Meet the Artist: Carrie Norris Lutke, Sparrow Lettering

From the entire Classic Specs family to yours, we wish you a very happy 2017! To kick off the new year, we’ve shared a mini art collaboration with lettering artist Carrie Norris Lutke. Check out one of her newest calligraphy pieces below, and get to know this artist just a little bit better:


It’s nice to meet you, Carrie! Tell us little bit about yourself.

I live in Wichita, Kansas in a 115-year-old Victorian house with my husband of 9 years and our two children. We have a crazy Schnauzer named Henry who brings us a lot of laughter! We love our small city and enjoy being involved in our local creative scene.

How did you get your start as a lettering artist?

About two years ago, I stumbled upon some amazing letterers (shout out to Lindsay Bugbee of The Postman’s Knock and Molly Suber Thorpe of Plurabelle Studios). I had dabbled in calligraphy years ago in high school and it just hadn’t stuck with me. When I found letterers that were taking this ancient art form and making it modern, I fell in love. So I bought a dip pen and some ink and started learning!

Walk us through your creative process. What goes into a final lettered piece from start to finish?

I am pretty old-school in this. I have a notebook that I fill with ideas. When an idea rises to the top, I start sketching in pencil lots of different ways to letter it. I mark margins and guidelines, and then start with the ink! If I am doing a final piece that has been ordered, I often will draw out the whole thing with pencil, ink over it and then erase the lines. If I am doing a video project, I will practice the letterforms separately before inking it in. Sometimes projects need to be digitized, but everything starts with pencil and then moves to ink before going digital.

What do you do to fight creative block? How do you get out of a creative rut?

I take a break from social media! I try to completely take Sundays away from my lettering and from social media. To have that pressure be relieved one day a week has been so healthy for me. I am also inspired by the old masters of painting. I love to check out art books from our local library and any visit to an art museum just fills up my soul. Also, just keeping a clear perspective on my ability is helpful…we all have room to improve and grow. Stop comparing your journey to others!

You’ve probably lettered hundreds of words and phrases so far – are there any that have stuck with you?

“Community over competition” and Mother Teresa’s “Do small things with great love.” We are all in this together. Seek how you can help someone else–that is what will matter in the long run!

Learn more about Carrie norris lutke. ☞

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