I've always had nice handwriting — at least, that's what people always told me. Whenever there was a school project that needed something written neatly, I was the girl people called.
I also, over the years, liked the re-invent my handwriting. When I was about 13 years old, I decided I no longer wanted to write a single-story lowercase a, but wanted to write the fancier two-story one. (Font nerds, more information about this here. Non-font nerds, single-story is the one we learned to write in school with the plain oval and line, two-story is the more traditional roman style. The lowercase A's on my site are all two-story.)
Needless to say, I've unknowingly been fascinated with this art form for many years, but started working on it and fine-tuning it in the last year or so.
Good handwriting, however, does not equal good lettering.
This has really been the trickiest part. While my notes to friends and short messages in greeting cards may have always been nice, that didn't translate well to lettering. Because in lettering you need to stop and think of each letter and stroke individually. You need to be cognizant about how they fit into the larger design. My brain is always three strokes ahead, thinking about the next few lines.
I had my (super-talented) husband made a video for me last night showing a simple brush lettering and watercolor design I worked on. You can see from my pauses and air-strokes how I'm constantly picturing how a particular stroke will fit in the overall design. At just over 3 minutes, it might not seem that this took me that long to make. But, this was also the 20th or so time that I drew this particular phrase. I knew where I wanted the letters to land and only made slight adjustments from my original concept.