You may have spotted Angi of Angelique Ink’s hand before and haven’t known who was the master behind it. You may have even pinned it a few dozen times (she has a bounty of beautiful styles), she has been quietly under the radar creating beautiful work for her clients from her Southern, California studio. Angi’s hand has an effortless air to it as does her personality, so kind and so very professional. I am very excited to have had the opportunity to interview her and I do believe you will love reading her interview as much as I have (I love the sneak peek behind the scenes). Many thanks to Miss Angi for her time + generosity (divulging her secrets). And without further ado..
//ANGELIQUE INK QUESTIONS//
Where are you located?
Sunny Southern California :)
How did you get started in lettering?
When I was a kid I was always doodling words on every surface I came across. At twelve, my parents gave me a beginner’s calligraphy kit and I was completely obsessed! I started making cards for people on every holiday with my “special” pens and practiced writing all. the. time. A few years ago my husband encouraged me to write as a hobby again, and then to start a business and I have been doing this since!
What are some of your favorite supplies?
This always comes down to personal preference… I have a very heavy hand so the more delicate nibs aren’t my favorite. The Hunt Imperial 101 (recommended as a beginner’s nib) is actually one of my go-to’s! I started using this one in the beginning and it just sort of stuck because it is super sturdy and flexible. I have a drawer full of other varieties that I use on occasion as well, and it’s always fun to experiment with new materials. For ink, I enjoy gouache for most projects because of the endless color variety you can create and you can play with the consistency depending on what you are writing with and on.
Can you name some of your inspirations?
My best inspirations are often my clients! When they have a specific project or idea in their heads that they want to see come to life, I get the most inspired by working through that process with them and coming up with something unique and loveable for them. I also find inspiration being out and about in a city where there is a lot of signage and texture and bustling about, or while watching a movie or show I love to pick up on the books/signs/letters used as props that may only be on screen for a fleeting moment. This is when I “doodle” with my fingertips on whatever surface is closest at the time and try to come up with something for my next project.
Can you go a little into your process of how you work on a project?
I like to start with a blank canvas and all of the project ideas and inspirations on a board next to my desk for reference. I usually try to do the lettering phase of my day in the morning so I can scan everything in and work on the design in the afternoon. The calligraphy is scanned into the computer at 1200dpi to work on in design programs like photoshop and illustrator. For projects that need super detailed fine tuning like logos, I use my Wacom graphics tablet to work on the minute details and smooth out all of the edges in the lettering to create smooth images.
Any tips for newbies on how to develop their own style?
Practice, practice, practice! Use your imagination and sometimes all it takes is one single letter form that you come up with to inspire a whole set. And once you have one, make sure you practice it and keep some samples around so you don’t forget how you want it to look!
Any recommendations of books or classes for lettering enthusiasts to further their studies?
I am completely self-taught so I’m not too well versed in the classes and books arena, but they are literally everywhere. John Neal is a great resource for all things calligraphy :) Actually I will be looking to your blog for answers to this question for myself!
Do you have some favorite projects you would like me to mention?
That’s a tough one… I love all of my clients–seems like my favorite is often the most recent project worked on, haha!
Any advice on what ‘not’ to do?
Don’t use poor quality ink and paper. These things will affect your end product and will make it difficult to write in the first place if your ink is bleeding all over the place. Also, don’t be afraid to take on a project idea that you haven’t done before or sounds intimidating–the challenge will make you better at what you do and will inspire you to think outside the box (even if the project doesn’t work out, you are guaranteed to learn something)!
Name one random talent you have that people may not know?
Ummm… I can make delicious chocolate cake
P.S. For those in Los Angeles wanting to dip their toes (nay fingers) into the modern calligraphy waters, the illustrious Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls has added TWO classes Saturday, September 7th at Poketo! I shall be there myself hopefully shooting some of you in action! So if you want to add modern calligraphy to your skill set, meet the amazing Maybelle and the now rolly poly moi sign-up! This is Maybelle’s last U.S. class before she takes on Australia!
P.P.S. Torrie informed me of this new resource–The Curious Calligrapher. I don’t use Facebook but if I did I would be signed-up in a hot second!
Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December. 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.