As coronavirus has swept across the globe altering life as we know it, I’ve been relying heavily on journaling and painting as a way to process the deluge of information we are all trying to wrap our minds around.
I’ve always loved the way that letters flow into each other in a fluid motion, connecting to create new words and expressions. I have journals and sketchbooks filled with elaborate hand lettering entries that I’ve saved because it feels like they hold truths that shouldn’t be thrown away.
Georgio recently had his first birthday, and naturally, we threw an Italian-themed party. For party decorations, I painted and framed several pieces with hand-lettered Italian phrases such as “The Best Year Yet” and “We Love You” to help create the party vibe. But once the party was over, I kept them around the house for a while because I loved the way they looked, and they made me feel happy when I saw them.
Fast-forward to now. My heart is crushed over all the losses that Italy, and the rest of the world, are enduring. After seeing my friend’s Instagram post of a sign that’s popping up in her town in Italy that read “Andrà Tutto Bene”, I felt encouraged. The English translation is “Everything Will Be Alright”, and I loved the positivity of it in the midst of even the worst of times.
I went back to my journals and started painting this phrase in an attempt to re-create what the sign represented to me as a reminder to myself that eventually, everything will be alright. (Or for the formal grammar users, hopefully, everything will be “all right” too!)
What started out as a personal exercise to help me to focus on something positive has grown into the new Hand Lettering Collection. I am so excited to share the print series with you. Each of the five positive phrases in the collection has helped me to remember that I am still alive and capable of experiencing joy. We might not know what comes next, but I do know that we are going to need each other more than ever to figure it out. So whether you’re quarantining with a toddler, suddenly homeschooling your third grader, missing a vacation, or worried about a family member on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle, I hope one of these prints will brighten your day.
The phrase “calma, dolce e gentile” translates to “calm, kind, and gentle” in English. Sketching and painting words in my journals has always been one of my default ways of processing life when things get confusing. There’s something soothing about the way the letters flow, run into and connect with each other. It felt therapeutic and reassuring to create the “Andrà Tutto Bene” piece as a way to feel connected to my friends in Italy, and I wanted to keep channeling that sense of peace. I hope this print will remind you to be calm, kind, and gentle with yourself during this stressful time.
I’ve felt so helpless watching the news as COVID-19 sweeps across the globe. Italy is one of my favorite places in the world. My friend who lives there posted that she had seen signs around Florence that read “Andrà Tutto Bene”, which translates to “Everything Will Be Alright”, and I loved the positivity of that simple statement even in the worst of times. This inspired me to create a series of phrases that can be used as uplifting reminders during this challenging time. I hope they bring you joy at home during this strange and unusual time of social distancing and quarantine.
When I lived in Italy, I was young and free. The phrase “balla e basta”, or “just dance” in English. With no end to the “stay at home” recommendations in the near future, we have had to get more creative with our daily routines. We’ve found that dance breaks help! Whether to relieve stress, have a good laugh, distract Geo from crying, a little exercise, or just to smile, we dance just about every day. Dancing has proven to be a great way to shift the vibe in our house from down to joyful. During these weird times, I hope this print will be used as a reminder that it's okay for you to stop and find your groove too!
“L’amore vince tutto” or “Love Conquers All” is a phrase that always sounds lovely in theory, but is often harder to believe in reality. What started out as a personal journaling exercise to help me to find and focus on some of the positive reactions to the COVID-19 outbreak turned into a series of quarantine reminders that I'm excited to share because they have provided some peace for me. I’ve chosen the phrase "Love Conquers All" as a reminder to keep looking for acts of love and kindness even on the darkest days. Even during the worst of it, there are people working together in large and small ways that are making a positive impact. We know we need to be working together to conquer the spread of this virus, and I’m choosing to believe that we can. Love always wins!
I don’t know about you, but my hands are getting a little rough from all the cleanings they’ve been getting. Geo doesn’t quite understand the importance of singing “Happy Birthday” TWICE, and I’m trying not to become a slacker on one of the most important things we can each do to help stop the spread of the virus—washing your hands! In keeping with my goal to focus on the positives right now, I decided to switch things up a bit. I figured that since everything sounds more hopeful in Italian, I started chanting “Lavati le mani! Lavati le mani!” when I was washing Geo’s chubby toddler hands. Since we will be washing our hands way more frequently for the foreseeable future, I wanted to share our new family mantra with you and your family. You can also get a free download of this design as a reminder to “Wash Your Hands” for your phone! Let’s stay vigilant, friends!