Welcome to another edition of Heart to Heart. This week we are learning more about Teana from Melody Lane Press. Teana is a hand letterer with a wit & whimsy style. Let's learn some fun facts about her first!
What was the first music album you ever bought?
Oh man, believe it or not, it was the Oliver and Company soundtrack! I bought it with my own money and listened to it until I lost the tape.
What’s one thing you have on your bucket list?
Oh my, there’s so many! There’s so much I want to do but the top item is to learn Korean. For real this time (this would make attempt #4. I’m going to get it one day!).
What celebrity do you actively follow?
I don’t actively follow celebrities, but I have a host of celebs I passively follow (or whenever I see their posts pop up on Twitter/Instagram) including: Chadwick Boseman, Danai Guriri, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Jones, LeVar Burton and The Rock.
Do you have a favorite book? If not, then a tv show….
I have a few favorite books: “A Little Princess”, “The Count of Monte Cristo”, and “Pride and Prejudice”. I’ve read all of them several times over! My fave TV shows at the moment are Bob’s Burgers and Call the Midwife.
If you were trying out for American Idol, what song would you sing?
Hands down: “My Shot” from the Hamilton musical soundtrack (I.AM.OBSESSED)
Now onto the heart to heart....
First, tell us about yourself:
I live in the lovely SF Bay Area with my husband. I’m a former Military Brat who moved around a lot but was lucky enough to spend most of my life in and around different parts of California (with stops in Germany and Georgia for good measure!). I’m a University of Michigan almuna and studied Sport Management and Communication. When I’m not lettering, there’s a good chance you’ll find me napping, but I also love to bake, dance ballet, listen to a million podcasts, plan trips I never take, and just hanging out. I work full-time so I squeeze in my lettering whenever I get the chance.
How and when did you start lettering?
I started way back in the day in August of 2016. I’ve always doodled in my notes but my doodles always ended up with me just writing words in different ways. I didn’t know lettering was a thing but I kept trying to draw those “fancy cursive” letters to varying degrees of success (which was usually not successfully!). It wasn’t until I saw a video from Kelly Klapstein of @KellyCreates that I finally figured out what lettering and brush calligraphy was and could actually learn more. After doing research for about a month (seriously), I finally bought some worksheets and I haven’t put down my pens since.
Tell us all about Melody Lane Press!
Melody Lane Press is my boutique lettering studio. I’m the chief creative hand and I create hand-lettered signage for weddings, events and businesses as well as custom commissions. The custom work has turned into some of my favorites because it’s so much fun bringing someone’s vision to life and each project is different. I work on a lot of different materials in addition to paper, like acrylic, wood, agate slices, chalkboards, and walls. I’m also working on stocking my Etsy shop with more prints and hosting workshops.
What or who has been the biggest inspiration(s) to you?
It’s really hard to single out specific people because I have been inspired by so many! I will say that I draw the most inspiration from the ladies in a master class I took through Amanda Arneill. It’s been so much fun watching everyone’s style continue to evolve since the start of that class and seeing all the amazing work they’ve been doing these days. I’m so proud of the work they’ve created!
What is your favorite medium, and go to tools?
Everytime I try something new it becomes my new favorite thing. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my iPad just because of the convenience (bonus points for no eraser crumbs in bed), but I recently completed a lettering mural and those are so much fun that they’re my current favorite (though now I’m tempted to start lettering on jackets so who knows what my new fave thing will be next week). I also had a blast with stop motion.
My go to tools are my pencil, hard tip Tombow Fude, and a Pigma Micron pen.
What has been your favorite creation so far?
So far my favorite creation has been the pencil cases I made for my workshop attendees! I took a screen printing class and printed them myself. It was so much fun plus I learned a new skill. I still look at them and can’t believe I did it.
What tools/resources would you recommend to other lettering artists?
Google! I’m serious. You can find so much information there. That’s pretty much how I learned how to stock my mural kit and transfer designs to the wall. But ultimately, the lettering community has been the best resource for me. I’ve learned a ton through the friends I’ve made and have been able to pass on the nuggets of wisdom I gained as well. And I’ve gleaned a lot of information from posts and stories of some of the bigger names in lettering. You just need to ask questions! Just recently, a fellow letterer walked me through his process for setting up a grid for his lettering and really went above and beyond in his explanation and I was able to return the favor by sharing my process for creating wood signs. There’s definitely a give-and-take but as long as you’re respectful, I’ve found that people have been very open to sharing.
What is your dream job?
Once upon a time I really wanted to be the Commissioner of Major League Baseball but if that doesn’t pan out, I’d love to work for Pixar.
What is your favorite thing about lettering?
There’s so much you can do! I love that there’s always something new to learn. Even the best in the industry are still learning new techniques and styles. Plus, this is something you can really make yours and put a personal stamp on it. I love that there are as many styles as there are letterers!
What is a phrase or motto that is motivational to you that you can leave us all with?
Be Bold. Be Creative. It takes courage to create anything, and I’m not just talking about art. Whatever you do, do it with a boldness that will encourage yourself and others.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Teana. If you'd like to give her a follow, you can find her here:
INSTAGRAM: Melody Lane Press
WEBSITE: Melody Lane Press