Talking about Lettering with Sheryl

Hello everyone!
Today I’m going to talk with Sheryl from @tulisansieryl on Instagram!
I’m so excited about this first interview as she’s one of the first people I met and started to talk to on Instagram. She’s one of my best friends and her work is AMAZING!
Without further ado, let’s get this interview started!

Hey Sheryl! Nice to have you here! I’m so happy you wanted to be my first interviewee!
Please tell us some things about yourself, so other people get to know you too 😀

Hi!
I’m Sheryl. I live in the garden state called New Jersey in the US.
I’m a graphic designer, a newspaper designer to be more specific.
What I like about my job is that it’s easy. It’s like my home, since I’ve been working there for almost 13 years. I like that it’s familiar.
I live together with my 2 beautiful senior dogs, and a human dog, hahahahaha. My dogs are the kings of the house. They rule our life 😀
I loooove animals. I just adopted a lot of wild birds outside my house. One day when you come over, you can see that my garden has become a huge zoo.
I love to travel, I love food – those two go together pretty well, no? I love meeting new people and learning new things, and I love sleep 😀



Tell me some fun facts about you.


Fun facts about me? Wait, isn’t that what the question above is about?
Let me think if there is more fun things about me, hahaha.
I love to make people happy, I love to make them smile. And I love to help people.
Also, I need 9 hours of sleep a night, but I can’t go to bed before midnight.
I get excited over small little things like going out for dinner, looking at birds outside or just going to the grocery store.



Hahaha, I actually really think you’re good at making people smile 😉

So we met on Instagram, where we started following each other. I was really impressed by your lettering and I thought you were such a kind person. But tell me more about your lettering. When did you start and what motivated you to start lettering?

You lost me at kind. hahahahaha!
So I started lettering in august 2017.
I started my journey by joining the Happy Ever Crafter’s free lettering challenge and I got hooked since then.
What motivated me was that I really wanted to learn something new. I love to work with my hands. And I have been disconnected with pen and paper since I bought a cellphone and ipad. This is one of the reasons I wanted to start lettering. I wanted to do something non-digital.
I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to art and I think lettering is the perfect medium for me to express that.

When I look at your work, I see a lot of black & white pieces (which I love!). Is that what you like most? Tell me more about your style.

Yes, I love using black ink or black brush pens. with black ink, somehow it’s easier to see inconsistency in my strokes and the consistency between my thick and thin lines. Also, black ink is cheaper when you’re still practicing. Maybe when I get very good at it I will start experimenting with colors.
My style? Hmm, I think it’s hard to tell right now. The expert says that the more you practice the closer you get to finding your style :). That’s why I need more practice, haha. But when I read comments of my calligrafriends, some mentioned that they like my style. So maybe I do have one without realizing it.



That is true! When I see your work, I immediatly see it’s yours. You’re doing a great job.
Your work is just so YOU. Your strokes are consistent. I can see that you take your time. Maybe that’s something I need to learn too, haha.
I’d love to know more!
Please tell me about your favorite materials to work with, in terms of paper, pens and inks.

In terms of paper, I love my rhodia pad and tracing paper.
For brush pens I really like my Tombow Fudenosuke hard tip pen. It glides so smooth on my paper and especially on tracing paper.
As for pen and nibs, I love to use an oblique pen. And I have a couple of nibs that I’ve tried so far that are definitly on my ‘keepers’ list. For ink I like the Higgins black ink. The nibs I love are the nibs that are not too hard and that have some kind of flexibility to it. For example Hunt 101, Gillot 103, and of course the Blue Pumpkin.

Sounds cool, but I have no idea what you’re talking about, hahahaha. Can you show them?

materials
❶ tracing paper  ❷Higgins black ink  ❸Gillot 303 nib ❹Hunt 101 nib ❺Blue Pumpkin nib ❻Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen ❼Oblique pen ❽Rhodia dot pad


What’s your ideal work space? Where do you find peace within yourself to get creative?

My ideal workspace is my desk. When I’m not tired, I can practice my lettering and when I know I am done with other chores, I can have peace because I know I don’t need to do anything else. Then I turn music or the television on just so I have something to listen to while I letter. And I like to letter at night.



I like to letter at night too, or early in the morning. Those are the times I’m most creative.
Tell me about your biggest influences when it comes to lettering. Who do you admire most and why? who or what inspires you?

Oh, there are a lot of great calligraphers out there! But I love the work of Suzanne Cunningham, Anne-DavnesElser and Paul Antonio. I want to be able to letter  like them someday!

That’s great! I must definitly check them out! What do you like most about their work?


If you see their work, it’s very pretty. Their flourishes are out of this world. I would love to be able to flourish like that one day. And the lettering structure and the consistency… just everything! With practice I will get there. One day.

I’m sure you’ll get there!
What is your biggest challenge when it comes to lettering? Are there things you struggle with and how do you overcome it?

The biggest challenge for me is consistency and spacing. Stopping and analyzing after writing each letter helps me see what the problem is and I try to improve on the next try and repeat the process. And I know the key is practice, practice, practice and have fun with it! And don’t force it. Sometimes stepping back helps.

Those sound like helpful tips! Do you have more tips for beginners?

I find that going slow and breathe are some of the main keys. Also staying away from coffee and high sugary drinks before you start lettering helps. Oh and try not to compare your work with other’s. Everyone is different. As long as you have fun, that’s what matters. <3

Thank you so much, Sheryl, for sharing your story with us and for all the wonderful tips!

Hope you liked this post, and don’t forget to check out her instagram, people!
Let me know if you want to see more interviews in the future.

<3
Marieke

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5 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    June 16, 2018 / 9:58 pm

    Great post!!! I love it!

    • June 16, 2018 / 9:59 pm

      Thank you so much! 😀 really happy you like it

  2. Suzette
    June 18, 2018 / 6:09 pm

    I love this interview!!! Great job Marieke and Sheryl!!! You guys are awesome.

    • June 18, 2018 / 6:10 pm

      Thank you so much Suzette 😀 ❤️

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