I’m feeling nostalgic for blobby letters. 

Artist Lindsay Arakawa, also known as @blindsaay on Instagram, makes completely addictive bubble letters. The digital art pieces that populate her Instagram cleverly combine hand-lettering with film photography. Arakawa’s online portfolio reads a lot like a personal diary: the digital pieces in her Insta gallery often are made of completely beautiful mundane photos that are then paired with her iconic letters that make mesmerizing layouts.

The letters will often come together to create words, thoughts, quotes etc. that further contextualize the photo. I think a lot of Arakawa’s popularity stems from her hand-lettered affirmations. For example, a recent post reads “your progress does not need to be seen or validated by other people.” The letters are painted with iridescent pastels and outlined with a gritty, charcoal digital pencil. They reflect just as bubbles might; highlighted with white bubbly marks. The quote sits on top of a blurry photo of a busy street filled with masked people – it seems like she took this photo on a walk to work, maybe. 

Of course, hand-lettered affirmation accounts are popular all over Instagram. I think I’ve followed Arakawa’s work for so long because of her insistence on experimentation with texture, color, and layout. I’ve always been inspired, visually, by her craft. The affirmations are a delightful bonus.

A lot of my interest in design began with hand-lettering. Typography, in particular, was very intimidating; drawing letters, instead, seemed like a safe introduction to understanding letters. Can you tell I’ve been drawing lots of bubble letters?