The Land of Tears is So Mysterious | Skillshare Projects

Christina Lembo

Designer, doodler, hand-letterer, collagist



The Land of Tears is So Mysterious

I chose the phrase "The Land of Tears is so mysterious" from my very favorite book ever, The Little Prince.

I wanted to stick to something mostly typographical with flourishes, like the following:

So my list of associations is as follows:

I had a lot of fun with the lettering warm-up and got maybe a bit carried away with ornate fonts (all of which I based off historical type found in antique documents, but I wanted to get a feel for the different flourishes and movement I could accomplish, not intending to copy anybody's work!)

Script, sans-serif, representational, serif, and blackletter


Some more script, and on an arc

Ornate, fancy serif, in a shape.

Ultimately I think I like something scripty for "Tears" and something more ornate/dimensional, perhaps on an angle, for mysterious... excited to start doing some thumbnails next!


One of the benefits of having sat on this project forever is now that I'm actually putting the lessons to use, I'm flying through ;)

I played around with some thumbnails last night, and some potential styles for words in the print:

I ultimately liked the upper right (I know, I didn't do many!). So I worked on that, and as you can see, for some odd reason, I decided the quote was different than it actually was! Hah. I think what happened was there are two similar quotes in the book, and I sort of merged them. But I wasn't happy with certain elemetns of my first sketch anyway -- you can see that whole dribbly area where I kept playing around with flourishes that just weren't working. But I did really like the lettering I came up with for "Mysterious"

So I worked on an alternate sketch, and then actually just inked right on top of it.

Clearly there are some major areas of concern -- my wonky banner and uneven "is so" lettering, the uneven arc of "Mysterious," and just the wobbly lines in general. So I traced this one using ink on a different sheet of paper.

I was happier with the overall evenness of everything, but when I got to the bottom, Mysterious was giving me huge issues. So I ultimately decided to use the 2nd one for everything above "Mysterious," and then the 1st one for "Mysterious" and put everything together in Illustrator in the second half of this course.

There are several areas I need to tweak digitally -- spacing, shaky lines, the bottom of that banner. But i'm not an artist, and I don't have an artist's steady hand! I'm actually much better on the computer so I don't mind spending extra time cleaning it up, since to try to get everything smooth and straight by hand is just a losing battle.

Here are the two (eventually merged) versions side by side. I'll post a finished version once I've digitized!


After getting some feedback, I decided to go with the slightly modified "The Land of Tears is a Very Mysterious Place," and my original composition, since it was more balanced.

While doing my sketches over and over, though, I wasn't really happy with the flourishes and theme I was coming up with, which was more of a planetary theme that just wasn't sitting well with my "land" concept. So I started poking around at old maps and whatnot and came up with more of an antique, mysterious land concept. Since I'm obsessed with maps, it worked out really well.

Here is my final (I think??) drawing. I did it with digitizing in the second class in mind, so I made some of the modifications suggested in those lessons (like connecting the counterforms to the outside of the letters, continuing curves through a letter that I can delete later, etc.) and seriously, this was like my 5th inked drawing and I STILL kept making stupid errors like in the "U" of mysterious, so I'm going to fix those in Illustrator. 

Anyway, feedback would be great! I guess I could always draw it a 6th time... ;)


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