When Harper Collins approached me about working with them to create a coloring book, my first thought was “WOAH!!!” I was so honored and humbled. My second thought? No. Why no? Well for starters, I hadn’t gotten into the adult coloring book phenomenon. I haven’t had margin in my life since it was merely a part of the college-ruled notebook pages I loved doodling in decade ago. If I’m honest (which you know I am), the adult coloring books I saw looked beautiful (!!!) but, for me, daunting. BUT, I felt strongly like the Lord graciously brought me this opportunity, and so it was my job to pray on it. To really listen. If I was to take on this project, what would the Lord allow me to say to anyone that would buy this book? I needed to stop thinking about it like a coloring book, and instead, think about it as ministry. What have I been over here saying, waving my arms about this whole time? To anyone that will listen? I’ve been shouting “Art matters. You matter. And you matter enough for art.” I believe to the core of my being that our creative God uses art to heal us, inspire us, delight us, soothe us, nourish us. Furthermore, it is CRAZY TOWN to me that you guys are actually reading what I have to say. And as I thought about that, I thought.. why? Why me? Surely it has nothing to do with me. If I don’t point to God and shout His name until my lipstick wears off, then what is this all for? Naught. And so the Lord lead me to the decision of a big, fat, YES to getting to create a coloring book – for you. With you in mind, and with Him as the star. I hope hope hope you will give it a chance. Even if you’re not into coloring books. If you’re into God’s word, I hope with all my heart that you will pre-order this book, and just see what God has in store for you, and what He would use me to speak to you over it’s pages. If nothing else, you’ll find this: Simple yet beautiful illustrations of God’s word, phrases encouraging you that you are worthy of love, and forgiveness, and encouragement, and the kind of nourishment only He can provide.
Also! If you preorder the book and go to the form on my site, you can enter your receipt number for a FREE coloring page download, so you can get started coloring right away. Included in the PDF will also be a cute little certificate for you to print out and wrap as a “placeholder” of sorts if you’re giving the book as a Christmas gift. (It ships January 24th!)
Thank you SO MUCH for your support and encouragement! My prayer is that God takes this project and does way more with it than I could ever imagine, and that it ends up being the perfect creative tool in your journey of finding nourishment that your soul is craving. (If you color the page, please share it! ? #colorsweeterthanhoney) | xo,
p.s. ALL THE THANKS to Laura Kackley (larkphotos.com) for the beautiful photography!!!
It’s ELECTION DAY!!!!!! I know that these times are trying, I know that days like this cause division and high tension. BUT. Today is a huge day in the history of our nation, and so I say let’s celebrate with some paper printables! With the Election Collection Print Pack, you’ll get 12 bi-partisan designs, plus some freebee JPEGs for showing your election support on social media. Just $10 at lindsayletters.com! Enjoy!! xoxo (p.s. see something you like? please Pin and share!!!)
This is it! My first post back on this blog. It feels good, kinda like going back home. And even though Miranda would argue that you can’t go home again, I think this post proves that sometimes, you really can. My store, lindsayletters.com, took a tiny little break over the weekend. We’d been trying to take a break for about a week, but it just didn’t happen, so on Friday we finally called it quits for a few days. We did a bunch of inventory, cleaned house a touch, and continued to work on integration with our new fulfillment partner! Even though a four day break wasn’t quite a break, I really needed it. Personally, spiritually. I need to re-set, pray, think about what the business of Lindsay Letters is about.
In 2009 I started my blog, Lindsay Letters. It’s evolved into the shop it is today, and I’m so grateful to have gotten to be among the pioneers of a movement of exceptional hand-lettering artist and art print shop owners. I remember when I first discovered the wall of dusty foil at Printer Specialty Services six years ago. Brass (as a finish) was just barely starting to come back (in the midwest, at least) and I so when I saw the rolls on the wall, I squealed with excitement. WHAT – IS – THIS?! It was like I found buried treasure. Tom explained to me that it was foil that you could print with, using a plate kind of like the letterpress I was interested in. I was shocked. Visions of sugar plums danced in my head. A printing trend that seemed to die right along with disco, I just knew if I re-introduced foil in a modern way, people would love it. And, approximately one billion gold foil art prints in the world later, I think maybe my hunch was correct. I’ve watched as people that started as original LL blog subscribers and Instagram followers have started their own creative businesses, and my heart is delighted when I hear that I helped inspire some of you along the way! Just a handful of years later, good calligraphy fonts are a dime a dozen, art prints are everywhere, and even Target has hand-lettered mugs.
The banner I’ve been waving the whole time has been this: Start your shop, Make your art. Do your own thing – there is room for us all. And I totally, totally believe that. But… if I’m being 100% honest, some days that’s tough. Not because of pride and not because I don’t truly believe that, but because Lindsay Letters is how I support my family. I’m the bread winner, and so this has got to work. Even though I want you to pick everyone else, and I want everyone else’s store to succeed, in the back of my mind I know that in order for me to keep supporting my family, you have to pick me, too
I feel like I’ve been in a season of striving. I’ve heard so many people echo this thought this week alone, but the Internet seems to have gotten so LOUD all of a sudden. As a maker, the thought that I could really book my entire day “posting” really makes me all sorts of crazy… first you hop on Facebook live and then Pinterest and Snapchat and Twitter and then Perioscoping and Instagramming and then… what then? Send some emails? Make some stuff? Pass out from social media exhaustion? I’m telling you, if this is how I would have needed to build my business in the first place, you would have never ever heard of “Lindsay Letters” to begin with. Now, of course here’s the proverbial disclaimer: don’t hear me say that I think social media is bad. I love Instagram, I couldn’t have ever made hummus without Pinterest, and I love seeing your sweet faces in real-time. It’s just… a lot.
So this past weekend and really over the last couple weeks, the Lord has been speaking to me. And you know what I heard? This:
“Lindsay, you will not win.”
What does that mean? It means that God is telling me that if I put my focus into being the best hand-lettering shop, and if I make my goal to be the best online shop owner, I will fail. I have already. But, He continued
“…. and that’s okay. In fact, that’s right where I want you.”
When did I start thinking that any success I’ve had has been on my own accord? Because of my own striving? When I created my store, it was in response to people wanting my art. After I had Eva, I couldn’t keep up with the erratic demands of custom work, and so my husband and I put a stake in the ground when she was 6 months old and just said that this wasn’t going to work for our family anymore. I ran as hard and as fast towards the goal of finishing up my custom work and creating my shop before she turned one, and that’s what I did. Creating the store as it stands now was my answer to being able to continue to make art to bless people’s lives, while being able to be present in my own.
There has been lots of pruning along the way. For me, the road of success has not been without sacrifice. Our marriage has been strained, I’ve left people I love un-tended to, and I’ve been in a constant state of “busy” and “stressed” since I first hit “go” on this blog. This was not the creative rhythm I pictured. But every time I consider quitting, I play the story forward and realize I’d end up right back here again. Why? Because I love making art. I love making it for me, for you, and for the Lord. I believe that He’s given me this gift to bless Him, others, and to steward well. So the solution cannot be quitting. The solution, it seems, is a mind-shift. The solution has to be found in perspective. And so what’s the shift? I’m only at the beginning of finding these answers, but here’s where I’m at:
1. Focus on the art.I was an artist before I was ever a blog owner or shop owner or storefront owner. Do I need to be the most successful shop owner? No. I honestly feel like I’m hearing that it’s time for me to move over, to find a way to help other shop owners thrive. This doesn’t mean I won’t have an online store, but it does mean that I’m not going to throw myself into a diabetic coma trying to come up with the next crazy awesome idea or product or best seller. And with this mental shift, I’m drawing another line in the sand. And switching from calling it the Lindsay Letters Shop to the Lindsay Letters Studio.
I know it’s only a tiny modification, but to me it means everything. For me personally, “shop” has come to mean “selling.” Do I want to sell? Hell, yes. Yes I do. Because I want to get to do this job and support my family forever. BUT, the only way to provide enough fuel for me to do that, and enough hope and joy, enough left at the end of the day to have something to offer my husband and kids, is to focus on the art.
For me, “studio” indicates creating. Painting, drawing, lettering, inspiring, making. It means good conversation and processing and worship. It means rest and fun and messy hands and work-in-progress. This is where I find life. Hopefully other will find life there, too.
In honor of the new LL Studio name change, let’s hear a word from Phil…
(For the record, I looked it up and sussudio means nothing).
And then here’s part two of what I’ve been processing lately:
2. Focus on blessing vs. selling. When I started my business, I looked at D and said with full certainty, I would probably never make a dime, and asked if that was okay. He was working full time, and this was pre-kids, and he said “Yes, of course yes! You just have to do what you were created to do!” God has given me much favor, but all of it is a gift. I cannot get wrapped up in feeling the pressure of always more. I know I’m to focus on the blessing and not the finances. I love making art and what it does to your soul, and I believe in it’s power. Or rather, I believe that the Lord uses art to inspire and heal and bless and restore and change us. I want the focus of my creating to be showing you that you are worthy of meaningful art, to bless you, and to allow God to use it in a way to reach your soul in a way it might not have otherwise been reached.
For the first time in a long while, I’m looking ahead expectant and excited. I’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg on this shift, I know. But I. AM. EXCITED. I am so incredibly excited for this next season, and I’d love for you to come along on the journey with me. :o)
Well, friends! I’m back here! It seems that lindsaylettersblogs.com is the place that the internet world is going to find me, so here I will be. Actually, a little background about this: my blog’s original address, in 2009, was lindsayletters.com. When I opened the online shop as it stands now, I moved that to lindsayletters.com and changed the blog to lindsaylettersblogs.com. Last year, I tried moving the blog to a tab on my store website, but this url continues to be a top hit and where ya’ll are looking, so I’m back! I’m excited to be meeting you here more often. I’ve loved posting to Instagram, but sometimes a little square and 2,200 characters isn’t quite enough! I’m hoping here you’ll find inspiration, encouragement, LL Studio and life updates, and more things I’m loving. Thanks for joining me (back) here! xo, linds // (p.s. that image above is of a new abstract releasing this Christmas! It’s a freshly color edited version of the Blush Mountains Abstract).
Update: June 13, 2016: Hiiii! I’m going to try blogging here again, as opposed to on my shop site. Just feels more like home. I’ve moved to various states, why would I stay in the same place on the internet?! ;o) xo
Hi there! The Lindsay Letters Blog has moved to a new home! Please find us here: