Recently I read “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert (who also wrote “Eat Pray Love”). Throughout this book, I kept thinking about my own creative living and my passion for fine arts. Therefore, I thought it would be fitting to write a short excerpt and share my “Big Magic” moment—the creativity behind Fontabulous Designs.
Gilbert says that creativity is “The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.” The dictionary defines creativity as the ability to create meaningful, new ideas with originality. However, sometimes it can be hard to realize the creativity that lives inside of us. So in covering each of the sections of the book and how they relate to my creation of Fontabulous Designs, I hope to inspire you to start your “Big Magic” moment as well.
You need courage to make anything happen in your life. It took courage to start Fontabulous Designs. It started on my family vacation over the fourth of July, 2017. I had been lettering for almost two years already and I loved it! I was learning “how” to letter, and I knew why I lettered.
However, my husband encouraged me to start the business. To start sharing my work. Although fear was very existent, I brainstormed and came up with the name- Fontabulous Designs. Once I had a name, it became real. But it took courage, each step of the way.
Gilbert shares a story about a teacher, Jack Gilbert. He said, “Without bravery, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities. Without bravery, they would never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery, their lives would remain small—far smaller than they probably wanted their lives to be.”
Without bravery and courage, I wouldn’t have started social media posting, or blogging, or selling my designs. I wouldn’t have enjoyed the richness that the lettering community has to offer! My lettering work has become more than I imagined and all because I overcame fear.
Without fear standing in my way, I started posting my work for the world to see. With the courage to be vulnerable and to post my progress, I was able to be enchanted by the world of creativity. I was able to collaborate “to the best of my ability with the forces of inspiration.”
This is the part of creating that’s the most enjoyable. The book mentioned the magic of creativity that can come to you when fear isn’t driving your emotions. When fear isn’t in the way of your creativity you have opportunities opened to you that you never imagined before because of the limits of fear.
Without fear and with the enchantment of creativity, you can give yourself permission to be authentic and sincere in your work. Being yourself makes you an interesting person. Authenticity and permission to express creativity gives the lettering community their unique styles. Everyone is different. Everyone is following their dreams!
Fontabulous Designs is my authentic personality. It’s the work I’ve given myself permission to create and share. Authenticity is the reason why you’re reading this, it’s the reason why we connect with others. Over time, we want to connect with real things, to find similarities with each other and thrive off the inspiration others’ creativities can give.
This connection with others only comes with Persistence. Persistence, behind courage, was the most relatable point for me and my personal lettering journey with Fontabulous Designs. I thought running a lettering blog would be easier than it is, but I’m still working on it. I’m persisting. I am constantly learning new things in order to bring my voice and my lettering knowledge to those interested to hear me.
Elizabeth Gilbert said, “In order to stay in the game, you must let go of your fantasy of perfection.” Perfection can stop persistence and make you quit on dreams, hobbies, interests that make you happy. I am one who struggles with the need to be perfect. To draw straight lines. To make perfect letters.
However, perfection is a hard goal to reach and perfection partners with fear that stops us from actually publishing and producing our work. Sometimes even when I know something is imperfect, I make myself post it!
You have to trust yourself. You have to trust in your hard work, trust the permission you gave yourself and the creativity that lives inside you! Creativity starts as curiosity. My interest in lettering turned into Fontabulous Designs It was the interest to pursue something to better myself and to learn something I may or may not like. In this case, it turned into a company, but I’ve done other things that didn’t turn into anything. A composting class, ice skating lessons, swimming? Yeah, those are really my thing. But they could be yours.
Whether you’ve followed creativity to the production of something or not, “you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you passed your entire existence in devotion to the noble human virtue of inquisitiveness,” as Gilbert puts it.
Don’t regret I have a slightly different view on divinity than Gilbert. Being a Latter-day Saint, I believe that Heavenly Father gives us divine gifts so that we can share them with the world. This is one reason why it’s easy to give myself permission to let go and share. I know sharing my point of view through my lettering can uplift and persuade others to follow their dreams.
Find your passion, find your delight, find what interests you and get started to learn it or improve upon it. If that’s letter I can help and you can check out the Lettering 101 page. If it’s not, I’d love to hear about what passions you are exploring!