Member Feature: Sarah Brown


Meet Sarah! Sarah is one of our SSLetters regulars and has been joining us every month for over a year now. By day she is a graphic designer, and by night video game enthusiast, secret podcaster, and an amazing hand letterer! We love how different her style is - quirky, energetic, and we love how she makes words and phrases come alive. Get to know her better in this month's member feature! 

How long have you been hand lettering?

Since I was little! Drawing and lettering go hand and hand for me (and I've loved making my own art forever). The first hand lettering thing I remember making was a cover for a "book" I wrote about my hermit crab. I think it was in first grade. It was horrible, so it was awesome. I wish I still had it.


Describe your hand lettering style.

Sketchy and doodle-y with love for uneven, jumpy bits.

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What are your favorite tools to hand letter with and ways to display hand lettering?

Right now brush pens and markers are my favorite. I've used my first Pentel Pocket Brush pen to near death. It lives at my desk now and isn't allowed to travel any longer since the cap has fallen apart. Poor buddy. Laser cutting is by far the most exciting application for my lettering, but LASERS are just so COOL -- how could it not be the best?


How did you find SSLetters?

I'm pretty sure I heard about it from my friend Leesh -- she works in DTSS, and spotted a SSLetters flyer.


What brings you back to SSLetters?

It's really inspiring to work around people being creative and trying new things! SSLetters also opened my mind to the world of brush lettering, which I thought I couldn't do because of my terrible cursive. Since all levels of letterers are welcome to play at SSLetters, it's a great place to play and practice while sharing creative energy!


What was your favorite SSLetters meeting that you attended and why?

The SS Letters Neon Lettering workshop stands out to me as a favorite! It required a very different process and forced us to think in a three dimensional space that we don't usually consider when lettering. Also: glowy, blinking letters.


What inspires your lettering?

Nature, quotes from shows and movies, random words that pop into my head while taking notes. Old peeling signs. Wonky graffiti.


What do you do outside of hand lettering? Any special interests?

I'm a bit obsessed with Nintendo's video game series Animal Crossing. My friends and I have a weekly podcast called "PocketPod" for the mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Find us on Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your 'casts! [End shameless plug].


What is your favorite letter, number or character to letter?

Two story lowercase a.


What is your most challenging letter, number or character to letter?

The two story lower case a. I love it and it also drives me crazy.


Anything else we're missing that you want to share??

I've had a hang up about my cursive handwriting since I was in elementary school. All my teachers tried to make me better and tried to make me hold my pencil "the right way." Ugh. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make my cursive as neat as my teachers desired. Later, I had a teacher who said that the way I write cursive is pretty much set by that time, and that trying to force improvement wasn't going to help. I remember feeling so relieved. Even so, I've rarely used cursive in my adult life -- when I did, people still complained that it was too hard to read!

Trying brush lettering because of SSLetters changed my brain. While my note taking cursive may not be super legible to others, slowing down when using a brush pen can help make those letters look beautiful. It's really weird and wonderful.

I went through my sketchbook SO FAST after getting my first brush pen. I was hooked. I wanted to figure out when to press harder and when to be dainty, trying to get the letters to look somewhat closer to how I wanted them. Even now, a year and a half or so since picking up that pocket brush pen, I still go through sketchbooks more quickly than I ever had before jumping into brush lettering. It's pages and pages of experiments. Most are not worth sharing, but they're all good practice.

And I also still hold my writing tools "wrong." It's comfortable and works for me!

Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah! Follow Sarah's lettering @notmanywords on Instagram and other adventures on Twitter @notmanywordz