Sorry, your browser is not supported
To have the best experience using Skillshare, we recommend that you use one of these supported browsers.

Kirsty Headden

Design newbie. Help.



Just F*ing Write Something

I agonised for days over which phrase to choose for my project. Words rolled around my brain until I felt paralysed by choice. Any one of them would have been fine, just fine, but I didn't want fine; I wanted perfect. 

This went on for far too long, until I almost gave up. I was finished before I'd even started. But then I grabbed myself by the shoulders, gave myself a good shake, and four words flashed before my eyes:

Just. Fucking. Write. Something.

So I did.


Update 1: Concept

Perhaps I ought to explain something first. I'm British. This means that most phrases intended to be inspirational, motivational or generally supportive tend to make me want to curl up into a ball and make loud sarcastic remarks until it's over. 

Oh darling, let's be adventurers.

Perfectly lovely but not-very-British notebook via Etsy

The irony (we Brits love a bit of irony) is that if anyone is in need of some motivation, inspiration and support right now, it's me. My blog has been woefully neglected. My side gig writing for a digital magazine has begun to feel like a chore. I've fallen out of love with writing. 

So I've decided to make a little motivational product of my own, Brit-style. My phrase will be the cover image on a writer's notebook. The notebook will be lined, simple, lightweight - the kind of thing you can throw in your bag and write in whenever the mood strikes. And if the mood doesn't strike? Well, just fucking write something anyway.

Blank lined notebook


Update 2: Brainstorming


There are different ways I could go with this phrase. I could focus on the 'writing' element, perhaps by incorporating visual elements associated with that particular activity. That's still an option. But more than that, I want to capture the feel of the phrase. It's bossy, sure. A little bit rude, defintiely. Ultimately, though, it has your best interests at heart.

The words that jumped out of my list and slapped me in the face were FIRMHARDWORKING, BOSSY and PRODUCTIVITY. Sounds like a grumpy teacher. Or maybe an overbearing but well-meaning government official...?


Update 3: Inspiration

I have a real Pinterest addiction. It's what I use to plan every creative project (and by creative projects, I mean everything from styling photo shoots to deciding what shoes to take on a weekend away. I use it for E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.).

Naturally, I started a pinboard for this project, which if you're so inclined you can see here:

I started off pinning quite a broad range of inspiration images, from vintage shopfronts to curative tonics (which I immediately scrapped when I saw Jonathan Bell's amazing project, which you should check out if you haven't already). I have always been drawn to World War 2 era propaganda posters, both for the beautiful artwork and the morale-boosting, can-do attitude. The lettering style is bold and strong (posters have to be legible, after all), but still has a distinctive style and flair to it. The slogans are usually imperatives - no argument, no question, just do it - which fits perfectly with my phrase.

I think I've found my inspiration.

World War 2 era propaganda posters

I'm not going to paint a picture - my project will be mainly lettering based, like the Housewives! poster on the bottom row - but there is lots of inspiration in the lettering used in the other posters too. I particularly enjoy the partnership of clean sans serifs with more stylised scripts.

Some more research into lettering styles from the same era, alongside some modern interpretations of the sans serif + script pairing:

1940s lettering styles

I have a good idea of where I'm going with this.

Now to buy some pencils and just fucking draw something. Gulp. Wish me luck...


Update 4: Warm-ups

Found a pencil. Score. (But not a compass, clearly.)

Handlettering warm-ups


It's been years since I've drawn anything beyond a doodle in the corner of a page during a conference call (ahem, don't tell my boss). I know I've got a loooong way to go - everything's a bit wonky and undeveloped - but I enjoyed doing these so much! Such a pleasant way to while away some time, not in front of a screen, doing something physical and creative. Three cheers for Skillshare!

Next step: work on some more script and sans serif styles, to build up some more confidence and ideas before I move on to the next stage of the project. I had fun with the dimensional word, so I might play with that some more as well (although my inspiration posters tend to be very flat and two-dimensional, presumable for impact and readibility reasons, so we'll see).

Fun times.

P.S. Thanks for the comment, Mary Kate!


Please sign in or sign up to comment.