Another Book Update

Hi there!

Again, WOW! Through your pre-orders we have now more than tripled my original goal! I can’t say thank you enough. Your excitement, interest, and support of this project has been so encouraging.

As I’ve been finalizing the book, I’ve been experiencing some fear and frustration. These are all things I’ve experienced in the past as I’ve worked on other big projects. It’s hard to know when to call a project done. There’s always room for tweaking, rewording, and improvement, because nothing can ever be perfect. And that’s something I really struggle with. Seeing your orders continue to come in is keeping me going and reminding me this project isn’t just something I’m passionate about, but it’s something you all value as well. Thank you!

Progress report

Last weekend, I probably spent five hours rewriting two pages of the book, only to realize I was just re-writing a lot of what I had already written. I am glad I rewrote those sections, but if I had stuck with my gut, I wouldn’t have wasted time writing and rewriting brand new content that eventually circled back to the main themes I had originally settled on. I could have just added to and taken away from what was already there and only have spent an hour instead of five, but what’s done is done, I’m happy with the content, so I guess that’s what counts!

Last night, I finished editing my typed content (I can’t say “written” content, because even the art is technically “written”). That’s such a huge weight lifted off my shoulders! I’m going read through my art content one more time today to make sure that’s all good to go, and then all of my edits will be done! Woo hoo!

What comes after that?

After all that, I will upload everything into a program where I finalize the layout of my book. Once I know exactly how many pages it’ll have, I’ll finish formatting the front/back cover and then I’ll send it in to be printed! I’ll receive a proof before all the copies are printed, I’ll look everything over to make sure it’s just right, and when it is… all of the books will be printed!

Prayer requests

Please be praying things go smoothly over the next few weeks of finalizing and proofing, so that my book will be released in the first or second week of November as planned. Please also be praying that God will give me an answer to whether or not I should print more books than I had planned. I will spare you the details, but it’s a bit complicated, so I do need some clarity on whether or not I should put more time and money into additional copies. I’ve also had a few international inquiries and that’s another complicated topic I won’t get into, but prayers for God to open doors so this book can reach beyond the U.S. and Canada would not only be greatly appreciated by me, but the few people I know of who are waiting and hoping for that to happen as well.

Thank you all! Please continue to spread the word and share this project with others, so together we can spread the good news of Jesus Christ and inspire one another to get creative as we study the Bible!

❤ Lauren

Happy Calligraversary (to me)!

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Today is what I like to call my calligraversary. 😉 ⠀

Two years ago today, I posted (and probably created , but I have no exact record) my first brush lettered piece (pictured on the far left). I remember being frustrated in the beginning, because I didn’t have my own style yet and what I created was more so a reflection of what I liked about other people’s lettering and not my own. But, I knew with practice, lettering would start to feel more natural and somehow, I would start to find my own style. (My pen of choice: Faber-Castell B PITT artist pen)⠀

So we fast forward to last year and you can see (in the center picture) that my lettering looks quite different! A year of practicing nearly every day, helped me develop my own style. Lettering felt more natural and looked more like how I wanted it to look. (My pen of choice: Tombow Dual Brush Pen)⠀

And now today I am just as amazed by the progress I made from last year to this year as I am from my first day to now. I forgot that even after you feel like you’ve got a skill figured out, you still develop and improve upon that skill. I love my lettering today (pictured on the far right). It feels and looks more natural than ever before. I’m encouraged and excited to see what my lettering will look like a year from today! (My pen of choice: Apple Pencil)

P.S. I still use all those pens and highly recommend each one! My pen of choice just reflects what I was/am using most of the time.

Have a great week!

❤ Lauren

Story Behind the Piece

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I love working on projects that have a story, projects that have deep meaning, and are bigger than myself. This was one of those projects.

Most people don’t approach me and say, “I would like an entire Psalm written in calligraphy.” I’m used to doing life verses, which usually only end up being 1-4 verses out of an entire chapter in the Bible, but an entire Psalm? This was a first for me.

I was so excited about the possibility of creating a piece of this length, but I have to admit, when I sent my client the quote for this project two months ago, I got a little nervous she wouldn’t go for it, because it was going to take extra long for me to do it, since I was in the midst of creating the art for my book at the same time. When I told her this, I was overjoyed to hear she still wanted the piece. She shared why, I was touched, and with her permission, I’m sharing the story with you today:

FullSizeRender 3My client explained to me that Psalm 130 is very important to her family and holds a special place their hearts. Her daughter, a mother of four girls, put to memory Psalm 130 last year while undergoing tests for her newly diagnosed cancer. My client and her husband wanted to give their daughter Psalm 130 as a reminder of God’s unfailing love for her and a gift to celebrate completing one year of immunotherapy cancer treatment – which was yesterday! I followed up with them and I’m happy to say they had a joyous celebration, where they presented her with the gift, framed and matted in her favorite color.

I fell in love with this family’s story and when I finished this piece a month ago, I could hardly wait for the day I finally got to share it with you and share their story. These kinds of projects, with stories like these, excite me more than anything else. I love God’s word, I love meeting people who are in less than ideal circumstances, but are so clearly filled with the joy of Christ, and it’s humbling to be trusted with such meaningful projects. This is also why I prefer to meet with people in person to deliver orders when possible. I get to know their sometimes very personal stories over email, I know how much these pieces mean to them, and I love the day we finally get to meet in person and I get to see the joy on their faces when they see words that already mean so much to them, written beautifully just for them.

Book Pre-Order Update

It’s been only a few days and… WOW!

I am so overwhelmed by the generosity of all my supporters! We have already almost doubled my original goal and I am so grateful. I originally asked for $800, because that would cover about half of what I needed to print my first round of books. Why did I only ask for half of what I needed? Here’s why:

I always have a lot of respect for people who put their own money into their projects, especially if those people are asking others to help them out financially. When people take a financial risk on their own projects, to me that says they really believe in the project and they want to work with their backers to make their project or idea a reality. I want you all to know I’m with you in this. I believe in this project. I’m putting a lot of my own money behind it and I will do everything in my power to make this a successful project. Of course, I trust God is the one in full control over the impact this book has, so I will continue to work hard, pray, and follow where he leads this project.

I will continue to push this project and encourage others to pre-order. The more money I make off the pre-orders, the more books I can get manufactured right off the bat. $2,000 is my next “unofficial” goal. At this rate, I can see us reaching that goal within the next few days and that would be amazing! If I dare dream bigger (I’ve been learning I need to get better at this), $3,000-$3,500 would mean that I could get 100 more books printed than I originally planned for my first round of printing and it would cover the copyright permission costs I already paid for in order to legally use and sell verses from the NIV and ESV Bible translation.

How’s the book coming along? Glad you asked! 😉

This week I’ve been working late nights (It’s 1:00 AM as I write this!) and thought it’s been tiring, it’s been worth it! Since this project launched late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, I’ve made a lot of progress.

Here is what I’ve gotten done:

  • I finished my second draft of the typed content and sent it in to my editor for final edits and I’m currently waiting on her feedback.
  • I finished adding markings to the artwork differentiating translations and personal thoughts – this was something I had to do as a part of my copyright agreement with the Bible translation publishers. They are very subtle, so it’s my hope that you won’t even notice them!

Here’s what I plan to get done over the rest of this week:

  • Get my art files in the proper format to be printed in the book
  • Finalize my title (That’s right, I’m second guessing my title… oops! Please be praying God will give me clarity on that!)
  • Finalize the cover art design and get that formatted the way it needs to be

Anyway…

That’s my current update! Thanks for all the support! If you feel like sending me extra encouragement, you can make my day by A) sharing this project with your friends on social media or through word of mouth and/or B) send me a message! Let me know what excites you about this book and let me know if you’re praying. These last couple weeks of getting the book done are going to be a lot of work and I’ll need all the encouragement I can get! Thanks!

❤ Lauren

Click here to pre-order my book today!

Pre-Order my book today!

That’s right! You can now pre-order my book, Romans: A Hand Lettered Devotional! Please visit my Kickstarter campaign to pre-order your signed book today, plus receive free shipping and a bookmark!

Your pre-order(s) will help cover the initial manufacturing and promotional costs. I’m hoping to sell at least $800 worth of books, but I will gladly accept more pre-orders, since my expenses will exceed well over $800.

Also, if you know anybody else who might be interested in this book – whether they be a regular Bible studier or they haven’t opened the Bible in years (or maybe ever), I truly believe this book will inspire all to draw nearer to Jesus, no matter where they are in their faith journey.

Watch this video to hear more about the book:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1719450806/pre-order-romans-a-hand-lettered-devotional?ref=user_menu

Thanks for watching!

Click here to visit my Kickstarter campaign, read the story behind this hand lettered devotional, and pre-order your book today!

❤ Lauren

Exciting things ahead for Lauren Ibach Lettering!

I am so excited to officially announce that starting the second week of October, I will be taking my hand lettering and modern calligraphy business full-time!

Can I share with you how I got to this point?

11289384_859382987465500_8961384179956534007_oAround Christmas of 2014, when I graduated from music school and my worship leader internship at church ended, I was told by my bosses that a job would be opening up in January 2016. I loved leading worship and I was falling in love with my new church, so I decided to wait a year for the job to open up. During this year-long waiting period, I released my second album of original music, “The Way Of Love,” I was hired at a few different churches as a contract musician, I was working a few shifts a week as a barista, subbing as a special ed para, and nannying the sweetest girl. But, after that busy summer of 2015, when nannying ended and I wasn’t getting called to sub at the beginning of the school year, I had a lot of free time, so I decided to learn a new skill: hand lettering.

From hobby to business

I always had an interest in hand lettering, and did a little bit of it here and there in my prayer journal, but it wasn’t something I was practicing enough to really get good at. I was still pretty new to Instagram in the fall of 2015 and I was discovering, for the first FullSizeRendertime, people who were really good at hand lettering and modern calligraphy. I wanted to be one of those people. So that September, I bought my first brush pen and began hand lettering during almost all my free time. I loved sitting on the floor in my room, listening to worship music, and making pretty letters.

In January 2016, I was hired on staff at my church as I had hoped and continued lettering in my free time. That spring, I started getting noticed on Instagram and through working on random projects at coffee shops, and people started commissioning me to do hand lettered projects for them. I got engaged in April 2016 and I decided after I got married that October, I would open an Etsy shop and really start advertising that I would do custom work for people.

Since then, my business has grown so much – I have a line of products that I sell locally and on Etsy, I’m continually asked to do custom orders, I am so close to releasing my first book of hand lettered work, and I have had a growing interest in lettering workshops!

A difficult decision

I very recently realized I had now reached a point where I had to decide between keeping my job at church and cutting back on lettering work, or letting go of my job at church to pursue these new opportunities with my lettering business.

It was a difficult decision, but I really felt the Lord leading me into self-employment, so I put in my resignation at church and my last official day on staff will be our CD release night on Friday, October 6. After that point, I will still be leading worship most weekends as a contract musician, but Lauren Ibach Lettering will officially be my full-time job!

Saying goodbye to an old dream and pursuing a new one

Thoreau Quote
Available on Etsy: LaurenIbachLettering

I’m gonna be honest, even though I know taking this next step is the right move, I still have a lot of fear and some sadness moving forward. Shortly after transferring to music school, becoming a full-time worship leader was my dream job and I essentially had that job. I was deeply rooted in a community of fantastic musicians and songwriters and even though I will still be a part of that community, it won’t be the same, and I feel a lot of guilt for giving up something I worked so hard for.

However, I am quickly learning that dreams change, God leads us down new paths we might not ever have planned for ourselves, and that is 100% okay! I’m allowing myself to admit that what excites me most is growing my hand lettering business and I’m learning to let go of the guilt I have over saying goodbye to an old dream and pursuing a new one.

Anyway…

Adventures Brick (watermarked)
Available on Etsy: LaurenIbachLettering

Change is difficult for me, no matter how good it may be. I know I’ve expressed a lot of mixed emotions, but I am confident I’ll be feeling a lot better once I’m through this transition. I want you all to know that I am VERY excited about this new adventure I’m about to embark on! I am excited to release my book in November, to start teaching local brush lettering and Bible lettering workshops around the same time, and take on more custom orders!

I’m also excited to have more flexibility as I continue leading worship on Sundays as a contract musician at church. I just know deep down, I’m going to be able to serve my church better and more fully during services, since I won’t feel so torn between these two passions of mine.

God’s got his hand in all of this and I’m excited to see how he uses this new adventure to grow my trust in him, to share the gospel, and spread the love of Christ in new ways!

Blessings to you all and thanks for all the love and support you’ve shown me throughout my lettering journey! Whether you’ve been following since before I started hand lettering or you’ve just recently stumbled upon my little corner of the lettering world, you have all played an important role in getting me to this point and I am so grateful!

❤ Lauren