Hands-on learning to expand my skill set.

Last week I attended Highpulp Studio’s Brush Pen Lettering Workshop in Monrovia, California. Since I live in Eugene, Oregon, that may sound a bit crazy to travel that far for something that was marketed to the people of LA. So why would I, a logo designer, travel over 800 miles to attend this workshop?

Well, clearly I a few good reasons for it.

Support my friend and colleague

First and foremost, Daniel Palacios a.k.a. Highpulp Studio and I have been accountability partners for almost a year. We have helped each other through encouragement, support, and professional opinion to continue on our paths of building our own businesses with our passions. Even though we are focusing on two different areas, his in hand lettering while mine is in logo design, we are both graphic designers and we share valuable feedback for each other on what we’re working on and how to grow our businesses.

Knowing that Daniel is wanting to teach hand lettering and this being his first in-person workshop, I wanted to be there to support him. Thus, the weekend trip to LA.

Of course, aside from just being there for support, I had some professional motives why I wanted to attend the workshop.

Attain a new skill

I am, as you most likely know, a logo designer. I am not focusing on hand lettering, so why would I learn it? Well, being a graphic designer in general, I have a key interest in all design. For me, it’s important to me to understand as many different areas of design because it allows me to draw from this knowledge and apply it to my work.

There are so many inspiring brush lettering artists out there (Highpulp Studio, Tinlun Studio, Tierney Studio, etc.) and I wanted to learn how they do it. So I wanted to attend Daniel’s workshop to learn more about brush pen calligraphy and how to turn it into hand lettering.

Perhaps in the future, a logo design client asks for a hand lettered poster or mural to go along with their brand. Of course, I would need more practice considering I have just learned this new skill, but with some time, I could be able to take on these projects if it was appropriate.

Just to be clear, I’m not trying to be a jack-of-all-trades by any means. But by expanding my skill set in design, it enables me to push my creativity further.

Expand my logo design abilities

If you have seen the logo I designed for Carter’s Moonshine, you can see that I created a brush-like lettering for the name. If I would have known how to create it like I do now after the workshop, that project would have been done completely differently.

Learning brush pen lettering allows me to design logos in a new style. Now that I have this experience under my belt, I can apply it to the next logo that needs this specific style with the understanding of the technicalities behind it instead of guessing.

Supplies provided at the workshop

Learn a new process

Although I had experimented with hand lettering just over a year ago, I had never tried going through the process that Daniel does. So I knew attending the workshop was a great opportunity to learn a new process.

At the workshop, I learned how to go from brush pen calligraphy, to lettering piece, and then to computer. This process is slightly different than my logo design process, so it was pretty cool to learn how another designer creates his work.

I’m not replacing my current process that I have been refining for over a year, but I have learned some things from the workshop that I can apply to my process when the time is necessary (like a hand-lettered logo).

New experiences to expand my creativity

Finally, as a creative, it’s important to understand your creativity is based on your experiences. You put things together in your head and can visualize them based on what you have seen in real life. With a little creativity, you create remixes of past experiences.

When you see something you have never seen before, you add it to your library of knowledge and you can then refer back to it at a later time when you are creating.

By going out and having unique experiences, I get to see and learn new things and can then apply those experiences to my own work making me a better resource for logo design.

Daniel Palacios teaching how to turn brush pen calligraphy into lettering

Worth the trip

So, yes, I have personal ties with Daniel and I had been looking forward to hanging out with him, but it wasn’t just about supporting my friend.

I knew by attending the brush pen lettering workshop, I would learn some new skills that I could then apply to my own projects.

Attending this workshop allowed me to have new experiences that I can now apply to my creation process and designs that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. It’s by having experiences like these that allow me to better myself as a professional and as a logo designer.

Was it worth the weekend trip? Totally.

Did I learn a lot? You bet.

Did I have a good time? Of course!

I highly recommend any logo designer attend a hand lettering workshop simply because it will better themselves as a designer and push their creativity to the next level.

Have you attended (or considered attending) any workshops?

Tell me about it below!

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