Amy Latta, Hampstead author of the book “Hand Lettering for Relaxation,” released a second book this month geared toward a littler set of letterers.
“Express Yourself: A Hand Lettering Workbook for Kids,” follows the same workbook format of her first release, with quotes and instructions meant to connect with an audience aged about 7-17.
After the release of the first book, she found that many kids were fans of the book and enjoy doing the projects. When her publisher reached out to her about a topic for a second book, she wanted to give kids something specifically for them.
It helped to write like she was speaking to her sons, aged 10 and 11.
“It's not that I simplified the instructions very much,” she said. "But when I was writing the little inspirational piece about the quote, I just had to keep thinking, 'I'm talking to my boys, I'm talking to their friends.'"
The quotes she picked to letter are “messages that I wanted my boys to hear,” she said. She also talked to kids to figure out what they like to draw — turns out that’s a lot of animals, tacos and donuts.
When readers finish the workbook projects, Latta also includes suggestions for how to use lettering in other projects from binder covers to pillows.
Her first book, released in July 2017, continues to grow its audience.
It has been reprinted four times and continues to be picked up by retailers like Hobby Lobby, Anthropologie and Paper Source.
“It's been a fun journey because it just continues to spread and I never know where it's going to be next,” she said.
Recently, it was translated into Portuguese and is available in Brazil.
While most authors are hands-off in the translation process, Latta’s book is all about instructions to create hand-lettered phrases and designs —most of which were in English. So before the book went to print she had to re-letter all of the phrases in Portuguese, a language she doesn’t speak.
It took careful attention to detail, but the book has been popular because it’s one of the only hand-lettering workbooks available in Portuguese.
About her South American fans, she jokes "I'm like the David Hasselhoff of lettering," referencing how the actor was more popular in Germany than his homeland.
“They leave me these wonderful messages that I can't understand, so I Google Translate and then send back lots of heart emojis and things. I never expected all that for sure,” she said.
Next up in the pipeline are two more lettering books, one focused on laughter and humor and one focused on Bible study.
She will also be teaching workshops locally for “Express Yourself: A Hand Lettering Workbook for Kids,” at Meltdown DiY Art Studio in Eldersburg and The Pottery Stop in Ellicott City. Tickets will come in pairs, one for a child and one for a caregiver and include the price of a book and signing. Latta will guide the pair through making a set of hand-lettered wall canvases. Tickets go on sale Nov. 1 and the workshops will be held Dec. 30 and 31.
Follow Latta's work at www.amylattacreations.com.