Fearless Lettering

Fearless Lettering

Fearless Lettering is back in stock! Grab your physical workbook here. Or find the digital version here.

Hello! I’m Sarah, owner of Ensign Insights, hand letter artist, and ice cream connoisseur. I started lettering during a time when I needed to be reminded how to be happy. Lettering became my therapy. But I started seeing so much talent and realized that I wasn’t even an artist. My letters didn’t look as good as everyone else. I got caught in the comparing monster’s trap. That’s when I had the idea for my new workbook, Fearless Lettering. I spent months working through a process to create confidence in my lettering, my unique style. And guess what? I found a way to escape the comparing monster’s trap and accept myself for all that I am! That’s the magic contained inside Fearless Lettering. I am excited to share that process with you!

Here’s what you’ll read on the back cover:

Find yourself comparing your lettering to others and questioning if you are good enough? Want to feel more confident in finding your lettering style? If so, then Fearless Lettering is for you. Whether you are a beginner, pro, or somewhere in the middle, there’s something for everyone in this uniquely styled workbook. Join hand lettering artist Sarah Ensign as she guides you through a process to become more confident in creating your own style and discovering your truest self through lettering.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a pencil, crack open this workbook, and get ready to learn, practice, color, journal, and gain more confidence in your lettering and your life!

Watch this quick video to see what’s inside!

I would love for you to join me in creating a happier, more confident lettering style! 🙂

 

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How to Print on Fabric

Tutorials

Almost a year ago I really wanted to print my lettering on fabric so I searched the internet to find out how. I found out that there are a lot of tricky ways to do it. But this tutorial was the best one I found and I’ve been using this technique ever since with all of my lettering.

I made a video on my YouTube channel to show you how I did it. It’s a lot easier than you think!

You just need freezer paper, fabric, your design, an inkjet printer, and an iron. That’s it!

Watch here or read below for a summary.

I explain more in the video but here is a quick summary. Make your design in Illustrator, Inkscape, the Ipad Pro, whatever you have, and make sure it’s ready to print at 8.5×11. Then you will cut your fabric and a piece of freezer paper to 8.5×11. Iron you freezer paper to your fabric. Make sure the wax side of the freezer paper is touching the fabric. This is how it will stick (and easily peel off at the end). You can reuse this freezer paper several times with new fabric as long as the wax will still stick when ironed. Next you will load the fabric/freezer paper into your printer and print your design. Peel off your freezer paper and it’s that easy!

One little tip, make sure you don’t have any loose threads on your fabric before printing. If there is a tiny thread, the ink will be printed on it instead of the design. It’s so frustrating to have an almost perfect design, but one little spot doesn’t have ink because of those pesky little threads!

One more thing. When washing your printed fabric, different fabrics have different responses to water. Some of mine have washed just fine, some get faded a little, and on some the ink bleeds. To waterproof your design, soak it in vinegar before washing. This will set the ink.

Enjoy! I’d love to see what you make! Comment below or tag me on Instagram @ensigninsights.

 

The best frames for a square gallery wall

Insights

I was recently introduced to these frames and I am in love! I wanted to do a square gallery wall with some of my lettering designs and these frames from Tiny Mighty Frames were definitely the best option. Just look at that gorgeous gold!

(This post contains affiliate links. It doesn’t change anything for you, it just helps me make more free things for you!)

I filled my frames with rainbow quotes because rainbow and gold have to go together.They are easy to use and and a square gallery wall is so much easier to hang up than a random gallery wall (I’ve recently done both!). They come with a 4×4 matte. I chose not to use the matte with my current designs, but I may use them in the future.

I also love that you can find these Tiny Mighty Frames on Amazon. Amazon makes things so easy to purchase. I was given a 9-pack of these gold frames to try not knowing if they were going to be good or not. But now I love them and would definitely recommend them.

They come in several different sizes and colors. If you want really small frames for Instagram photos, these are the only frames I’ve seen that specialize in “tiny.”

Check out these frames! And let me know if you have tried them! Do you have a favorite frame?

Free hand lettered “Confidence” printables

Freebies

I teamed up with Lindsay from @lindsaydavisco to bring you some confidence boosting reminders! In the lettering world (world in general), we often have to remind ourselves to be confident in our abilities. Well that’s what I have for you here! Not one, but two freebies!

Lindsay has recently made a few fonts which you can find here. She shared with me her Hawaiian Pizza font and it is so fun! She created this free printable for you using the font.

 

Download your free 8×10 print here! (This print even has cutting marks so you can print at home and know exactly how to fit it to an 8×10 frame!)

I love the reminder that we are strong enough to conquer anything that comes in our way.

And here is the second freebie! I had fun playing around with this font so I made a phone background with my favorite animal, a giraffe of course!

Download your free confident giraffe phone wallpaper here!

Enjoy! This was Lindsay’s Hawaiian Pizza font. If you like it, make sure to check out her other fonts as well!

One thing I love about this font is all of the symbols. I just typed every letter of the alphabet in uppercase and lowercase and look how fun!

Enjoy your freebies! I hope you feel a little more confident each time you look at them!

How to Find Your Lettering Style with Free practice sheets

Insights, Tutorials

So you want to find your own “lettering style”? You’re in the right place! In this post I will share with you an exercise to hone in on your style as well as show you where to find free practice sheets to help you get started.

You already have a style that is unique to you because of your likes and dislikes, your personality, and your life experiences. At first it can be hard to pinpoint those things and figure out how they all work together to make your style. It takes months and years of practice, but I have just the thing for you to get started.

The best way to start creating your style is to immerse yourself in as many different styles as you can. Try out different things. Experiment. Learn as much as you can. You will discover what feels most natural to you. As you keep practicing and getting better, your style will be changing and getting better with you. You will not only “find” your style, you will “create” it.

You may look at other letters for inspiration at first to get ideas. But once you’ve gotten ideas, if you really want YOUR style, you’ll have to keep your eyes on your own paper and come up with it. No one will be able to tell you what your style is. It has to come from you.

Today I encourage you to be fearless with your lettering. Try something new. Letter something that is beautiful to you even if it’s a little different. You are amazing and have so much to offer that no one else has. And that is what #fearlessfridayletters is all about. Finding and creating your lettering style. This is how it works:

Choose any letter. Write that letter in as many different styles as you can think of. Make it tall and chunky, make it short and skinny, play around with the entrance and exit strokes. Make it loopy or rigid. After having 10-20 different styles, look through them and choose your favorite. What makes it your favorite? Would you be able to replicate those qualities in other letters of the alphabet? Try it!

And finally, to really help you get started, I have made FREE practice sheets with 26 ways to letter 26 letters. These are all apart of the #fearlessfridayletters series. Sign up here to get one letter each week for free. But remember, they are only free for a week so make sure you download them while you can. If you’ve missed any of the letters, find them here.

When you use these practice sheets, don’t forget to post on Instagram and tag me @ensigninsights and use the hashtag #fearlessfridayletters. 🙂

Happy Lettering!

Never leave home without these 5 lettering tools

Insights, Tutorials

One problem I hear a lot when learning to hand letter is that there isn’t enough time! I can’t give you more time, but by never leaving the house without these 5 lettering tools you will be surprised how much easier it will be to find the time.

never leave home without these 5 lettering tools

Grab a pencil pouch (find my brand new pencil pouches here) and fill it with the following items. Then keep it with you wherever you go. These are the most basic essentials. If you would like my complete list of brush pens to start with, go here.

  1. A pencil. Absolutely essential. If you like mechanical pencils make sure you have plenty of led. If you like regular pencils, make sure you also have a mini sharpener.
  2. An eraser. I always use up the erasers on the end of my pencils so quickly so I just always carry an extra. I like these erasers because they erase with less pressure, they don’t shred the paper, and they don’t leave as many eraser shavings.
  3. Paper. I always have some kind of paper with me, even if it’s just a hotel pad or some scraps of copy paper. I got a small notebook at Walmart that I fill with quotes and ideas. It is my space to start sketching right when an idea comes. It’s nice to have a small notebook that can fit in your pencil pouch. (My pencil pouches are large enough to fit medium sized notebooks.)
  4.  A fine point pen. This is great for tracing over your design or doing some fauxligraphy. My favorite used to be a Pilot G2 pen. Some of my other favorites are Micron, Stabilo, or even the end of a Tombow Dual Brush pen.
  5. A small brush pen. I always have my Tombow Fudenosuke hard or soft nib (normally both). These are nice because since they are small, you can letter designs that fit in a small notebook. Practicing with a brush pen is different than with pencil and you never know when someone will need you to brush letter something for them.

never leave home without these 5 things

Take this pencil pouch with you wherever you go. Including while you’re at home. You may have a few spare minutes while dinner is cooking. You can grab your pencil pouch and letter on the kitchen counter instead of pulling out all of your lettering tools at your desk.

never leave home without these 5 lettering tools

Letter in your car while waiting in traffic or waiting to pick someone up. Letter while you’re waiting for dinner in the oven. Letter while you’re waiting for an appointment. You don’t have to have time blocked out to letter. Just make a habit of doing it in the small moments. You can even letter on everything. As I make lists sometimes I find a fabulous “G” that I love.

When do you find time to letter? Would you add any other tools to this list? Let me know in the comments!

never leave home without these 5 lettering tools

editing instagram photos on your phone

The Secret to Editing Instagram Photos on your phone

Tutorials

I’m so glad you’re here! As you know, getting noticed on Instagram is not easy. It’s so important to have beautiful photos. This means they need to be well lit. But how do you get well lit photos without all the professional equipment? I’ve got you covered.

I lived in an apartment where the windows did not provide good lighting. They were either too high or the balcony above us blocked the sun. So when everyone said to use lots of natural light, I didn’t even have that option. Plus it was in western Washington so it was cloudy and gray most of the time. I used 3 lamps and the editing tricks in my free guide. Now that I’m in Alaska, I have a beautiful window that gives me great natural light. I just have to make sure to photograph in the morning or later in the evening. You don’t want to take a photo in direct sunlight because the lighting will be too harsh. Overcast days actually give great lighting.

Go to the Insider Library to download your free guide. Not an email insider yet? Sign up here and you’ll get instant access to your free guide.

I am giving you a free guide below showing you how I use the app called After Light. It is my favorite photo editing app! It is 99 cents but I literally use it every day. So worth it. I also like A Color Story and they have some free features, but After Light is the only app I’ve found that lets you brighten the whites without brightening the parts you want to keep dark. Pretty good for only a dollar!

Here are some examples:

The Gift of Time for my Grad (plus free wrapping paper!)

Freebies

When I graduated from high school, my grandma gifted me a watch. It was a beautiful watch and I always got the most compliments when I wore it. I always felt proud to say, “My grandma gave it to me.” Well, it’s years later and I still think watches make the BEST graduation gifts. So today I’m sharing with you a unique watch plus free wrapping paper to beautifully gift it! There’s also a giveaway, so keep reading to the end!

Guess who is graduating now? My constant support and biggest fan, my husband! He is completing his Doctorate of Physical Therapy. He has been going to school for 7-8 years! He supported me as a first year teacher as he was in an intense part of his schooling. Somehow he still had the time to help me grade and calm my anxious teacher heart. It hasn’t all been easy for me either though. I had to be the “patient” many times so he could practice his doctor techniques. As a very ticklish person, this was basically torture. So it’s safe to say, we are both very excited for his schooling to come to an end.

His graduation is on Sunday which also happens to be Mother’s Day (I don’t know who planned that, but they should probably be fired). As much as I don’t want to combine the two on one day, I have a gift idea that can work for both a graduation gift and a unique Mother’s Day gift. ALSO, I have a free wrapping paper download below that will work for either!

Because this Mother’s Day/Graduation is a big day for us over here, I got really excited when JORD watches sent me this cool watch to try out. I mean seriously, their watches are gorgeous! They would work as a Mother’s Day gift as well as the perfect graduation gift. You can even get an engraved watch for an extra personal touch.

I designed this free wrapping paper to be able to work with both. CELEBRATING YOU! Really, it can work for any occasion. I just printed it on regular paper. My beautiful watch box needed two sheets of paper so I just used gold washi tape to put them together.

Download your free wrapping paper here! 🙂

And one more exciting part about all of this!!! JORD watches is having a giveaway. One winner will receive a $100 gift code to their site. Everyone who enters will receive a $25 gift code just for entering! The giveaway ends at 11:59 CST 05/28/17.

Enter the giveaway!

You can see their women’s watches here, their men’s watches here, and my watch (pictured above) here.

Update (5-17-17): We just spent the weekend at my husband’s graduation and it was amazing! It was a little cold and windy, but it only rained for part of the time. I was able to take a few good pictures with my unique watch and my graduate.


Watches Made From Wood
//www.woodwatches.com/widget-article/ensigninsights/468/60

Free “Create” Printable Bunting

Freebies

Who loves a cute hand-lettered alphabet? Who loves buntings? Who loves free printables? If you do, you’re in the right place! I’ve got all of that for you! I’ve teamed up with my sister (Heather from www.feathersflights.com) and sister-in-law (Diane from www.homanathome.com) to bring you 3 free bunting printables! Photo credit for these pictures goes to Diane! If you’re impressed by these, you should go see her food photos… stunning.

One of my favorite words is CREATE! I love to create and see the creativity of others.

This printable has 3 letters per page. Once you print them, they have guides for easy cutting. Just punch a couple holes in the top and thread it with yarn, twine, floss, string, etc. The letters are black so you can print on any color of paper to match your decor.

Download your free CREATE bunting printable here!

Would you rather have the word “family”? Go see Heather’s free FAMILY bunting!

 

Would you rather have the word “home”? Go see Diane’s free HOME bunting!

 

Need a completely different word? Maybe you want to customize a bunting for a birthday, baby shower, baby room, new last name for a wedding gift… I could go on. 🙂

You can find the FULL alphabet bunting in a cute hand-lettered font in my Etsy shop. Enjoy!

April Challenge: Lettering with Insights

Insights

I started lettering at a time when I needed someone to help remind me how to be happy. I had lower self-esteem than I had ever had in my life. I was struggling with daily tasks because somehow everything seemed so hard. You can read the full story and how hand lettering changed my life here. Or keep reading to download the April Challenge.

I look back at that time and see that most of the things that were causing my pain were out of my control. But there is one thing that I know I could have changed that would have made a huge difference. What is that one thing? My self-talk. It was mostly all negative. If you have ever told yourself something negative, just know you are not alone. But why do we do this to ourselves??? Why is it so much easier to tear ourselves down than to build up? I don’t know the answer to that, but I know that if we change it, we can improve our lives.

I am cordially inviting you to join me in the month of April to participate in an insightful lettering challenge. It’s one thing to hear compliments from others, it’s another thing to actually believe them yourself. That’s why the words this month are all about positive self talk. The goal is to feel more confident and positive about life by the end of the month.

Not only are the words positive self talk, there is one for every letter of the alphabet to practice your hand lettering skills. I even created practice sheets for these words in two different styles. You can participate with or without the practice sheets. If you would like to download the basic strokes for free and grab a coupon code for the practice sheets, check out the insider library.

And finally, here is the April Challenge. I’ve teamed up with The Print Mint to bring you this challenge. How do you join? 1- Letter the words each day. 2- When you post to Instagram, tag us @ensigninsights and @theprintmintshop. 3- Use the hashtag #letteringwithinsights and if you are using your Artline stix use the hashtag #artline_printmint. That’s it! I hope this will be an “insightful” month for you as we all work on positive self talk. You can either screen shot the image below or download the challenge.

I’ll see you on Instagram!

 

How “giving up” made my life better

Freebies, Insights

I posted this story on Instagram and I was so grateful for the response! So here is the story again along with the hedgehog as a free download!

 

You may have already seen the story of why I started lettering. If not, you can find my story right here. It’s taken me about a year of healing, but I am in such a happy place right now. I was writing in my journal about an experience I had in November and this phrase jumped on the page, “My happiness is worth fighting for.”

So what happened in November? I’ll try to keep this short… I had accepted a position that put me in similar situations to my previous trauma. I thought I could handle it because I was “stronger” than before. But after even the first day in the position, it threw me right back to the darkness it had taken months for me to climb out of. I knew I couldn’t continue this, but I didn’t think I could get out of it. That would be “giving up” and I’m not a quitter. I continued for a few days, but each day got worse. That’s when heaven-sent messages helped me realize that by NOT “giving up” the position, I was “giving up” my happiness. Sometimes “giving up” is just a means to achieving your true goals. I was able to get out of the position smoothly without even burning any bridges.

This was the first time I had quit something and it has made me so much better and happier. We have more of ourselves to give to others when we’re happy. I know trials will continue to come, but I also know that my happiness is worth fighting for. I’m not giving up on that.

Download and print this free 8×10 print to remind yourself to fight for you happy. Click on the images below to download.

Don’t want to print right now? Pin for later!

If you would like to see the process behind sketching this (with lots of erasing) see this video:

5 things I wish I knew when I started hand-lettering

Insights, Tutorials

 

Hand-lettering has done so much for my life! I seriously love it and want everyone to learn! I know there are so many resources out there to learn, so why would I add to it? Because it makes my heart happy knowing that I get to share something that I love so much! Read to the very end for the freebie! Here we go, 5 things I wish I knew when I started hand-lettering:

1) What pens I should start with! There are so many brush pens out there. It’s good to try a lot to see what you like, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t even know where to start. See my full post for a complete review.

2) What paper I should use! If I had known these tricks, I would have saved a lot of my pens from fraying… See my full post.

3) How to “fake” calligraphy. Fauxligraphy is a real thing, not cheating! I thought I was cheating and had to keep it a secret. But it’s actually real, and if you want to do chalk lettering or sign lettering, you’ll do this all the time! See my full tutorial.

4) How to hold my pen! Everyone holds the pen differently and that’s okay as long as you are comfortable. But there is a trick to the angle of the pen that will make your letters much more consistent. See my full post.

5) Practice different fonts! There isn’t just one way to write a letter. It’s good to look at all types of fonts. Find things you like and don’t like about each font. As you practice different fonts, you will start to find your own style. This is why I have created brush lettering workbooks to help you learn! This is what you will get in each workbook:

::Brush Lettering Guide and 30 days of Lettering with Insights for SMALL and LARGE brush pens COMPLETE BUNDLE – A list of small and large brush pens and paper to start with, 3 pages of basic strokes, 55 pages of guide sheets for each letter of the alphabet in TWO fonts, uppercase and lowercase, 2 pages of blank practice sheets, a list of insightful words to letter each day to practice every letter of the alphabet, 35 pages of guide sheets for each word and an activity for each day, the guide sheets have the words in both font styles for style practice, and access to personalized tips and encouragement from me.

practicesheetscompletebundle

Not sure if you are ready? Grab some sample pages for FREE in my Insider Library! You will get the basic strokes for small and large brush pens- totally free. Plus, you will get a promo code to get a discount on any of my workbooks! (I don’t want to undersell the heart and time I have put into these, but I want to make them accessible).

If you are already an Email Insider, you will be able to enter right away. If not, you can still get these freebies immediately after you become an Email Insider!

Happy lettering!