We Are All Dreamers © Alma Hoffmann
© Alma Hoffmann, 2017.

Hello reader!

How was your week been? My week has been interesting and good. I thought I would talk to you about practicing something deliberately because it really changed the quality of my craft.

In 2010, I became familiar with the idea of deliberate practice through a challenge posted on Smashing Magazine. I got a blog and used my Twitter account to document that process. When the challenge came to an end, I found myself in a void of sorts looking to find a thing, something to keep my craft alive, to keep my art fresh.

Fast forward to December in 2014. I took a small course titled Better Lettering offered by Caroline Kelso. I went through it in a sitting. Something stuck with me. See, I had always done some type of hand lettering and/or calligraphy but I lacked mastery. I knew some of the fundamentals but I did not really understand the power of deliberate practice and its relationship to mastery. Along with the course, Caroline would have monthly challenges for those practicing lettering. Every month she would pick a someone randomly from the participants and you'd win something. My name was randomly selected once and I won a set of markers and other things. But I was hooked on practicing. Once I started practicing daily following these and other challenges, it became a thing I had to do— every day. Since the surgeries this last summer, I have to be careful so I take days in between and/or don't letter long texts yet but now I can practice a little more.

I thought I would share with you my most recent practice. I have also decided to work on improving my drawing skills. If you are asking if I still work, yes, I do. I am still teaching and grading projects. And yes, I am working on a book, have been preparing for the conference, do the pro bono weekly designs, and I am working on a client's project— among other things.
Let Me Be © Alma Hoffmann
© Alma Hoffmann
A © Alma Hoffmann
© Alma Hoffmann
The Alphabet © Alma Hoffmann
© Alma Hoffmann
Her © Alma Hoffmann
© Alma Hoffmann
Love Lettering © Alma Hoffmann
© Alma Hoffmann
Stacy Wellborn's talk © Alma Hoffmann
© Alma Hoffmann


For those of you who may be worried about my family in Puerto Rico, they are doing well, thankfully. Just a little bit of water in the apartment, I hear. Other than that, everyone is well.

Regarding the survey last week: only 4 people filled it out and they all had different days and times. Please, please help me out. If I have at least 10 people, at least I can average that.

Tomorrow morning I will be flying out to Germany to present at the Smashing Magazine conference. If you want to go straight to the page that shows my face, click here! I am very excited and please pray for me that I do a good job and that people get something out of it.

I have a surprise coming too! But I am waiting on the date to share with you all! No, it is not a baby, just in case you are wondering.

So, what did you learn this week?

Well, this week was something. I am not able to avoid talking about this because it affects my family in several ways. As you probably know, an executive order has been issued to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). That is the program signed by President Obama allowing children brought here to remain in the country.

In 1993, I immigrated to the Continental United States and had my children here. Though I am legally an American citizen, I am also considered by the government a minority and an immigrant. My children are therefore, children of an immigrant. Their last name is Hoffmann but they have my blood and my heritage. But here is the thing, their great great great great grandparents were immigrants too. And if you are reading this, you too, are the descendant of immigrants. Unless you are Native American, your ancestors came here. This country has been built on the contribution of (legal or illegal) people from all over the world. How can we turn our back to those who came here as children and made this place their country, their home, and kick them out? I have a hard time processing this. Moreover it is difficult for me to ignore these words:

Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
Deut. 10: 19

You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

Leviticus 19:34

I realize that it is difficult to talk about how to deal with immigration. We are not the only country that has immigration issues. I have been in Spain, Greece, and even in my country there are deep good and bad attitudes regarding immigration. But we must not forget that we are kicking people to the curb, that people come here looking for a better place, for a home, for safety, and no, they do not take our jobs away. They simply go to work in many occasions on jobs we would not do. Or when you look at me, do you feel I have taken somebody's job away? I will remind you that I worked as maid/housekeeper when I arrived to the States. Did I take somebody's job? No. They would take anyone who wanted to clean rooms, tubs, and toilets. There was no one waiting in line to do that.

I am sorry if this touches a nerve for you or if you feel upset. I think it is good to see the other side of the issue. I think it is good to see how an immigrant who is here legally, sees the issue. We err believing that United States will eternally be a super nation. We can't guarantee that. We don't know what the future brings. Maybe we will continue to be a super power. But what if? What if we are the ones who need shelter, refuge, food, work, etc..? What if tomorrow is not the same as today?

To quote a wise woman, who is my mother, feeding an undocumented person who came to our door one afternoon:

You shall never deny a plate of food and water to those who ask you. For you never know when you will go hungry and the water is given to you for free.

The artwork above is my response to repealing DACA. Feel free to download it and use it as your wallpaper if you wish.

Couple of things before I go:

  • I am slowly able to work on new pieces but please do let me know ideas for my next show!
  • Also, do you want me to design your Christmas cards? If so, let's talk!
  • Don't forget to visit my new store! Click, click, click on the beautiful blue button below! ⬇️
And with that, I wish you a great weekend and a fabulous week ahead! Until then my friends!
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