Hosting a Local Lettering Workshop. A behind-the-scenes look at hosting a fun lettering and calligraphy event!
All workshop Event Photos in this post are by the talented Alex Thornton Photography
Hi friends! I thought it might be fun to give you a behind-the-scenes sneak peek into hosting a local lettering workshop. This post will focus on what goes into being hired by another company to teach one and in a future post, I’ll talk about hosting your own.
Hosting a Local Lettering Workshop
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of teaching a Beginner Brush Calligraphy workshop in Charleston, SC at an evening co-hosted by Mixbook and Gillian Ellis of Coastal Bride. Thanks to my friends at Tombow, Mixbook reached out to me over the Summer about teaching this workshop.
Since Mixbook and Coastal Bride were the official hosts, I didn’t have to worry about the venue or any non-lettering related event details. All credit goes to them for the event planning pieces!
The event location was The Skinny Dip on King Street in Downtown Charleton. The bottom floor is a shop, and the top level is a coffee/wine bar and event space.
The event was held on a Thursday evening from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm and included delish locally catered food and desserts as well as gorgeous floral arrangements. I’ve listed all the credits at the end of the blog post.
Planning: Prior to the Event
I worked with Mixbook to prepare for teaching the workshop. Here’s an overview of what that entailed:
- Custom Set of Worksheets. The workshop was 90 minutes long. I timed myself doing the worksheets and decided I needed one page for 15 minutes, so I designed a 6-page workbook for the class. Mixbook requested the style be geared toward brides, so I went with a simple but elegant brush calligraphy style. I focused on worksheets that covered basic strokes, letters, words, and putting together a design.
- Printing of Worksheets. Since Mixbook is a printing company, they were able to do this for me. I just requested that they print the worksheets on HP Premium32 paper, which is gentle on the brush pens nibs.
- Lettering Supplies. Hard Tip Fudenosuke and Dual Tip Markers in two colors were provided courtesy of Tombow and attendees got to take them home.
- Visual Presentation. So this was the one hiccup of the evening. I was under the impression there would be a project and visual presentation equipment set up for me to demo the strokes and letters. When I arrived, it wasn’t there. I panicked inside but went into “do what you have to mode” and ran to the corner art stores (in heels!) for a giant marker pad to put on an easel they already had. Doing brush calligraphy standing up isn’t easy but I made it work, and the event went wonderfully. Things happen, and it’s best to go with the flow and find a way to make the show go on. But to avoid this in the future, I’ve invested in some visual presentation equipment. I’ll talk more about this in the post on self-hosted lettering workshops.
- Business Cards. Mixbook said it was ok for me to set out business cards, so I had some super cute ones made through Moo.com and set one on top of each “place setting” at the event.
- Hand-Lettered Print to Give to Attendees (shown below). Mixbook printed these and placed them in the swag bags.
- Free Download Code for the Swag Bags. I created a special coupon code so attendees could download my 30 Days of Drills Workbook for free.
Planning: Day of The Event
On the day of the event, I focused on packing up my supplies and getting myself ready. Picking an outfit took me about a week, ha! I wore heels, and my feet hurt so bad the end of the evening I had to go barefoot, so next time I’ll probably wear more sensible shoes.
I’d recommend showing up a least an hour before the event’s start time to get set up and make sure you have all your ducks in a row.
I was pretty nervous when I first started talking, but I was just honest about my fear of public speaking. I made a few light-hearted comments poking fun at myself, and the attendees showed me a lot of grace as I worked out my jitters. Within 5 minutes, my nervousness began to melt away, and I found myself having so much fun teaching the class.
Teaching beginner is my absolute favorite thing to do. After a quick overview of the basics of supplies and brush calligraphy, we dove right into the worksheets. We didn’t get through all six pages, but that’s ok. It’s better to have too many worksheets prepared than not enough! Attendees can take them home to finish up. ?
I did a lot of walking around and I’d talk over the room as people asked questions. As you can see in the photos, everyone was so focused, and they did amazing. I was so impressed!
There were so many amazing photos (thanks, Alex!), I had to create collages or this post would’ve been a mile long!
I loved seeing people having fun and posting to social media as we worked through the workbook.
At the end of the evening, we took some fun photos in front of the photo backdrop at Skinny Dip (and I finally got my hands on a frosé!). It was so much fun to meet some of Charleston’s fashion, event, and bridal bloggers!
We had fantastic feedback on the event, and I’m looking forward to doing more workshops soon. The big thing I have on the books right now is that I’ll be teaching a similar workshop for beginners at Pinners Conference Utah the first weekend in November.
- Co-hosts: Mixbook and Gillian Ellis, Coastal Bride founding member of Aisle Society
- Instructor: Dawn Nicole
- Photos by Alex Thornton
- Food provided by:
- Flowers courtesy of On A Limb Floral Studio
- Markers courtesy of Tombow
- Mini champagne in gift bags courtesy of Le Grand Courtage
- Charleston Weddings magazine courtesy of Charleston Magazine
If you have any questions on hosting a lettering workshop on behalf of a company, let me know in the comments!
A big thank you to Mixbook and Coastal Bride for the opportunity to teach this workshop. ?