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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.


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.


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.


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


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.”


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



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


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.” 


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.


  1. I absolutely love this! Stella is such a talented artist……this will be such a good extension of that for her.

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  4. It’s awesome post stella. hand lettering is excellent dear……..

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  11. I too noticed some Hand-writing menu in Vancouver restaurants and it gives the classy look as you explained very well.

  12. Wow! Joan, you are just a master of calligraphy! You are doing very well, Sitv Jobs himself would envy) You are a great fellow, keep it up!)

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  14. elements (case, binding).

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  42. I love the beautiful writings! Nice work!



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