Amy Latta has always been a creative person. Growing up in Carroll County, she would make a variety of crafts with her “very crafty mother” and then sell them at craft shows at local venues such as the Ag Center in Westminster.
“I did a little sampling of everything,” said Latta, who now lives in Hampstead.
One of Latta’s favorite creative outlets has always been handwriting. She taught herself how to do “old-school calligraphy,” which requires special pens, but was soon drawn to hand lettering, also known as modern calligraphy, or as she calls it, “faux calligraphy.”
Requiring only regular markers or pens, hand lettering rose in popularity in 2015, Latta said.
“I loved the way it looked and thought of ways I could use it in home decorating,” Latta said. “I looked around to see what it is to do it myself and there was really very little.”
Seeing potential, Latta taught herself all she could about hand lettering and started posting her lessons and work on her crafting website, One Artsy Mama, which she started in 2011.
“People got really excited about it,” Latta said. “I got a deal to do hand lettering books, like adult coloring books.”
Five hand lettering books later, Latta, a former English teacher and mother of two, has made a career out of the art of hand lettering, hosting workshops, television spots and traveling around the country to demonstrate the art.
“It’s delightful to be my own boss. I can explore my own creativity,” Latta said. “Nobody is telling me what to make.”
Latta’s sixth book was released in February and Brook-Owen Real Estate in Westminster hosted a book-signing event March 19.
Unlike her other books, “Practice Makes Progress, My Creative Journal” is not about hand lettering, rather it is a crafting journal.
“I wanted to do something a little bit different that appealed to all creations,” Latta said.
For the book, Latta chose 25 quotes about creating and built a chapter around each one. Each chapter features an illustration, reflections on what it means and an open-ended prompt where users can write, draw or create whatever comes to mind.
“People tell me, ‘You are so creative, I wish I could be,’ and it is so sad,” Latta said. “Everybody has creativity. You just experience it in different ways.”
A McDaniel College alumna, Latta was originally scheduled to celebrate her book’s release at the college until snow canceled the event. The school was unable to reschedule it and Latta scrambled to find a different location.
“All these people were coming, including my editor, whom I’ve never met,” Latta said. “This is my first book launch.”
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Latta reached out to her friends at Brook-Owen Real Estate in Westminster. Latta had designed the company’s logo.
For Latta, the ability to share her creative ideas with others is a blessing.
“The greatest compliment I get from other people is when they share photos of things they have made,” Latta said. “I gave them something. Their life is better.”