If you spend any time on social media following some of the top lettering artists then we are sure that artist Karla Lim of Written Word Calligraphy feed is already on your radar. Lim’s beautifully, graceful dancing hand and perfectly styled images are a visual feast and now with the launch of new product offerings (wax seals!) there is even more to look forward to! We were so honored when she wrote us and said, “Like many calligraphers out there, a lot of us started because of your blog! I learned so much about what pens to use and what nibs to get.” When we started the idea of promoting lettering (once we heard handwriting would no longer be taught at school’s) we had no idea what an impact we would make and to read something like that and to see all the plethora of talent now lettering with such enthusiasm and style makes our hearts soar. We are thrilled that Karla has agreed to be interviewed for our series! Please find part I below:Read More
Since Michelle and I are in the trenches of National Novel Writing Month, we figured that today’s font and giveaway would be most apropos. Debi Sementelli of Correspondence Ink has created another rich font family to add to your collection. Fairytale inspired, with 1160 glyphs to play with this 15 font family will keep you busy creating wonderful world’s of text. We think that it would be perfect for DIY bookplates, the holidays are upon us after all. Debi always gracious and generous has offered the Fratello Nick font at 50% off (limited time only) and an additional 10% off for you-use code besotted at checkout, but for those feeling lucky, we are doing a giveaway of the font family this week! To enter to win answer the following question by Monday 11.9.15:
What was your favorite childhood book?
We will randomly choose a winner and announce on 11.10.15. Please make sure you have a valid email address that we can contact you at. We will only send one email, if you don’t respond within a few days we will grant an alternate reader the prize. Thank you + good luck!
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.
How did you get started in lettering?
I’ve been a lettering fan since I can remember! My 2nd grade teacher Ms McIntosh had beautiful script, I completely idolized her. when i was 10 my grandma gave me this little leather coin purse and sewing kit, and wrote my name on it in cursive. I had no interest in the kit but was SO EXCITED because it had my name in her beautiful script. I also remember how in 6th grade I befriended the girl who sat in front of me, Camille Farnsworth, solely because she had her own amazing style of penmanship — think Japanese: Perfect and exact print — but then also with her own quirks here and there. I tried out every art-store calligraphy kit, played with illustrative lettering, was always on the hunt for ‘a good black pen’, savoring the Blank White Sheet of paper.. As for developing my own calligraphy style, I was most inspired by Lauren McIntosh from the charming little shop Tail of the Yak in Berkeley.. About 6 years ago I walked in the shop and there were all these lovely little signs in her graceful hand, ‘Soap $1’ — it was nothing like i’d ever seen, full of personality. I went right up to the shopkeeper and asked who did that and do they teach classes?! Later that year I was at her home copying her delightful calligraphy, and after a few months of obsessive practice one of my fellow students asked if she could hire me to do the calligraphy for her wedding invitations and address her wedding envelopes. That job led to others, and years later here I am!
What are some of your favorite supplies?
Can you name some of your inspirations?
Can you go a little into your process of how you work on a project?
Any tips for newbies on how to develop their own style?
I love that Pablo Picasso quote: ‘learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist’. So first things first, get really comfortable with your tools – your pen & nib. have patience, this will take time! Practice all the fonts out there that you love. Eventually when you’re not trying so hard and you’re in the flow (maybe write a letter or a note from your heart), your own hand will naturally come through. see what it looks like and play with it, refine it, have fun with it!
Any recommendations of books or classes for lettering enthusiasts to further their studies?
I sell my calligraphy starter kit, workbook, and A-Z chart online– and even better if you can make it to one of my workshops for hands-on guidance! i also teach an intermediate workshop, and my workbook no. 2 will be available soon.
Do you have some favorite projects you would like me to mention?
Will you ever be doing any workshops?
Name one random talent you have that people may not know?
What are some of your favorite supplies?
I’m pretty workaday when it comes to supplies and don’t do a ton of experimentation. You can find the supplies I use on my workshops page: Nikko G, Moon Palace Sumi ink, Dr. Martin’s Bleed Proof White. Canson Pro Layout Marker. What I am much more interested in is experimenting on different surfaces and with different materials. In London we calligraphed on leaves and the glass of vintage butterfly boxes. I love working with fabric and vinyl decals. And then there are the tattoos of course.
I may be wrong about this but someone mentioned you may be left-handed? If so, any tips for lefties?
It’s true– I am left handed. After teaching many workshops one thing I’ve noticed, with left handed calligraphers specifically, but for everyone more generally is that ergonomics is the single biggest reason people feel frustrated, especially when they first start out. The angle of everything matters: pen nib, holder, paper, wrist, torso, shoulders, hips, thigh, chair seat. Most of my teaching comes down to helping each student identify the angle for all of these things that feels best to them. You will often find me adjusting elbows and crawling under the table to move the legs of a chair. The basic rule of thumb is all of these angles should be as aligned and harmonious as possible. You can’t have your paper at a 55 degree angle but your legs at 15 degree angle and your shoulders at a 100 degree angle. My biggest tip for all calligraphers is to play around with the angles of all of these things and notice when you are contorting your body. Every awkward angle reverberates in your work. For left handed calligraphers they often need to move the paper practically perpendicular to their hand. Here’s a video of me at work as an example.
I have been wanting to know more about Mara Zapeda for ages now, just like Betsy Dunlap I was intimidated to reach out, doing these interviews the fear of being ignored or rejected is always on my mind, but luckily most lettering artists have been more than accommodating, even with their full schedules, it makes this lettering-phile happy to no end! Mara not only complied for lack of a better description she ‘brought it’, so much so that we are compelled to make this a Part I + Part II, there’s just way too much great information here for you and way too many beautiful images
Where are you located?
After living for years on the east coast (Philadelphia and Boston) then pinballing from Los Angeles and Florence, Italy, I am happily settled in Portland, Oregon. Everything you’ve heard is true: it is an incredible city.
I am so curious about the name ‘neither snow’, I know it’s from the U.S. Post, but I am dying to know how you decided upon this? Did you read it standing on line and it resonated? It’s so charming and genius.
Thank you! I started Neither Snow in the summer of 2009, right before my own wedding. I went to Reed College (more on that later) where we read Herodotus’ Histories. The quote originates there and was then adopted and adapted by the US Postal service as its well-known motto, which I’ve admired for years on the facade of the New York Central Post Office. I liked that it referenced both my time at Reed and the nostalgia surrounding hand delivered mail.