Revisiting My Old Lettering Work
I revisit my old work a lot. Sometimes I would just scroll through my Instagram feed, or look through my stash of practice sheets and drafts. I have not done that in a while.
When a good friend Mye saw one of my older pieces, she said, "You should totally try to do it again. I do it all the time!" I thought, "Why not?" So I told myself I'd do it.
I whipped out my trusty charcoal pencil and my new favorite black notebook and started copying the layout from the original piece I worked on last year. I remember this to be a one-hit wonder. It was a lucky shot, one that I could not replicate for a long time no matter how hard I tried.
As I drew the guidelines, I had a rush emotions I have not felt in a long time. There was a sense of calm. At the same time, there's a sudden jolt of energy that sent my arm on autopilot, and my hand immediately knew what it wants to draw.
The strokes felt natural; and the layout, familiar.
During this time, I've been reminiscing on how and why I started lettering. In my mind, I traced my roots. I wondered how many likes this post garnered back then. I was thinking about how it felt not knowing what I know now - when I was blindly following trends and just doing things that seemed appropriate.
Thoughts came rushing in like a wrecking ball (unlike Miley, they were clothed).
It was a welcome change. For recently, I have been too focused on outputs and goals, and on meeting deadlines. I needed a reminder to enjoy the scenery and to be grateful for what has been.
The text feels apropos for reminiscing the why - for the love of letterforms.
And after completing the work, I began to compare the two. It appeared that there's not much of a difference. But to me, revisiting my work represented a lot of things. The old and the new represented different things and times in my life. It made me realize that:
- I have grown so much.
- I have something to call my passion.
- I have started to develop my own style.
- I am more confident than ever.
- I have something to call my own.
Making the new piece was more than trying to do it better. Rather, it was about reaffirming my progress, seeking fulfillment and overcoming struggles. It was about continuing on despite setbacks. It represents all the experiences I've gone through and the people I met along the way whom I admire and cherish.
Through the years, I became more consistent and confident. Until now, I continue to find more reasons to believe in myself. It’s personal, really. Redoing a piece from the past was a way for me to commit to the lessons I have learned and to affirm who I am as an artist.
Undoubtedly, I will still grow. And eventually, when I look back to this point in time, I hope to be able to tell myself how proud I am of myself and how far I have come.