What I Made This Week: A Happy Initial

One of my resolutions for the new year is to make something, by hand, every week. And, in order to make good on that promise, I decided that I would share with you. This week, I made a super-easy original artwork to fill an empty picture frame on my wall — a happy inital. I chose to do the letter J (for, well, Johanna) but you can do whatever you like. Here’s how.

Goodlifer: What I Made This Week: A Happy Initial

1. Find a nice, sturdy piece of paper. I used some recycled signage left over from a conference I worked on a long time ago. Get your art supplies out and set up a nice workspace.

2. Use a pencil to lightly draw the contour of the letter (or other shape) you want to use.

Goodlifer: What I Made This Week: A Happy Initial

3. Start drawing shapes, scribbles, circles, lines, whatever comes to mind inside the lines, until you fill the entire outline. I used old-school pen and ink because I love drawing with it, but a delicate felt-tip pen or something similar would work just as well. Be careful to let your lines and shapes dry before touching them again (we don’t want smears here).

Goodlifer: What I Made This Week: A Happy Initial

4. Fill in the shapes with colored pencils. (If you want a more monochromatic look, skip this step.)

Goodlifer: What I Made This Week: A Happy InitialGoodlifer: What I Made This Week: A Happy Initial

5. Find a suitable frame — I used an old one from IKEA. Measure and cut the artwork to size. I neglected to leave enough room on the top and left side, but no worries, as long as you make it fit within the mat you’re good — just tape the artwork down and no one will ever know!

Goodlifer: What I Made This Week: A Happy Initial

6. Hang it up!

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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