I was working in a position I was unhappy in, and dreaming of doing something with my artistic energy, preferably from home, and I had an intense desire to do something very original, very new.
I am still pinching myself that the Betsy Dunlap agreed to an interview! When I reached out to Betsy (with fingers trembling) I introduced our blog and of course made the request for the interview with a link to all the past interviews, then I felt horrible, here we have had interview after interview with talented lettering artists, for years now and I never once attempted to reach out to someone that most people feel propelled this industry into what it is today. I decided that honesty was the best policy and just admitted that I was intimidated (I would have been crushed if she either ignored me or said no). Luckily for all of us Betsy is incredibly gracious and seemingly has no idea how influential she has been. I am sure you want us to get on with the interview so please allow us to present part I:
Where are you located?
I am based in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, where both my husband and I were born and raised.
How did you get started in lettering?
Even as a tiny girl, I was always creating. One of my earliest memories is of crafting drawing after colorful drawing and dropping them by the side of my parents’ bed as they slept in on the weekend- they would wake up to a mountain of them. As early as grade school, I would copy down notes for each subject in completely unique scripts that I had made up for each one- it should have obviously pointed me in the direction of calligraphy, but I had no idea somebody could make a career of it. It wasn’t even really on my radar.
I studied English in college, and Studio Art was my other major for a bit, so I dabbled in a bunch of different mediums. My goal was actually to work in the editing field, but soon after I got married, back in 2006, I was working in a position I was unhappy in, and dreaming of doing something with my artistic energy, preferably from home, and I had an intense desire to do something very original, very new. An acquaintance at work was getting married, and I spontaneously offered to address her envelopes, because it sounded relaxing. It suddenly clicked that this was what I wanted to do with myself. Things got rolling extremely quickly.
There were so few resources available at that time as far as learning modern calligraphy- no real online community at all. I starting browsing our neighborhood art store, trying to figure out the tools I would need to get the look I was going for. It took a TON of experimenting and lots of late nights. I made up a little website on my lunch hours, and then boom! One day I was featured on Design Sponge, and the rest is history; my inbox was flooded with inquiries and I’ve been super blessed with so many amazing opportunities ever since. God truly answered my prayers and opened all these amazing doors and I am utterly grateful and in awe of how it all unfolded. I love what I do.
My friends, I hate to leave the interview here, but I need to work on Betsy’s fave supply list, I know you are waiting with bated breath for that. If you have any questions for Betsy now is the time to leave them in the comments, this is our once in a lifetime opportunity. See you here tomorrow!
Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.