Overall, the answers were really helpful and also really positive overall, and have given me ideas for new content and directions for the blog in the future. I was a bit uncertain where to take my blog and teaching this year (so many topics, so many interesting techniques!), and you have helped me a great deal with that.
Today, I want to look over the results and the ideas I got from them, and also quickly go over a few points that stood out to me in the answers.
Once again, I was really blown away by the positive feedback and comments I got from you. :) Let’s get started!
Comments are the first thing I want to address. When I first started out, I had comments enabled, and then for a long time (over a year) I didn’t have comments on for this blog, the reason being simply because sorting and replying to comments took away a lot of time. Plus these moderation chores (sorting spam etc.) were hours I’d honestly rather spend making art or preparing new blog content, so I decided to keep the comment section closed for a while.
At the same time, I also received a lot of questions via email, which is something I encouraged (and still do), but which ended up taking a lot of time too…don’t get me wrong, I love getting directly in touch with my readers, and I often get excellent questions that I use later to write whole posts about. I just ended up answering to the same questions over and over and felt I had to do this better and more efficient.
Answers in the survey seemed 50/50 about having comments in the blog or not, so I decided to open comments for a while and see how it goes. As of now, the comment section is open. :)
I hope this way your most common questions can get answered and you can enjoy the community aspect of the blog more – this is a chance for all of you to connect to each other.
I will try to be present in the comments section as much as I can, and hereby I want to encourage you to leave comments from now on and also answer the questions of others – sometimes you are even more qualified to answer a certain question than me (local art supply stores, etc.).
Posts about pointed pen, brush pen or hand lettering?
I asked what kind of posts you’d like to read: I got the most answers for brush lettering (65%) and hand drawn lettering/layout and composition (65%).
Pointed pen calligraphy, the topic I started out with and focused on for a long time, is still popular (58%) but interestingly falls behind all the others. I take this as a sign that I’ve already covered a lot of ground on this topic.
(By the way, these numbers don’t add up to 100% since there were multiple boxes you could check.)
Product reviews, How-tos, Tutorials
The responses also showed that a large part of readers would like to see product reviews (45%), how-tos (70%), and information about basic techniques (65%) – I will try to structure my already existing posts about basics even better, fill gaps and maybe bundle them for new readers, and attempt to do more product reviews and a how-to here and there. Though I’m really not someone who does how-tos and tutorials on craft projects very well – I feel this is already done perfectly by Lindsey on her blog The Postman’s Knock – pay her website a visit if you’re looking for calligraphy tutorials! :)
Hand drawn lettering, other creative techniques
I was honestly surprised by the large number of people who seem to be interested in plain old handdrawn lettering (65%), as opposed to the more handwriting-based calligraphic techniques. I’m looking forward to teaching handdrawn lettering to you, and also more techniques on how to achieve better layouts for your quotes.
48% of those who answered are also interested in other creative techniques, so I hope I won’t bore you to death when I document my own creative journey with illustration, watercolor and colored pencils from time to time. (26% of those who answered are interested in seeing the projects I work on and sketchbook outtakes, that’s still high enough to not completely ignore it).
Since I love creating videos and would like to produce more of them, videos will not go away, and I hope I can come up with a format that can combine one of the other topics (how-tos, etc.) with it. 41% of you are also interested in video, so hopefully I can find the time to produce some interesting Youtube videos (here’s a link to my channel).
More courses & smaller mini courses
I also asked if you were interested in another course about one of the topics I write about here, and definitely more than half of you are (70%). I take that as a yes! :)
Most of you were interested in advanced calligraphy techniques and learning how to do layouts or finished pieces, with hand lettering as a second, and brush lettering as the third topic. Of course I can only do one thing at a time, so I have decided my next course will be about making layouts and advanced pointed pen techniques. I’m already collecting materials and structuring topics for that.
I’d also love to do a course that’s about hand lettering techniques, as well as a beginner’s course about brush lettering, but that will have to wait for a bit. I will work on a few shorter blog post series about those two techniques this year, so you won’t have to wait forever. I have experimented with a few lovely brush pens lately and I’m looking forward to share that.
Some of you told me they’d love to have shorter, more affordable courses with smaller projects to see what my teaching style looks like, and I hope I can create a few mini courses on different topics for you. I’ll keep you posted about that here. By the way, a good way to see how I teach is the free content on my Youtube channel, I also share a few lessons from my course there. Maybe it’s also a possibility to do mini courses on hand lettering or brush techniques – right now I have a lot of ideas that I’ll need to structure. I will have quite a busy year just planning blog posts and course materials. ;)
A small free (email) course with beginner topics about pointed pen calligraphy is also something I want to get up and running again.
German content/other languages than English
I have to explain a bit for this one. I’m from Germany, and back when I was starting out (in 2015), I essentially wrote two blogs with the same content, but in two languages – German and English. This was very(!) time-consuming, and soon I had to decide on one language. I chose English, simply because I enjoy to connect with people from all over the world, and wanted to be a part of the international art community and provide value to a bigger audience.
Since I know I still have quite a few German readers and have gotten some requests for German content and courses over time, I wanted to ask if more German readers felt the same, and if yes, how many, so I could cater to this part of my audience if enough interest was there.
The survey showed that there are not that many readers who wish for the German content to come back (in numbers: 6%). So in the near future I will keep my German output to a minimum – there are still a lot of posts about basic techniques to read in the archives and I invite every German reader who has questions to email me directly in German.
But I really don’t have the time and resources to write the blog in other languages, whether it’s in German or even Italian or Spanish (which I don’t even speak). Sorry about that. But I always aim to write in a very uncomplicated English that is easy to understand.
On the topic of foreign languages, I hope you native speakers will use the newly activated comment section when you see me make a grammar or spelling mistake. I appreciate it! :)
Other ideas: style of the blog, teaching classic styles, more drawing & sketchbook, growing a business
I’ll quickly list and comment on some of the feedback I got:
- Style of the blog, feedback for me:I’ll start with this because it made such a difference for me when I read it: several people mentioned they love the clean style of the blog, and then a lot of you told me as final feedback what I do is awesome (or that I’m awesome). I actually was a bit speechless. Thank you guys so much! Seriously, you can’t imagine how happy feedback like this makes me feel. Positive comments like this make up for the (albeit tiny, but existing) fraction of negative comments that you get when you put yourself out there, and as you know making art and sharing things publicly can feel a bit weird. So thank you all so much! I truly appreciate all of your positive remarks about me and my art, and it helps me to keep going. <3
- I got quite a few questions about teaching classic styles like Copperplate/Engrosser’s script and Spencerian, or linking to resources about that. I will definitely collect some resources for that in a future blog post, as there are great (free) resources. As for teaching these beautiful classic styles: While my styles reference these classic styles and build on them, they deviate in some letters, and also in the more freestyle and modern approach.There are true masters who teach these classic styles in detail and absolute precision out there, and I’m happy to refer you to them if you want to learn the more classic pointed-pen styles.
- More drawing and sketchbook techniques: Some of you want to see more of my drawings and sketchbook outtakes, and I’m happy to show my work and my process if it fits within the general direction of the blog. I will (try to) make time for the 100 days project this year, you will hopefully see some of my daily results from that on Instagram. This will probably be about my love for food illustration. :)
- Growing a business: at this point, I don’t plan on sharing anything on how you can grow a creative business. There is plenty of helpful information out there, and a lot of people can talk about this better than I do.
- Broken links: there were a few comments about broken links in resources, etc. Please let me know via email about if you ever encounter a broken link, I will fix it as soon as possible.
All in all, I was really amazed and humbled by the warm, positive feedback I got from all of you, and I hope I can honor this by continuing to write interesting blog posts for you and sharing my own journey at the same time. I feel really honored that so many people are interested in my art and what I have to teach about lettering, and I truly didn’t expect to gather any kind of readership when I started out. It’s been a great journey so far, and believe it or not, it makes what I do seem more worthwhile.
For the future, I’d love to foster the community aspect of this place more, and connect people – while I have been in contact with a lot of you on a one-to-one basis and truly enjoy that, I think it’s time to open up and see what can happen in the comments section.
I feel like this has been my longest post ever, I hope I haven’t bored you with the detailed results of this survey. Next week we’ll be back to the creative topics! Have a great week! And let me know what you think and what you look forward to the most in the comments. :)