Designhill has been at the forefront in encouraging its artists and designers community to create impressive works. A recent such effort from this leading marketplace was – Designhill Art Battle 2021. The aim was to entice artists into showcasing their lettering and other art skills. What is this art battle? How did artists and designers participate? When did it happen? Who were the jury members? Read on to find out all your answers.
In its series of challenging artists and graphic designers to showcase their skills, Designhill recently threw an art challenge to them. The challenge was in the form of Designhill Art Battle 2021, the finale of which was on 12th May 2021, when the winners were declared by the jury members.
Within a few days of its launch, artists from different parts of the globe participated and started creating the artworks. The battle for them was to create copies of the jury members’ lettering and floral designs, but with one condition. While the art pieces were created on some software, the challenge was to produce the exact copy by hand without using any software. It was not easy.
But the participants did an amazing job. You can check those efforts on Instagram with the hashtag #designhillartbattle and know for yourself. During the battle, our gifting partner SkillShare shared giveaways to all the artists participating in the Art Battle. Designhill and SkillShare have partnered together to provide you with a free 1-month Skillshare trial as well.
Know Your Panelists & Jury Members:
Agustina is a graphic designer & lettering artist. She experiments with pens, papers & colors, and has helped artists to find their creative side. Agustina runs design courses and shares her expertise with artists and designers.
Catalina is Founder, El Tintero CR. She has a degree in Graphic Design from the University of Costa Rica & a master’s degree in Advanced Typography at the EINA Art and Design Center. She teaches calligraphy & lettering to all who want to learn.
Jinky is a calligraphy artist, and an engineer based in the Philippines. She loves to create floral designs or calligraphies such as Bible verses and positive thoughts. Also, she helps her clients express their unique stories into art.
In this blog, we have shared the full video of the art battle along with the transcription in the form of Q and Ans to make sure you get to know every bit of the most happening event of the year.
Transcript (Q/A): Here Is What The Jury Members Of Designhill Art Battle 2021 Have To Say On The Winning Artwork Entries
How did the idea of Art Battle come about?
Designhill has always been instrumental in interacting with its community through the mediums of art competitions and contests. It is a part of their engagement activities where artists get to discover the best version of their craft. They are also motivated by amazing gifts and giveaways. We thought about our battle in late December 2020 and have been constantly planning to make it a success.
As a result, the artists participated in great numbers. Designhill received more than 150 entries with a total Instagram post of more than 200. Encouraged by this success, Designhill will keep coming up with similar art challenges to saturate your artistic barks in the future as well.
So moving ahead, in launching the Art Battle event, Designhill partnered with Skillshare, which is an online learning community where millions come together to take the next step in their creative journey. Skillshare offers 1000s of classes taught by industry icons and experts in areas like film animation, photography, writing, design, marketing, and more.
Designhill: How was your art journey and experience as a jury member of the Designhill Art Battle Finale?
Catalina Brenes: I started with my project in 2015, and started teaching in 2016. Since then, I have taught over 4000 students the art of lettering and calligraphy, it is my life’s passion. I do think that anyone can explore their creative side and learn how to do lettering and calligraphy. Through my social media, I share everything that I know. I share all the projects that I’m commissioned. Also, I share different techniques through my free online classes and my private lessons. You can sign up for these lessons from all over the world since now they’re online.
I’ve been thrilled to be part of the Designhill Art Battle 2021. I was a bit nervous at first when you contacted me and said I have to pick five of my best pieces. I didn’t know how that was going to turn out. I was so impressed with the results of everyone who participated. The effort and dedication from the participant artists were impressive and the results were amazing.
It was hard to pick the winners. But I’m thrilled about what’s coming up today in our finale. So thank you so much for the invite. And from and thank you to everyone who’s joining us from all over the world. here in Costa Rica. It’s very early, it’s eight in the morning. And so I appreciate all that. You know, I know it’s the late end of your day.
Jenky Belgar: I made this Art Battle because it’s really hard for me actually to pick the winners as well. After all, you need to make the exact copy of my artwork. So it was really hard for me. But then there will always be winners. And good luck to the participants.
Augustina Aguirre: I think it’s really fun to have these kinds of art battles. This kind of proposal for people I love. I love that people get enthusiasts and they try to participate. They give their best. People have been active in this art battle and for me, it’s been very thrilling to see how people participated. I was very impressed with the pieces everyone posted. So I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m very, very thankful to Designhill so much.
Designhill: How did you come about in this profession and how did it turn out for you?
Catalina Brenes: Well, it has been a long journey for me. Six years ago, when I started with lettering, not everyone knew what it was about. I did my masters in Spain and lettering art was a big trend. And when I returned to Costa Rica, nobody knew what I did. So, I started my project as a blog to inform people what it was about, what I did, and how you can apply it in different things.
Kept with my passion and learned
I would say that what took me to where I am is that I never restricted myself from sharing my knowledge and my passion. I was transparent in my process and of the things that I learned. And I shared how I was practicing and becoming more professional in each specific area. I’ve been doing this, and I think that as a teacher, which is my main profession. The more I teach, the more I learned from my students. That has been such a rich experience for me.
I was grateful through this process this past year with opportunities such as participating in all my classes with Designhill. And I meet people from all over the world as the lettering community is now big and strong. You can say that you are a living artist, and people know what that’s about. And that seven years ago, when I started, I couldn’t have that luxury. I used to say I was a graphic designer, and sometimes I do lettering. But people didn’t know what it was about and now I think it’s so good that we have come so far at least here in Costa Rica now.
I have so many colleagues that do lettering. Many people want to learn something new and so they want to learn to write. And that is so exciting. So being part of people’s creative growth, it’s very rewarding for me.
Kudos to everyone who just put themselves out there. And that is the first step to put yourself and your work out there. And then, just wait for people to see what you do. And if you put your heart into your work, I think that makes all the difference. And that is what I tried to do with my work. So that would be the best.
What I have learned during the past months is working from home, and still being able to reach so many people. I was able to teach people through my art and lettering, and I’m very proud to be part of that.
Jinky Belgar: In 2016, I started on lettering art. Then, I started floral in the first month of 2020. So, it was hard. But during my childhood, it was already my passion and hobby. Now, I turn my passion into a business. I already turned my art into commissions. I do artwork and murals. But along all of that journey is, of course, there are struggles. There are difficulties, there were a lot of setbacks that happened to me. So it was my passion when I was still a child.
But things happen in life where there comes a point that I want to give up. I am really on my edge. But I advise beginners that it will be that they want something. You put your heart into that, no matter how long you after that time will remain calm. It feels natural. And, like one of our theories is that if you put your heart into it, it makes it big.
Another thing is that your goal is to express yourself. This is because people sometimes get stressed whenever they get low impressions from the community. But the only advice that I could give you is to just go and do it. Feedback does not matter as long as you put your heart into every art that you do.
Setbacks are part of the journey
I have had a lot of setbacks and had a lot of depressions with art, but eventually, become a therapist. And it’s very fulfilling. At the end of the day, you realize that, before I was this is now I’m this. To find the common denominator with that, that is the purpose that this is the heart. This is the passion that you’re giving in every art that you do.
So, that is why every time I had students that asked me that they lose the holidays, they lose their heart. They feel like they’re giving up. It is like the community isn’t paying attention to their work. I always say that if you feel tired, boss, but never quit. Especially, if you’re you know, if you’re the nominee, vote on that. If you feel like your word, boss, but I will say if you didn’t have to give up because I’m calm that the community itself. And of course, always put you on everything.
Share your processes
Augustina Aguirre: You should share everything and share your processes. I think that makes you also grow a lot. If you are in a down period, in art, you cannot find inspiration. Also share that as we are, we are all humans, we all have the same processes. A lot of times, your bad moments can also help others to know that. we also have those things.
What I experienced is that people like to see us as humans, and we are all part of the same things. In the beginning, when I started, I was thinking more like I shouldn’t share this tip. Because if I know how to do it, I keep it to myself and so no one else will be able to do it. So, anyone else can learn this, and everyone can enjoy the way. I am enjoying this.
So, I discovered that you give a lot but you receive a lot more than you give. Notice what I experienced with my Instagram account with the courses, and you get back a lot more.
Designhill: What do you do when you feel burnt out as an artist and how do you handle creative blocks?
Catalina Brenes: There is this famous quote from Picasso. He said that “creativity needs to find you at work”. I think that the best way to tackle a creative block is to work. In my case, I use different techniques. You could notice that on the pieces that I submitted to the art battle, I don’t only use one technique.
So, sometimes I don’t feel like using a brush pen or a chalkboard. Maybe sometimes I just want to use a pencil. Then, you work around that, and you will find maybe a way to overcome that blockage, just by changing the technique.
Do your creative work every day
I always tell my students that they should try to do lettering for at least a few minutes every day. That is because sometimes it’s a good day, sometimes it’s a bad day. It is like today my letters are crooked, or, I’m not so inspired. So, if you save up, let’s say, I am going to practice next Saturday, and today’s only Monday. A lot can happen throughout your week. You don’t know what’s going to happen on Saturday.
When you finally sit down in case that there wasn’t any other interruption and you’re able to sit and work. It’s like, no, today, I don’t know what to do. It was the day that I saved up to practice my art. So what I say is it’s better to do a few minutes every day. Then just wait for three whole hours at the end of the week. So, I am being constant and being perseverant.
Bettering your skills should be an everyday process. But most importantly, you always need to remember why you started doing it. In my case, I went to art school, and I did that at first not because I wanted to make a living out of it. It was because that was the only thing that I could see myself doing. I would be miserable being behind a desk doing something else that was an art, and I didn’t know what I was, you know, how I was gonna make a living out of it. And, and that has been a struggle for the last15 years since I graduated from college.
Remember why you started it
But, you always need to remember why you started and what you are gaining back from the art that you are doing. You shouldn’t feel frustrated if you’re not getting results. It’s not a competition, you have to respect your own time and your skills. And always remember that you are a beginner or maybe an intermediate. But you should always be true to yourself. Do not compare yourself to order artists because you don’t know what they’re going through.
We all are humans, we all have our bad days. We ended up posting something, maybe that was not our first attempt. Maybe it was the third, the fifth, the 10th attempt. So, don’t just say oh yeah, they make it look so easy. First of all, I do it every day, I make a living out of it. So, don’t compare yourself to me if that’s not your case. It is fun to do it because it’s nice to be considered inspired. Because you know you want it to make something nice you know for someone else.
Just keep on going
Augustina Aguirre: If you have a greater creative block you just keep ongoing. Just keep on trying. I am always looking for inspiration everywhere and I save it when I see something. So, if I am walking in the street, I take a picture and I put it in a special folder. That means if I’m in a bit of a block, I go and I start watching all these things that I’ve been saving.
Sooner or later it will come back. In the worst case, if you need to keep on practicing, even if you don’t find it nice. In case you do not like what you are being able to do, just keep on practicing. That is because it’s like talent and something you should do every day, at least five minutes a day. Do that especially with brush lettering, for example. So it’s like, you need to be very constant and never, never think that you’re not able to do it, you need to keep ongoing.
Jinky Belgar: Whenever we feel inspired, or this creative block is there, we just keep going. Creativity is a long process, it’s not a one-day incident. Since you’re already good with something, there’s always something that you are not good at.
Do not compare yourself with others
Sometimes people find this creative block that they find themselves uninspired, maybe because we feel down whenever they see others post. I think it’s common. Beginners especially encounter this creative block as they feel that their work is not good. And maybe they’ve other artists, which has art better than them.
Whenever I am personally even encountered it, I always remind myself that we are different. And there’s something that’s inside us, which is unique. Hold on to that. And that ever said that a certain person might also have a lot of setbacks, but also a lot of problems. We are just humans, meaning that we are different. So, never worry yourself or other artists, because we’re all different. We also have our uniqueness.
So, use that as a positive. We all have noise, and that keeps ongoing. Like sometimes even myself, it’s not a creative block, but I’m staying at work. I don’t have that time to do some art. But sometimes maybe five minutes, so that I can develop muscle memory. When they have this big time, I can create art that I like, but if I don’t know, people are different.
For me, whenever I have this block, I take a rest, I did not push myself. If I don’t feel like doing art, sometimes I feel the inspiration by watching movies or reading books by going out.
Designhill: What are some of the resources or tools or websites to hone the lettering skills?
Instagram is helpful
Augustina Aguirre: Instagram is helpful because you can find everything on Instagram. It is always good to take some courses on Skillshare as they have a lot of nice courses, Salado is another place where you can take courses. You can also find a lot of material on YouTube. To do a bit of everything, you should watch a bit on Instagram, then, watch videos on YouTube.
Pick one tool to start with
Catalina Brenes: You should pick maybe one tool and one technique to start with. Do not try to be good at everything at first. I think you should find the tool that suits you better. And that will make that start easier for you so that you do not get frustrated. For lettering especially, I suggest that you don’t stick to those practice sheets. That is not doing lettering. You should go ahead and practice different types of lettering and topographies.
You should explore different construction of the letter so that maybe it’s not just script lettering, that’s good for you. In case it’s people’s lettering, don’t stick to those individual letters. Instead, try to write words and then aim to write phrases. Most beginners limit themselves to practicing letters.
Do not be scared of tools
Also, don’t be scared to use your tools. Because sometimes, beginners go ahead to the store, and they buy themselves a lot of tools. And they say well, yeah, but I don’t know how to use them so that you may break them. Don’t care about that. If you break it, then you will just get a new one. And it is exciting. It’s an excuse to go to the store again.
So you know, just run out of ink on your markers. And use all the paper that you have and recycle paper on both sides and just keep on practice. That would be my main advice. And, of course, watching resources online, it’s super helpful. But definitely and in my case, I continuously keep on signing to classes, to keep myself updated and learn new skills.
But having a live teacher makes a difference from just watching a pre-recorded class. So, in case you have the opportunity to have a live teacher, even though it’s online, answering your questions right away would be more helpful. You will have better results than if you just do it on your own.
Jinky Belgar: There are a lot of resources that can be found online. I am a self-taught artist and learned in Florida and I just learned through YouTube and other online resources. When it comes to inspiration, I find it from different artists. When I was still a beginner, I followed all the artists that I could find on Instagram and YouTube. Then, just keep practicing.
Then maybe in terms of floral design, stick with one first. You can use other artists’ words as a reference, but in the long run, develop your style, which is using the tools you want. And then maybe when you master that, you can switch to others.
I think it’s one of the common issues with beginners that they find it harder to get inspired. Because they find themselves not happy with the style they’re doing. That is maybe because they keep on shifting when they don’t want that style anymore. So, I suggest that you be consistent on one stuffer. And then when you mastered that, or when you’re happy with your art, you can now shift to another.
But in terms of resources, there are a lot of resources online. If you do not have the budget to buy books, there are a lot online on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, you can go to Skillshare and you just need to register. You can also find online teachers. So just like me, I’m offering lessons to my students so you can find one. So, that you can also be reminded to be kept in practice because you have a teacher with you. Nevertheless, if you didn’t have one, go with online resources and find inspiration.
The Winners of Art Battle 2021
So, we are starting with an announcement segment. We should also like to tell you what the winners are getting today. One winner from each category will win a cash prize of $150. As we have promised, you will also be seen in our social media promotions. Not only this, but you will also win an annual premium subscription for Skillshare, which is our gifting partner. You will get a free one-month trial of Skillshare.
Banner Lettering Winners
Banner lettering was in Austina’s category. The artists were supposed to copy the lettering works created by Agustina and recreate them handmade.
Fifth Runner Up
In this category, the fifth runner-up is Celeste Mazzetti. Congratulations to her. Augustina has chosen this design for the fifth position.
Agustina Aguirre: I liked this lettering piece because I could see that it was handmade and the whole point was to copy the piece. So, I found it similar to the one I had made. That’s why I chose it.
Fourth Runner Up
The fourth-place goes to the lettering design by Maddie Drawings.
Augustina Aguirre: I was impressed and I was trying to zoom in on it and to see if she had actually done it with this color Pencil of the picture. I couldn’t find out if it was made of pencils but I loved it. It was really nice and very similar to the one I posted and that’s why I chose it
Third Runner Up
The third place goes to Celeste Marzetti.
Augustina Aguirre: I made this piece on my iPad. But I was impressed that the winning artist was able to copy it handmade, with markers. So, I think it was good.
Second Runner Up
The second place in the lettering category goes to Sofia.
Augustina Aguirre: I think this lettering work was nice. It was very similar to mine as well. But I think it had her personal touch on the picture. I liked the way she put those markers on the top of the picture in the book. I like the whole setting.
The Winner of The Banner Lettering Category
The first place in the lettering category goes to Swachha Sidiki. Augustina has chosen your design to be the winning design. So congratulations to him.
Augustina Aguirre: I was impressed by this art copy that I originally did on my iPad. And it had a lot of layers and effects. And then suddenly, when I saw you had done it handmade, I was impressed. I thought, How did he do it? Because it’s the same, it looks so alike. And it’s done with only by yourself, which tools
Swatchha Sidiki: Doing this lettering was fun. I have tried a lot of times. And then again and again. And at last, I think I perfectly did it and it looked similar. I use watercolors and poster colors.
Calligraphy Art Winners
Catalina Brenes was the judge for the calligraphy art category. The artists were asked to copy Catalina’s calligraphy works. So, she was to decide on the runners’ ups and winners in this category.
Fifth Runner Up
Catalina judged Ori’s work as the fifth runner-up.
Catalina Brenes: I like this design because maybe this was one of the hardest designs. And I found that it was very similar to mine in the use of the colors. I was wondering actually if he had used the watercolors because I did it with markers. But since in the photograph, there were watercolors then that caught my attention. Also, all those flourishes were very precise to my design. That’s why I liked it.
Fourth Runner Up
All right, quickly, moving on to the fourth runner up, which is by La that was the name on the Instagram handle. But this is the display on the fourth position.
Catalina Brenes: I like that work because it was very clean. The one that I submitted was done digitally. And this contestant made it by hand. You can tell by the tiny strokes in the word better, but still, like you had to zoom in to see if it was by hand or not. And it was very precise. That’s why I liked it.
Third Runner Up
The third-place goes to Maebashi Ram.
Catalina Brenes: This one caught my attention, especially for the setup of the photograph. This participant submitted several designs and made a huge effort, on the styling of the photographs and that I liked. It was really easy for me to judge this one because you know of his submissions. He included my design in his version. So you could compare it and you see how precise it is. So I liked it.
Second Runner Up
The second runner-up of the art battle goes to the work by Adriana Delgado.
Catalina Brenes: She submitted three images of the process on how she made the first catch with a pencil. Then she transferred to the black paper with a white pencil and then finally colored. I like the proportion of the design within the paper. It’s very neat and clean. And I think that she accomplished the exercise. So I like this one.
The Winner of The Calligraphy Category
The winner of the Art Battle 2021 in the category of Calligraphy is Lynette.
Catilina Brenes: She prepared that design in the texture. I was very impressed by the quality of the design and I want to hear all about it in the process.
I liked the winner’s submission. I like the texture of the background. So I was wondering because the original piece I made on a chalkboard and then I colored it with my paint marker. But I noticed that Lynette used a pen. I was wondering about that because I realized that it’s very even where the artist colors it and the contrast of the letters. It was just exactly as mine and I did it with a broad tip marker while the artist used it in a fine tip that caught my attention.
Floral Design Winners
Fifth Runner Up
The fifth runner-up for the floral design category is Maisha Maliha Siddiqi. She’s also one quiet constant participant in all our design contests and he’s also won a lot of times.
Jinky Belgar: The first time that I saw this artwork, I was amazed by it. Because my expectation for this bottle is that she surpassed it. And right now I’m looking at my original artwork. I can also see the small details and even the right placement. So it’s a plus point for me. And then the colors were fine and he was able to come up with it. I was impressed. And also, I loved the way she folded the artwork. It was so nice. It was so clean. So yeah, congratulations.
The Fourth Runner-Up
The fourth place in the floral category goes to Art.
Jinky Belgar: This is hard for me to judge, though. Big, because even before all my four designs, because I’ve done a lot of artwork, and I’ve been thinking of what piece should I submit? So I decided to do a little bit of a challenge because this art was composed of four subjects.
I think it took me three days to finish. Of course, not entire hours of the day. But I did a lot of layering for this piece. So I was amazed. I wasn’t hoping that anybody would be able to copy it, but someone did. And I’m impressed because even the veins on the leaves and the flowers were really in there, and I was unable to come up with it.
Third Runner Up
The third place in the floral design category goes to Tita.
Jinky Belgar: This is the first piece I did. That took me. I think it was four hours or so. This is the best that I did on the first live workshop I did here on Instagram. It honestly took me four to six hours three and then I copied it to a workshop in just one hour.
So I love how to compose. I even found some small details in this artwork that made me, and even the color combination he was able to or he was able I don’t know if he’s a boy or a girl But uh, yeah, the color was in there. Even the color variation of the name makes me impressed.
The Second Runner-Up
The winner at the second place in the floral design category goes to Neha Rahman.
Jinky Belgar: This design piece has four subjects. So, I wasn’t expecting anyone to be able to copy this because it has a lot of details especially the color combinations. But when I saw this, I was amazed that there was someone who was able to copy it. And I can see the small little details in this art copy.
The Winner Design In The Floral Design Category
The winner of the floral design category is Gladdy B.
Jerkey Belgar: I found something unique in this copy of my floral design piece. What I love about it is the way that the colors were washed.
So, The Designhill Art Battle has been a success with hundreds of artists participating and showcasing their skills. The winners showed it how amazing lettering and floral designs using the software can also be done by hand with the same effect.
If you do lettering and other artworks, PrintShop by Designhill is your best bet to showcase your skills. At this Print On Demand platform, you can also display and sell your art pieces by opening your online shop. You can set your prices and sell at attractive margins.
The Designhill Art Battle 2021 was a great success with hundreds of lettering artists and floral designers participating. Finally, the winners came up with amazing exact copies of the original letterings and floral art. They proved that the original artwork done by using the software can also be produced with the same effect by hand.