Letters by Lydia: Summer Inspiration and Resources

Happy end of semester, everyone!  Congrats to all for making it through the year, and I hope you’re all settling into the summer.  This is my last post of the school year, so I thought I’d leave you all with some ways to stay involved in handlettering and art over the summer.

First off, here are some of my favorite lettering accounts on Instagram, if you’re looking for more inspiration, resources, tips, etc.

If you’re looking for something colorful, bold, digital, and maybe politically progressive, I’d recommend @inkusdingus or @glitterandbold.  For satisfying process videos and lots of juicy pens, I’d turn to @lettersandlattesllc (who also happens to be a fellow Michigander!), or @the_letter_salon.  For bullet journaling inspiration, definitely check out @thegraytergood, and for pen and stationery recs, look no further than @amandarachlee.  As for other favorites of mine, @snooze.one is a more experimental, graffiti-inspired typographer, and @keeplivingfaster is definitely the page to visit if you want watercolor lettering and lots of glitter.  Finally, if you want a page to get some general inspo and find lots of artists, my favorite account is @goodtype.  Enjoying your scrolling!

Now, if you want some website recommendations for some stationery shopping, here my go-to’s for that.

JetPens is a classic for keeping up with new pens as well as finding the classics, plus it has lots of variety and is reasonably priced.  Stationery Pal is really fun for specialty or limited edition items, cheap stationery (like, super cheap), and colorful and fun pens, trinkets, etc.  Shipping takes a bit, but in my opinion the price makes it worth it.  Tokyo Pen Shop is a new one I’ve been perusing, so I can’t speak to how it is to order from them, but they have a lot of fun and unique items.  For more stationery rather than pen-centered products, Present and Correct is a really fun one to check out for a very vintage, specialized feel.  And, of course, Amazon is always a fast and cheap option.  If you want to do some in-person shopping, Michael’s, Blick Art Materials, and even stores like Barnes and Nobles are all good options.  For Ann Arbor stores, I’d check out Rock Paper Scissors, Papersource, and Found.  There are tons of independent stationery stores everywhere, though, so if you’re traveling somewhere, it’s never a bad idea to look up stationery stores in that area (I’ve found some really good ones that way!).  Happy shopping!

I hope that information is helpful and gives you a lot to look into over the summer if you’re interested!  Either way, I hope you all have a relaxing few months and do some art if you can or want to 🙂

Mixed on Campus #8 – Leilani Wetterau

Name: Leilani Wetterau
Mix: Chinese, White-American
Major & Year: Elementary Education; Freshman

Q: How has being mixed affected your campus experience?

A: I have never felt like I have truly fit in on this campus, or in any space in general. My whole life has been jumping from group to group. I always try to smile and laugh, because it’s lighter that way, but deep down I crave belonging. I have a great church community, family, and friends, but my ethnic identity is something that affects me everyday. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t change being mixed for anything. I know I am unique and special, and I hope everyone knows that about themselves too! <3

Mixed on Campus #7 – Gabriela Barrett

Name: Gabriela Barrett
Mix: Peruvian & White-American (Jewish)
Major & Year: RC Creative Writing & Drama; Senior

I am a proud Latina Jew who is thankful for both sides of my heritage: the immigrants from Lima, Perú and the immigrants from Eastern Europe (Romania and Germany). I grew up in a household that was not only biracial and bilingual, but came from two families that practiced two different religions. My siblings and I were raised in a Reform Jewish Congregation like my father, but my mother was raised Catholic. We understood and practiced our faith while respecting my mother’s at the same time. The constant exposure to different cultures, religions, practices, traditions, and beliefs have helped create my identity.

Q: What do you wish more people knew about the mixed experience?

A: Being mixed is something no one really prepares you for. If you are mixed, it is usually because your parents come from two different races or ethnicities, meaning they also do not fully understand our experiences. The imposter syndrome is very much a real thing. While I have improved in dismissing this notion, it can be damaging when people do not believe you are who you say you are. It invalidates you. Not an action you might take or belief, your whole identity and being. Whether that be because of your skin color, the language you speak, the music you listen to, or the traditions that have been instilled in your life. I used to introduce myself as half- Peruvian. Well it is the truth. But, as I matured, I realized that my mother tried her best to still incorporate our Peruvian culture and heritage in the suburbs on the East Coast, far away from our Latino family on the West Coast. She did this with music, food, film, and of course, making sure we call up our family members and practicing our Spanish. I was lucky enough to also fly out there multiple times to celebrate holidays. I am a Latina. Yes, there is other blood flowing through my veins that is Ashkenazi Jew, but my experiences and history do not cancel one another. I now say I am Latina (not half). Growing up, I was a mixed Latina raised in a white-jewish community. I am privileged to have been accepted in both communities but there are silent judges who still always make you feel out of place. You sometimes just do not fit in, no matter how hard you try. “My skin is too white or my accent is too weak.” If the Spanish speakers in my family were not as forgiving with my shaky grammar, communicating would be even more difficult. But they love me, despite our different religions, despite our distance, and despite the color of my skin. We understand our bond and our strengthened by the two different sides of the stories we get to tell.

Q: What are you most anxious about right now?

A: People keep asking me what my plans are for post-graduation which I assume is the most obvious thing to ask to a graduating senior. I understand that. I even do that to my friends in a similar situation. But, as someone whose passion is in the arts and humanities, the future is not as easy to plan out. While a common answer, I am most anxious about my future. This safe bubble of education has cushioned me in my years of adolescence. But now, I do not get that security anymore. It is not just my career that I am unsure about. I’ve heard that the 20s is a time to explore, despite the stigma of knowing what you want to do straight out of college. I welcome the mystery of not knowing what I am going to do yet, but still fear the uncertainty. How will I support myself? Should I still pursue my dream or turn to something more safe? This leads to the other side of my anxiety, a side that is sometimes not talked about. The social environment of 20-somethings, post-college, is something that I am trying to mentally prepare for. Finding new friends, new hobbies, new love. They can be difficult to find, even more so in a new setting. You are met with this new life but without the training wheels that were given to you in the past. I am trying to tell myself I’ll be okay but also trying to be realistic. The people I know who have gone through all of this seem to have turned out okay, so maybe I will too?

OTM #33: Fangirl

The topic of adulthood has been on my mind a lot lately. It’s a cartoonish form of adulthood that doesn’t exist, though – one that paints an “adult” as someone with no hobbies or interests, a businesslike frame of mind around everything. I think a part of me feels a need to conform to this fake form of adulthood; so, as I sat on my floor at 4am waiting for a new song to release on Spotify, I felt a dissonance. Is it foolish of me to care so much about the music I like that I’m staying up late? Is this childish? Am I too old for this?

One of my communication courses wrapped up yesterday, and during our final lecture, my professor said to us, “It’s amazing that you guys are so thoughtful and mature, I was never like this at your age.” I was shocked; I don’t think it has crossed my mind recently that I am still allowed to be a dumb kid. I’m so worried about the way I express interest in things or being seen as “childish” that I’m failing to recognize the important ways I’m maturing. This time is precious, and it’s okay to be a bit silly or make mistakes. So what I’m excited for music with the fervor of a thirteen year old girl? I’m gonna dance about it.

Mixed on Campus #6 – Jasmin Lee

Name: Jasmin Lee
Mix: Black & Chinese-Malaysian
Major & Year: Creative Writing & American Culture; Senior

Q: How has being mixed affected your campus experience?

A: Being mixed is a unique experience for everyone, but my childhood in navigating different cultures has allowed me to find similarities with anyone I’m talking to. This has helped me make new friends throughout college and open myself to new opportunities.

Q: What do you wish more people knew about the mixed experience?

A: I wish people knew that it can be exhausting to fit into expectations of who you are supposed to be based on how you look. Being mixed is an experience that can be both exhausting and exciting at the same time, but I am learning to be okay with being myself around others and not who people think I should be.

Q: What are you most anxious about right now?

A: I am most anxious about graduating. Going out into the real world and adulting seems scary but I am just trying to take it one step at a time.

Q: What kind of person do you aspire to be?

A: I aspire to be a person who is unapologetic about who I am. I am still working on this but I am learning to accept how my identity impacts my view of the world, and being okay with it.

Letters by Lydia: Fun Process

Hi y’all!

This week I just have a fun little post of some lettering I did today, inspired by the warm weather!

When I’m lettering for fun, I typically follow a pattern: I’ll start by filling a page with bare bones lettering, nothing fancy.  After that, I’ll go through a do a couple rounds additions to each word, until I like how they all turn out.  Today I also tried something new and added a bunch of fun little doodles around the words, which I think really brought the page together.  I hope you enjoy!