Welcome to another edition of Heart to Heart! Today we are learning all about hand letterer Sarah from Ensign Insights. Sarah loves lettering, watercolors, and is an author. Let's learn more about her!
What past or current fashion trend do you feel you have totally rocked?
Velvet stretchy pants! In elementary school I only wore stretchy pants. My favorite were my purple velvet pants. I still wear stretchy pants as often as I can, and when I buy jeans, I only get the most stretchy ones.
What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
I like to laugh a lot, but I can’t think of the funniest thing that ever happened. Because I think more logically, there are some jokes that take me a few seconds (minutes) to get and start laughing. My husband and siblings always joke about how I’m always laughing 5 minutes after someone told a joke.
What are 2 truths and a lie about you?
I was in the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade.
I walked up all 669 steps of the Eiffel Tower.
I fed reindeer at the North Pole in Alaska.
If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?
I love traveling so eventually everywhere! I’ve traveled to a lot of countries and a lot of places in the US but I’ve never made it to Washington DC and that’s currently on the top of my list.
What is your favorite music group?
Currently The Greatest Showman has been my only soundtrack… for months now. I have too many favorite songs in general though, but a constant is Sara Bareilles! I saw her in concert like 10 years ago and she’s still amazing!
Ok, now to the heart to heart questions….
Tell us about yourself!
I was born and raised in Utah, currently living in Washington where my husband is a Physical Therapist. I got my degree in teaching and taught Family and Consumer Sciences for a year until we started moving around for my husband’s schooling. I’ve been slowly building my hand lettering business since it was something I could take with me wherever we went, and now it’s my full time job. I am also an ice cream connoisseur and if you let me, I’ll talk your ear off about different flavors or ice cream shops I’ve tried.
How and when did you get your start in lettering?
During my first year of teaching, I needed something to remind me how to be happy so I started designing quotes on a little app. I asked my designer brother how to learn graphic design and he said I should learn calligraphy. It didn’t take long after for me to discover brush pens and hand lettering and I’ve never looked back.
Do you have a favorite way to letter, and favorite tools?
I like all the tools! But I think a constant favorite will always be Crayola Broadline. And in the past year I’ve really gotten into watercolor lettering. My favorite brush is the Pentel Aquash waterbrush size fine and I love The Nostalgia Collective watercolors.
Congrats on publishing a book! Can you tell us all about it?
I spent about a year of lettering either copying other people or not feeling confident in my style. Lettering had started as such a happy place but it was becoming a place where I couldn’t stop comparing myself. I knew I had to change this. I had the idea for a year before, but because of crazy life changes it took me 6 months to really start. Then it took 6 months of working on it everyday to finally finish. The biggest barrier was deciding where to print it. I looked into publishers and self publishing, but I couldn’t find a place that could give me all I wanted. Smooth paper and spiral binding was my main focus. I have so many sample books that companies sent me that were all disappointments. I finally decided to try my local print shop and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been printing with him ever since. It was worth it all because of all the positive messages I’ve gotten of how it’s made a difference for people.
What other opportunities have come along that you are proud of?
I am a brand rep for The Nostalgia Collective watercolors which is amazing! I lettered a 7 foot welcome sign for a hair salon. I have had the opportunity to work with brands like Starfish Project, Kassa, Jetpens, Tiny Mighty Frames, and others.
What or who inspires you the most?
Seeing people sharing their talents and their art all over the internet even though it’s scary. I get so inspired when I see someone going out on a limb and starting something different because I know how hard that is.
What has been your most favorite art piece you’ve created so far?
This is like choosing a favorite child! I will probably have to say my recent USA state collage because it was a gift for my husband. I wasn’t creating it to sell or to make a post or anything, it was just out of love for my husband. Creating always feels good, but it especially feels good when it’s for someone you love, not for pay or recognition.
What is your favorite thing about lettering?
Making something beautiful in a harsh world, all the colors, connecting with others. I’m totally a word person (my love language) so I love taking beautiful words and making it a beautiful piece of art. It really is so therapeutic.
What has impacted you the most in your lettering journey?
First off, my husband because he has been so supportive through all the ups and downs. Also, life experiences. Whether it’s good or bad, what I am going through in my life affects what I’m creating and sharing with others.
What piece of advice could you offer those chasing after big goals and dreams?
Go for it. No matter how scary it feels. Set small goals to reach your big goals and don’t give up. Even when you feel like everything is a failure and it’s not going to work, if you keep at it, you may surprise yourself. :)
Explanation of 2 truths and a lie:
The lie is “I fed reindeer at the North Pole in Alaska.” This one is kind of a trick! I fed reindeer in more southern Alaska. We went to the North Pole in July and they don’t do many feedings until it’s closer to Christmas.
I did a study abroad in France and we went to the Eiffel Tower pretty often. The view from the top is one of my favorite views ever.
I was in Color Guard in high school and we were in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It seems long when you watch it on TV, but it’s actually one of the shortest parades we performed in!
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Sarah! If you'd like to follow along with her, you can do so here:
WEBSITE: Ensign Insights
FACEBOOK: Ensign Insights