Sakura Fanatic

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Hi Everyone,

I’ve been invited to be the featured artist on Sakura of America’s Instagram account during the week of November 14 – 18, and am trying to decide what to post. The problem certainly isn’t a lack of options– I create almost all of my art with Sakura’s awesome supplies, so over the past few years I have drawn and lettered well over 10,000 designs! I freely admit to being an unabashed Sakura fan; I love their tools so much that I filmed a video called “Sakura Fanatic” a few years ago– and that was before they introduced the Koi Coloring Brush pens! If youd like to see the 10 minute video, click the arrow below.

Sakura makes so many wonderful products that I could easily post a different tool technique every day for a month… but I only have five days! I’m having trouble deciding what people who aren’t familiar with Zenspirations® would be interested in seeing. Should I showcase my favorite tool of all, the Pigma Micron 01 pen, by featuring a classic Zenspirations drawing with perimeter patterning, a Dangle Design, or perhaps a patterned monogram? Or, since there is always a lot of interest in lettering, should I focus my guest posts on the different types of lettering I do with Sakura supplies? What would you like to see? What do you think someone who has never heard of Zenspirations like to see?

Here are a few examples. I use Sakura’s Pigma Calligrapher pens for traditional broad-edge calligraphy styles and flourishes like these:


I use their awesome Koi Coloring Brushes for brush lettering (and painting!):


I use the Gelly Rolls series for monoline and ‘built-up’ lettering. Many of Sakura’s tools work on both light and dark papers, which is really fun. Here is a rainbow ‘Celebrate’ in different colors of Moonlight; the white lettering was done with a white Gelly Roll.


I love to blend the Metallic Gelly Roll pens to create gradients and rainbow words. Again, the white lettering was done with a white Gelly Roll.


I actually demonstrated this technique on an episode of the PBS program “Scrapbook Soup”. Here’s a link if you’d like to see how it is done:

I especially love the cool, tone-on-tone look of lettering with black glaze pens on black paper. It’s a little hard to get a good photo of this, so doing a post on the Glaze pens might not be the best choice. I’d appreciate your thoughts about this image… would something like this be worth including?


I’d welcome your suggestions on what to post… please leave a comment to share your thoughts. Click here to follow me on Instagram, and click above to follow Sakura… hope you’ll do both!

Before closing tonight, I’d like to share some of the birthday cards I made this week. The first was for Philip Fleet, owner of Trim-a-Rim. I used my favorite Trim-a-Rim border, and added Happy Birthday (written with a Micron 01, of course!) and Philip’s initials on the inside. Like many companies, Trim-a-Rim is gearing up for the holidays. You can order your very own Trim-a-Rim on Amazon.


The next one was for Terri Burkett Brown, which I made quite colorful, as she is an amazing colorist.


Then I made one for Belgium Color, Creativity & Calligraphy enthusiast Helga Cuypers. Helga specializes in creating gorgeous calligraphic letterforms with a pencil, so I designed her card in that style:


And on Saturday, November 12th, Color and Creativity (& Knitting!) enthusiast Mary Anne Fellows will be celebrating her 60th birthday! Hope you have a Zenspirational birthday, Mary Anne!


Stay Zenspired,



14 thoughts on “Sakura Fanatic”

  1. Hi Joanne!

    First let me say thank you so much for the beautiful birthday card! I do love my colors! Happy birthday to my fellow November birthday bunch, too!
    Congrats on being chosen to help Sakura! I like the idea of a classic Zenspirations design for those not familiar with it. Lots of colors and flourish with an inspirational word added in.

    Love and hugs!

  2. Thanks again for the beautiful card you made me and the consideration you put in it, Joanne!
    I was drawn to zenspirations through your monograms, but then again letters always have had a soft spot with me. When I think of what is typical of zenspirations, then Dangle Desings immediately pop into my mind. And then next I think of how the design is an invitation to add your own things, so maybe showing some variations will be nice too.
    I am convinced you will do amazing whatever take you will decide on!! xxx

  3. Hi, Joanne,
    I just love your patterned monograms and dangles. I think it would be interesting to have these structure the design part of your posts, featuring the Pigma Micron pens and then contrast the coloring of them using various coloring products, Souffle, Koi and Glaze pens. I’m always amazed at what a difference various colors or textures will bring to a design.

    Congratulations on being selected as a featured artist!

  4. Awesome news, but definitely not surprised!! Proud of you as always.
    I LOVE Sakura products because of you and your teachings. I have bought so many items now, but one of my FAVORITES is the Koi Coloring Brush Markers. Love the colors (Wish they made more choices though) and how they glide for coloring and painting with them. I am also a HUGE fan of the Gelly Roll pens! I LOVE the Moonlight series because I love how they look on black paper and also then the Metallics when you use them for the rainbow lettering. And lastly, you definitely need to use the Micron pens, your favorite in all ways you use them!
    Looking forward to seeing it on Instagram next week!

  5. I cannot imagine trying to decide!!! I think I would like to see more about the Koi Coloring Brushes, but that’s me being selfish! 🙂

  6. Joanne! Your work is always SO beautiful and amazing! I would love to know more about the metallic pens and also the brush pens. Thank you for sharing your artwork with us all!

  7. Hi Joanne,
    Loved the two videos, Sakura products and the rainbow lettering!
    Your work is very inspiring no matter what you do.
    Thanks so much for sharing some of your tips and tricks as well as introducing some
    Sakura products that I didn’t even know existed. I feel a shopping spree sneaking up on me!

    Best Wishes,
    Jane Ellen

  8. I definitely think you need to have some dangles & the traditional Zenspirations designs like flowers, butterflies & waves – they’re so unique to Zenspirations & your particular use of Sakura. I know lettering is the current fashion but your flower styles & borders are so achievable by anyone whereas with lettering people may think it’s beyond their capabilities – just a few thoughts for people who’ve never encountered Zenspirations. Double stroking would be a super topic for one day.

  9. I love the Dangle Zenspirations you used on the initial letters you sent with the Nature themed stencil templates. Those might be well liked by the Sakura folks too!

  10. They made the right choice on inviting you Joanne you make their products shine!!! All your examples are great and you’re right in mentioning how people are drawn to lettering. Your style is very distinct and your dangles are amazing maybe you can add some of them so the people that don’t know Zenspirations come to know and of course love!!

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