June 08, 2020 / artists

How to become a lettering artist with Stephane Lopes

Hello Steph, could you tell us about yourself and how you started exploring calligraphy?

I have always been into drawing and creating stuff. I discovered Calligraphy and Lettering in 2016 thanks to Instagram. In January 2016, I posted my first calligraphy work, I've been exploring a lot since then. Since lettering is my passion, I spend hours practicing. It doesn't matter if it's on Instagram, for fun or commissioned works, I just love to create new letters.

I am inspired by many talented people and I always search to create my own art using their technics. I think my style has evolved through the years, I am not sure I can define it or identify it but I love when people tell me about it, it means that I am recognizable, it's a really nice compliment. I aim to be as good as the ones I admire.

You use a variety of instruments to create a breath of lettering styles. What are the must-have materials in your tool case?

I love to use brush pens, depending on my mood, my favorites are Faber Castell PITT and Tombow Dual Tips. There are times when I also use felt tip pens like Ecoline, or Tombows. As for textures, I use synthetic hair brush pens like Pentel's, which are also awesome.

HB pencil or any automatic pencil are very handy on my tool case, it helps me to sketch roughly ideas or grids to write on it. To add shadows or finalize a project, I use fineliners to ink some drawings.

Besides all those, I work a lot on iPad Pro so I bring it everywhere I go.

What would you advise people starting out in the art of calligraphy?

I think, as creatives, we are not totally responsible for our ideas. I think it's all about feeding your brain and let it do the work. I watch a lot of stuff, it doesn't matter if it's in real life or on the Internet. The important thing is to be curious and give your brain the food he needs to create your own personal, original mixes.

All I can tell is that Calligraphy requires practice, it's a long time process. Try every tool you can, find the one that you prefer to work with, and use it again and again and again because that's the only way to improve and be better.

How does your work relate to your everyday life?

Lettering made me believe more in myself. On Instagram, I always try to find nice quotes to spread positive messages. I think there is a community to encourage, I am talking to the younger me which was afraid to post an unfinished artwork. I want people to believe in themselves even more.

Stephane Lopes

See more of Stephane's beautiful lettering on Instagram