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A Weekend in Ottawa: Hand-Lettering Workshop with Joanne Lauzon

Have you ever seen a chalkboard at a restaurant with the most exquisite lettering on it? It’s something I notice. I’ve always loved doing “fancy” letters. So, I guess I tend to notice them elsewhere too.

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Artist is Lauren Hom

So, I was definitely intrigued to find that there were local workshops where I could try my hand at this. Here is a cool little video example of hand-lettering, by Joanne Lauzon, the workshop instructor, whose company name is inDetail.

I knew Stella, my 13-year-old daughter, would really love a chance to try her hand at it too, so I signed us both up for a workshop. Below is a photo of Joanne, as she welcomed us to the workshop.

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Joanne clearly loves these workshops; you could feel it. There were four students in total, and she made us feel so welcome with all her special little touches.

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See those chocolate covered almonds? Stella basically devoured them. I was more excited about the tulips and coffee.

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And Stella and I were both thrilled with our brush-lettered names (we cut them out and brought them home afterwards, we liked them so much).

The workshop was 4-hours in length, from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm, and $80 per person. We didn’t need to bring any supplies — and luckily, no skill either! She walked us through each step involved in creating a final illustrative hand-lettering piece. And I really enjoyed being able to bounce ideas off of the other students; the vibe was really nice.

Below, you can see some of the steps involved in developing a concept. First, you actually have to pick which words you want to use (that was hard, actually!). I had a few different quotes that I found hard to narrow down. Eventually, I chose: “Oh darling, let’s be adventurers.”

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Then you need to work on their placement and sizing … Joanne had tips and tricks to help us through all of this.

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And below is my final “work of art.” I have to admit, I’m pretty pleased with it.

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But more than that, I was so pleased to have this experience with Stella. What a wonderful morning we had. The quote that she had picked was:

“If you clear your mind, creativity will instantly fill it.” 

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I’m not sure that’s true for everyone, but it’s certainly true to Stella’s experience. She is always creating something … a craft, drawing, story. I know that art — of some kind or another — will always play a big role in Stella’s life. And I think she found it inspiring to meet someone just like herself in Joanne.

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