Words to Your Mother: Hand Lettered Design

When we need a quick pick-me-up or some mom motivation on a rough day, we find ourselves turning to Hand Lettered Design’s inspirational prints on their Instagram feed. Artist Lisa Funk created the thank you cards in our May Mommy Mailbox to add the perfect gift for mom on Mother’s Day. We chatted with Lisa today about how she got her start and how to keep the creative juices flowing.

Lisa is offering a promo code for her incredible new online course, Chalk Art 101. Code mommymailbox10 will get you an extra 10 percent off over at handlettereddesign.com.

Hand Lettered Design
Hand Lettered Design
Hand Lettered Design
Hand Lettered Design

Tell us a little about you, personally and professionally.

I love finding many ways to be creative and lettering is my current passion. Beyond the lettering, I love learning more about building creative businesses and making new friends who share similar creative passions. I really love feeling inspired and am always looking for little pieces of encouragement throughout my day. I love lettering those little motivational thoughts on Instagram, which are always things that I really need to hear myself.

I am a wife and mom of three littles, life-long Californian now living in Gilbert, Arizona where I love living by family and being a part of an incredible creative community. I love visiting art museums, traveling anywhere I can (especially the beach), dark chocolate, delicious food and real conversations about real life.

Tell us how you got into lettering. Are you self taught?
I have loved lettering for as long as I can remember. I begged to address the family Christmas cards at age 10 and did tons of studying and practicing to hand address my own wedding invitations. In 2014, I was encouraged by some friends to start selling chalkboard art at local boutiques and it re-sparked my love for lettering. From there I spent hours and hours scouring everything I could to learn more on my own. I improved my chalk art skills and was determined to master that tricky brush pen and then teach others what I had learned in a simple straightforward way. I have a partner, Addi, who teaches workshops with me including Chalk Art, Faux Calligraphy and Brush Pens. We love seeing that lightbulb click and sharing our passion!

We love your inspirational phrases. How do you decide what to letter?

I find inspirational phrases all day long, sometimes in unexpected places. Sometimes it will be some lyrics from a Broadway song, other times it’s a quote from a book or scripture or something my 4 year-old says. Because I’m in the habit of lettering, I am more aware of little pieces of encouragement when I hear them. Generally if it’s something that I need to hear, I figure other people may be blessed by it too.


Any tricks on styling the photos you take of your prints?

I love to have a couple bins that I stock with goodies that are perfect for styling prints. I hit up the dollar spot and the office supply section of Target and then add a bunch of art supplies. I think having a mix of some sort of ribbon or twine, medium size objects like pens, paintbrushes or clothespins and then smaller pieces mixed in like felt balls, binder clips, etc., makes for a good composition. When you look at my styled pictures you can often find that formula in each one! I refuse to ever take a picture not in good natural light and even then use some great editing to make sure it’s nice and bright!


How does someone new to lettering learn how to do it? Any tips for getting started?
I think there are a ton of wonderful resources out there if you are willing to do some digging around. I love the book “Modern Calligraphy” and the “The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering.” We are now offering the online Chalk Art 101 course full of videos, instructions and downloads that you can do at your own pace when you have time. It is a ton of valuable information and Addi and I aren’t afraid to be ridiculous and have fun while we’re sharing all of our secret tips and tricks!