrender (amazing, by the way), I was learning about making godly decisions.  Finding God's plan in the choices I make everyday.  There are five questions we should ask ourselves (and God) before making a decision.

1. Have I asked God for wisdom and guidance about this decision?  Wisdom.  That's something I need.  Not much life experience makes it even more difficult.  God is there.  James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."  Just ask him.  He will give you the wisdom you need to make the right choice.  Also, you have parents.  They have lived much longer than you and made more decisions than you.

2. Have I prayed about this?  Have I spent time actively reading God's word and seeking his counsel?  There are Bible verses for any situation.  When you are making a decision, search online for verses on the topic.  Read them.  Meditate on them.  Pray about it.  Have your parents pray with you.  The answer may not come right away, but it will come in God's timing.

3. Does this decision bring me closer to Christ or further away?  Sometimes this is clear.  Other times, not so much.  If you are deciding whether you should go on a mission trip, this is obviously going to bring you closer to God.  But, choosing between homeschooling and public school is a little less clear.  Just pray.  Pray.  Pray.

4. Am I only seeking advice from people who will tell me what I want to hear?  Or am I trusting the counsel of more mature Christians who will tell me the truth?  Following Christ isn't easy.  You will be forced out of your comfort zone and into difficult situations.  But none of it will not be God's will.  It is all his plan, preparing you for the future.  Often, we want to seek advice from people who tell us that a certain thing is a bad idea because we don't want to do it.  God is going to put you into the fire, but good will come out of it.  Trust him.  (Easier said then done.)

5. Am I making this decision based solely on my emotions at the moment or a desire to be obedient to Christ?  This is a tough one.  The best advice I can give you is to lean on God.  He will help you through it.

Think about these things the next time you make an important decision.  Take the time necessary to pray, consult mature Christians, look things up in the Bible, and ask God for wisdom.  It will help you tremendously.

Until next time,
- Mickayla

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Get to Know Me Tag

In this tag, you get to know more about me.  No kidding.  I pretty much just said that in the title.  LOL.  Wow, I'm in a very distracted mood today.   Moving on from my pointless ramblings that you probably didn't even read, lets get into the tag.  

Just kidding.  One more thing before I spill out about myself.  Thank you Anna from Truth of the Lens for tagging me.  Honestly, I needed a post idea.  I was completely unprepared when Tuesday rolled around.  Now, it's time for the post.

Vital Stats

Name: Mickayla

Nickname: Mickayla is a pen name (surprise!), so I don't really have any nicknames.  

Place of Birth: Florida

Star sign:  What. Is. This.  I seriously have no idea.  Sorry.  

(So far, this is very little new information.  I know.  It will come.)


Best Friend: Claire.  She is awesome everyone!

Award: In 4th grade, I played in a soccer league and got an award for most improved player.

Sport:  My first sport was dance, which I stopped when I was 7.  Since then, I have done soccer, archery, and horseback riding.

Real holiday:  Is this supposed to mean vacation?  I think so.  My family has taken tons of trips to Disney (because we live in Florida), so one of those trips was my first vacation.

Concert: My first concert was either a Matthew West concert or Night of Joy (which is a HUGE Christian concert at Disney.  SO MANY ARTISTS.).  I can't remember which came first.


(Oh dear, be prepared for long lists.)

Film: MARVEL (Avengers, Captain America, and Thor), Lord of the Rings, War Room, National Treasure, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

TV Show: Doctor Who and Sherlock (Notice both BBC shows)

Color: Green.  Like an olive green, even though I don't like olives.  Oh - and TARDIS blue.  Can't forget that one. :)

Song:  Currently, my favorite song is Alone by Hollyn, but there are so many others.  Here's My Heart by Lauren Daigle, The Outsiders by NeedToBreathe, Long Live by For King and Country, and Forest by Twenty-One Pilots.

Restaurant: Olive Garden.  GIVE ME ITALIAN FOOD.

Books: Out of Time Series by Nadine Brandes.  Even though the last book isn't out yet - which is a tragedy - I know its still going to be my favorite series.  A very close second is the Ilyon Chronicles by Jaye L. Knight.  One more series that I can't forget to mention is the Charlie Bone Series.  These books were my childhood.  I currently re-reading the series.  AMAZING.


Feeling:  Blah.  Its 9:00 in the morning.  I still haven't waken up.

Single or Taken: Definitely single.

Eating:  Apples.  Yum!!!

Watching: I'm not watching anything, but I am listening to the complete Marvel theme song soundtrack.  That counts, right?

Wearing:  Jeans and a sweatshirt.  Why not?


Want children: Yes.  But if God's plans are different, then, he has a reason for it.

Want to be married: Yes, but only if it is God's plan for my life.

Careers in mind: Veterinarian.  I'll take care of the sick little animals.

Where you want to live: Anywhere with plenty of land and a barn.  I need space for my horses. =)

Do you believe in...

God: Without a doubt.

Miracles: Absolutely.

Love at first sight:  I have never really thought about this, but I guess not.

Ghosts: No.  

Aliens: No.

Soul mates: I don't really now.

Heaven: Yes and I can't wait to get there.

Hell: Yes.  It is real.

Kissing on the first date: NO!  NO!  I believe in saving your first kiss until your wedding day.

Yourself:  Most of the time.

Hopefully you learned a little more about me from this post.  Some of these things I barely know myself.  It's a learning experience for all of us.  I tag Hosanna at Having a Heart Like His.  Everyone else I know has already been tagged.  If you want to do this tag, go right ahead!

I have also been nominated for the Liebster Award, which I might post sometime this week.  If not, I will post it on next Tuesday.

Until next time,

- Mickayla

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How I Deal with Writer's Block

I suffer from writer's block.  Who doesn't?  It's that point in writing where my brain is completely drained of those creative juices.  I'm at that point where I can't write another word.  Zero.  My brain has nothing.

ME:  I need to write.  Bad.  *procrastinates* (1 HOUR LATER) *finally sits down at the computer and works on story* (5 MINUTES LATER) My brain is exploding with ideas for this chapter. *types furiously* (1 HOUR LATER) I am so done with writing.  Can't take this anymore. *headdesk*

If you can relate, here are a few things I do to overcome writer's block.

1. Take a break.  This is an easy one.  It doesn't always work for me, but it can help significantly to step away for 10 minutes and do something else.

2. Do a word war with someone.  Motivation, people.  Nothing beats it.  Writing with someone else can get me writing again, especially if it means competing in a word war.  I am very competitive. :)

3. Make a Pinterest board for your story.  If you already have one, add some more pins to it or just flip through the ones you have already pinned.  This can help a lot.  It helps me get my mind back on the story and can give me knew ideas which gets my brain moving again.  Woo-hoo for Pinterest!

4. Find a story prompt or picture on Pinterest and write a 100-300 word little story.  By taking my mind off the story at hand and moving on to something else, it gives me a fresh perspective.  I wrote this one last week:

Photo from: www.pinterest.com/pin/389913280213742416/
This is the story of a man with a dark past; but when I looked in his eyes, I saw none of that.  I only saw joy.  Joy from the laughter of the children dancing around him.  But, every now and then I would notice a dark expression cross his face.  Grief.  Suffering.  I could recognize it from a mile away, for I knew it well myself.  He thought no one was looking; but I was.  I seemed to be the only person who ever noticed him, except for the children.  They loved him.  Adored him.  The way the butterflies bounced off his fingers.  How his silver hair flowed like a waterfall onto his shoulders.  He was a storyteller.  That man who sat in the market, day after day, entertaining children.  From the start, I knew there was something different about him, and not because of his past.  I could never quite put my finger on it.  Until one day.  That was when that young storyteller with silver hair changed my life forever.

I hope this helps next time you have writer's block!

- Mickayla <3