The art of learning something new

A beautiful piece of hand lettering by Jade Sweeney

I’m all for expanding your horizons and learning new skills. It’s what keeps life exciting, our brain in a healthy state and more than anything else, it can be a whole lot of fun.

So, when an opportunity for me to do a hand lettering workshop came up, I took it. It’s not calligraphy and it’s not type, but it’s along the same lines of word art.

I knew I was going to love it. Plus, I saw a sneaky way for me to put a new skill to use in time to save some dollars and put a personal touch on our wedding next year (and when you’re planning a wedding, saving money is key!).

So, I went along to BrisStyle Inc. in Wynnum on a rainy Wednesday night and met a group of lovely women all excited to learn something new. There were refreshments included – now this is my kind of workshop! But, we weren’t there for the biscuits, we were all there to learn from the hand lettering queen herself: Jade Sweeney.

Ark & Deer owner Jade Sweeney

Jade is the head honcho behind graphic and web design business Ark & Deer, which now includes her masterful hand lettering designs.

She took up the art during a 100-day creative challenge in late 2015 – and went from learning it to teaching the craft in workshops in six weeks.

The 28-year-old wanted to practise, so she put a post on Facebook asking people to send in ideas for designs, which she would do for free and then post out to them.

“Before I knew it, I had hundreds and hundreds of requests for designs and six weeks after that I was teaching workshops at BrisStyle,” Jade said.

“Words are definitely my thing and I love teaching the power of words to others.”

I’m good with words and I loved art at school, but man, was I frustrated 1o minutes in to this workshop. I was going to have to put my perfectionist traits and expectations to the side and be patient at learning this craft.

The first word we learnt to letter was “love” and then Jade asked us to start on the project we would take home. I thought I would try a mini piece of something I had in mind for our wedding, while others around the table made presents for Mother’s Day or a beautiful quote to have on their bedside table.

Jade explained that what she was teaching us wasn’t “groundbreaking” and everyone’s hand lettering was going to look different, because “you’re going to put your own style into it”.

“I love seeing how people’s thoughts on hand lettering change from the start of the workshop to the end,” Jade said.

“At the end most people can’t believe what they have created … people see that they can do things they never thought they could do.

“That’s what I get most out of teaching these workshops – I really love it.”

Since then, I’ve been practising my little heart out. As they say, practise makes perfect and I’m going to get a lot of practise over the next nine months in the lead up to our wedding with all the projects I have planned.

So, if you’re wanting to learn a new skill – do it! Why not make a little pact with yourself that you learn three new things between now and the end of 2017? You won’t regret it.

As John A Shedd would say: “A ship in the harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

To find out what other workshops BrisStyle Inc. have on offer, visit their website.

For see more of Jade’s work, you can check out her website or stalk her Instagram.


  1. S
    May 23, 2017 / 12:04 am

    ‘Practice makes progress’
    much better than perfect.. 😊

  2. September 29, 2017 / 3:08 am

    644325 725875hey there, your web site is low-cost. We do thank you for work 395423

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