Hi! I'm Brittany Luiz, a hand lettering artist, author, instructor, full-time social media/pr manager, and mom! Ask me anything.

Brittany Cofer Luiz
Mar 31, 2018

Instagram: @brittanyluiz

My book: Lettering with Purpose


I've always loved writing and being creative, but it wasn't until I found hand lettering that I realized I could also be an artist. I've been lettering since 2014 and now teach workshops online and in person across the country. My book, Lettering with Purpose, published in September 2017, fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine to become an author. 

In addition to lettering, I work full-time as the Media & Public Relations Manager at Tombow USA (a popular art and craft brand). I'm a mother of a 2.5-year-old little boy and my husband and I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage this May. Something that's been a big priority of mine since last year is my health and fitness. I've recently lost 35 pounds by completely changing the way I eat and look at exercise, and it's helped me to become a much happier human.

Ask me anything about hand lettering, learning to letter, teaching lettering, working full-time, social media management, being a mom, dealing with overwhelm, or losing weight while trying to stay sane.

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How do you evaluate the success of a PR & marketing campaign? Are there different ways to judge the definition​ of success?
Apr 7, 3:53AM EDT0
Could you talk about the time when you used social media data to help create a brand strategy?
Apr 6, 9:22AM EDT0
How important is it to you to keep your creative penmanship alive?
Apr 5, 4:00AM EDT0

It’s super important to me! Not only do I love doing it, it’s part of my job and my brand so I definitely make sure to practice and continue trying to improve!

Apr 5, 8:27PM EDT0
How did you manage to narrow down the creative challenges and tips in your lettering book?
Apr 5, 4:00AM EDT0

I works really closely with my publisher on that part. They actually came to me with the idea for the book and knew what they wanted included, they just needed an author. So that helped a lot! I also tried to make sure I hit on topics that I was curious about when I first started lettering. 

Apr 5, 8:26PM EDT0
Do you find it challenging being in a busy career and a mom? If so, what are some methods you use to manage your time?
Apr 4, 6:14PM EDT0

I definitely find it challenging! Some days I wish I could just go home and go straight to bed, but since I have a child I can’t do that. I manage my time and try to balance things by focusing on spending time with my son while he is awake, and I do lettering or other things when he sleeps. I also use my lunch break as a chance to get things done that I can’t do while I’m at home. 

Apr 5, 8:25PM EDT0
What are some tips for someone who is overwhelmed? What has helped you?
Apr 4, 10:31AM EDT0

I make to-do lists when I’m overwhelmed. I brain dump everything I need to do, then I order it by what needs to happen first. It helps me to see all of my tasks in one place and be able to start checking them off one by one. I also sometimes will take creative breaks if I start to feel overwhelmed at work. 

Apr 5, 8:23PM EDT0
For someone looking to lose weight, what are some pieces of advice that you could give to them?
Apr 3, 10:21PM EDT0

First would be to get in the right mind frame. I really feel like mindset is a huge part of losing weight. You have to be motivated to actually follow through. The other is that it’s not an “all or nothing” thing. If you slip up, and you will, don’t let it completely derail you. Try to look at the big picture instead of getting hung up on the fact that you caved and ate pizza. And lastly, give in every once in awhile. It’s not realistic to never eat cake again in your life. You don’t need to eat it every weekend, but if it’s a special occasion go for it and don’t feel bad about it! 

Apr 5, 8:21PM EDT0
What led you to explore lettering more and how does your book on it help others learn the art smoothly?
Apr 2, 6:28PM EDT0

I wanted to learn lettering to improve my handwriting, but as I learned more and more about it I just kept wanting to learn more - so I did! My book helps others learn by having everything I wish I had known from the beginning all together in one place!

Apr 5, 8:19PM EDT0
What are your main tools for lettering?
Apr 2, 3:31PM EDT0

I love using Tombow products! My favorites are the Dual Brush Pen, Fudenosuke Hard Tip, and MONO Dust Catch Eraser. Also a big fan of the MONO Drawing Pen!

Apr 5, 8:17PM EDT0
Is there a difference between hand lettering and calligraphy?
Apr 2, 12:12PM EDT0

Yes! Hand lettering is kind of the umbrella term that covers any sort of type that is made by hand. Hand lettering can literally be the notes you take during class or it can be an intricate design on the cover of a best-selling book. Calligraphy, however, is a style of handlettering that is created using a calligraphy pen (also called a dip pen) and ink. You can create brush calligraphy with a brush pen or a paintbrush, or faux calligraphy with a pencil, pen, crayon, etc. Hand lettering can be created with any type of writing tool (or sometimes people create it with crazy, off-the-wall things like vegetables dipped in ink) and can encompass so many different types of styles. Hope this helps clear up the difference for you!

Apr 2, 12:36PM EDT0
Are you a self-taught artist? If so, has the journey into self-teaching the art more difficult than learning from any mentor?
Apr 2, 11:57AM EDT0

I'm a mix of being self-taught and instructor-taught. I have taken several online lettering courses since I began lettering. I also read a lot of blogs and follow a bunch of different artists who share tips and tricks. A lot of lettering though is learning the essentials, then making it your own, so that's where it helps to be a self starter and not be afraid of learning things on your own or making up your own way of doing things. It's hard to say whether it's more or less difficult to self-teach or be taught - there are pros and cons to each. I definitely think you have much less of a learning curve if you start by learning from other people, then once you have a good understanding, keep learning through self exploration and self teaching.

Apr 2, 12:33PM EDT0
How long did it take before you were able to lose all 35 pounds?
Apr 2, 9:52AM EDT0

It's taken about 4 months and I still have 20-30 more to go! The past two weeks I've been gaining and losing the same 4 pounds because I haven't been as diligent with my eating as I had been previously. It's always a work in progress! But I've been really happy with being able to lose 35 pounds in 4 months!

Apr 2, 12:30PM EDT0
Was it hard for you to lose weight? Have you always been overweight in the past?
Apr 2, 4:36AM EDT0

It's definitely not easy for me to lose weight, but I have always been able to lose it if I really work at it. I've never been "skinny" but it wasn't until after college that I was overweight for any extended period of time. My weight has fluctuated a lot over the years and since I'm pretty shor (and also have a more muscular build), it's really hard for me to stay in the healthy BMI range for my height. 

Apr 2, 12:30PM EDT0
How to start hand lettering? What online tutorials would you recommend for beginners?
Apr 1, 1:51PM EDT0

There are so many ways you can get started lettering! You can grab a pen/pencil/marker and paper and get started by using free downloadable lettering worksheets online. (I created the ones that are available on Tombow's website, here.) Or you can sign up for a local class. You can also take an online class and learn at your own pace. I teach 3 different online classes on Brit+Co - you can check them out here. I also have a roundup of my favorite lettering resources on my blog here

Apr 1, 7:20PM EDT0
How often do you do hand letterings? Do you have to do this every day to improve your skills further?
Apr 1, 7:16AM EDT0

I don't always have time to letter every day, but I probably letter at least 4-5 days each week. Sometimes it's just a few minutes here or there, and sometimes I have the time to sit down and make a full piece from start to finish. Since lettering has become such an important part of my full-time job, I am lucky enough that I can do it at work most days. You definitely do need to continue practicing to develop your skills and to maintain them. I've noticed that if I go an extended period without lettering, it takes me a day or two to overcome shaky lines and get back to where I was before my break.

Apr 1, 7:16PM EDT0
What type of pen and paper would you recommend for hand lettering beginners?
Mar 31, 11:34PM EDT0

My favorite pen for beginners is the Fudenosuke Brush Pen (hard tip) by Tombow. And my favorite paper to practice on is marker paper (Strathmore and Canson both make great marker paper). I have all of my favorite supplies listed on my website here

Apr 1, 7:14PM EDT0
How did you learn to do hand lettering? Did you study to learn or did you just happen to have the talent?
Mar 31, 7:03PM EDT0

I learned by taking a few online classes taught by different instructors and doing lots of self-guided work by Google searching everything under the sun related to lettering. I practiced a lot and read several different blogs all the time. I also own at least 10 lettering books. 

Apr 1, 7:13PM EDT0
What’s your book Lettering With Purpose all about?
Mar 31, 12:52PM EDT0

It’s an instructional guide to learning handlettering. I basically cover everything I wish I had known when I first got started lettering. It includes my favorite tools, several traceable alphabets, a chapter on how to digitize lettering, tips and tricks, several start to finish projects, and 100 prompts to inspire you when you aren’t sure what to letter!

Last edited @ Mar 31, 5:23PM EDT.
Mar 31, 5:23PM EDT0

How do you do it all? What is your typical day like? 

Mar 31, 9:45AM EDT0

The secret is I actually don’t do it all, haha. I am constantly feeling like I’m falling short in some aspect and not doing everything I should be doing. A typical weekday for me involves waking up at 5:30, leaving the house a little before 6 and heading to the gym, spend about 45-60 mins working out, shower and get ready at the gym then go to work from 8-5, go pick up my son from daycare and take him home, usually my husband has dinner ready when we get home so we have dinner pretty soon after getting home, then we play with our son for about an hour and a half before it’s time to start getting him ready for bed, once he’s down my husband and I spend an hour or two catching up on things on our DVR, then I try to read for a bit and get my gym bag packed before heading to bed. Cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and other errands are usually reserved for the weekends. I usually letter on Saturday mornings or during my lunch break. I used to letter a lot in the evenings, but I haven’t been doing it as much lately. 

Mar 31, 12:29PM EDT0
How did you discover you had a talent in hand lettering?
Mar 31, 3:55AM EDT0

I really don’t have a natural talent for it. I was pretty bad when I first started, but I wanted to learn so I dedicated A LOT of time to practicing. When I first got started, I practiced up to 2 hours each day. It’s relaxing for me to letter, so it was kind of like therapy for me!

Mar 31, 9:36AM EDT0
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