I'm famous! (not really)

Homemaker Magazine got in touch with me last year to interview me about modern calligraphy, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that they published an article in this months, (February Issue) magazine!

meganriera

Makelight workshop

Workshops are incredibly trendy at the moment, and with good reason! They are an affordable and fun way to spend an afternoon learning something completely new. The latest workshop I attended was with Emily Quinton of Makelight, where I spent an entire day with a group of amazing creative people in Emily's southwest London studio, learning about how to take better pictures of our work. Her studio is a dream, brimming with props, and natural light, perfect for photography. Emily has four children and a thriving business. I left the day feeling totally inspired and ready to put my new found knowledge into action! 

I wonder which workshop I should sign up for next...?

Screen print workshop

Unassumingly tucked away in the arches underneath Peckham Rye station is Peckham Print Studio. I spent a full day workshop learning about the technique of screen printing, led by the incredibly enthusiastic Hugh - "oh man, I'm well engaged!" His love for print is infectious and I was impressed at how much information he passed on to us in the 6 hours that we were with him.

The day started with us handing over our artwork and printing out 'positves'. As hinted last week, I created a brush lettered piece reading 'stay curious always' which is advice I will try to install in my little girl Poppy. We were then guided through each process and then let loose making our own prints. You can see the results here.

For £60, you come away with a head full of knowledge and ten of your very own screen prints. A perfect way to spend an afternoon, I'd say.

 

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Brush lettering workshop

Whilst I have dabbled in a bit of brush lettering, here and there, I thought it would be good fun to try out one of the workshops on offer from Quill London. Ironically, a week before the workshop, Lucy, (owner of Quill) got in touch with me out of the blue, saying she had seen my work on instagram and wanted to know if I was interested in the the possibility of running calligraphy workshops... but that's another topic - watch this space!!

The brush lettering workshop was held in a lovely little pub near old street with the best name ever - The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker. Mmmm....toffee.... Illustrators Emma Block and designer/illustrator Teri Muncey walked us through the steps to creating quirky brush lettering. In 2.5 hours, I gained a lot of confidence in my brush lettering skills and it's definitely something I will be incorporating into my work in the future. This weekend I have signed up for a a screen printing workshop, so *maybe* I will show you my new skills in the form of a print! 

Creative collaborations

I've only recently really started using Instagram and I'm addicted. I find it a HUGE source of inspiration from creatives of all sorts of backgrounds which are completely different to mine - florists, stylists, photographers, artists, etc. I am quickly starting to see how valuable it can be for creating new connections, which otherwise would most likely have never happened. 

Recently Kirstie, (from Bristol based florists, Ruby & the Wolf) and I decided to collaborate for Valentine's. We've never met in person, but we love each others work, so it was a lot of fun to join forces for a day. You can read all about it here but I am so excited about doing more collaborations in the future with such talented people. 

Photos below from Ruby and the Wolf's Instagram page.

Photo from Ruby & the Wolf's instagram
Photo from Ruby & the Wolf's instagram

Lettering Resources

I was thinking it might be useful to start creating a resource of all hand lettering/calligraphy related information that I have come across over the years, to pass on to anybody who might be interested in taking up the craft. I am still working out the best way to distill all of the information, but for now, I will direct you to my lettering Pinterest boards, which is full of inspiration. 

http://www.pinterest.com/meganriera/hand-lettering-calligraphy/

http://www.pinterest.com/meganriera/hand-lettering/

 

Party Pieces!

I've decided to occasionally put some DIY projects on my website - and the first one is nearly ready to post! I am in love with colourful paper straws, and since I found a new use for them, I thought I would share. These little name flags are perfect for a kids party, (little kids or big kids - i won't judge!) and I promise that they are SO quick and SO easy to make! If neon isn't your thing, then try more muted materials.

Letterpress workshop

A while back, I had the pleasure of doing a letterpress workshop at the little studio of A Two Pipe Problem - a perfect way to spend an afternoon, (whilst making some unique Christmas presents at the same time!)

We started by playing 'exquisite corpse' with each person secretly choosing a word, (I chose 'hugs') and letterpress font. We then made prints out of the 'interesting' results! I could happily spend all day (or week, or month) making letterpress pieces.

Too much type?

I'm starting to get our home sorted for the impending arrival of our little lady and that has involved the task of finally getting round to framing some of the ever growing pile of letterpress prints and screenprints which I have unconsciously collected over the years. I have noticed that there seems to be a LOT of typographic pieces and I thought I'd share my favourites, including:

- a lasercut print that Marian Bantjes gave me when I visited her Bowen Island home, several years ago, (reminder to self to get NON reflective glass next time!)

- a striking, typographic screenprint by my old boss/genius Paul Belford, (currently residing in our fireplace knook - the picture, not Paul!)

- a letterpress print (which still needs a frame!) reminding me to drink more gin, which I picked up after a doing a workshop at A Two Pipe Problem.

- and a random letterpress print that I found which was covered up by another picture when I bought a frame at a carboot sale in Norfolk. I ended up chucking the frame and keeping this gem!

What are your favourite pieces of art that you have in your home? 

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