Angelique Ink interview besotted blog

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..


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!

Author / Miss Tristan B

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.


  1. I also “finger doodle” on surfaces around me when I come across lettering inspiration! I had an out-loud chuckle when I read that — amazing to know I’m not the only one! Love reading these interviews, such great inside information to apply to my own practices. xo

  2. Thank you for sharing. What a talented gal! And, yes, I have admired her work before, so what a treat to read some of her thoughts. So lovely.


    1. Emily, I do see her pinned a lot, but no credit so I am on a mission to help her get proper exposure. Angi is super kind as well, all the lettering artist seem to be without ego which is so refreshing and the most exiting part is how passionate they are about their craft yet willing to share so others can join in too. It’s quite the magical world!

  3. Thanks so much for this post, so inspiring! I love Angelique’s work and I can say we have something in common… I’ve been doodling ever since I was a kid too and I’ve always been obsessed about hand lettering. I would love to attend a calligraphy class some day, but I live in Raleigh, NC. I just wonder if there is something closer to me?

    1. Carmen there’s not a modern calligraphy class but when I was living in Apex, NC I attended a class by the very talented Jessica of the Oblique Pen. She teaches traditional Copperplate but I believe it’s a beautiful foundational practice and I urge all modern calligraphers to take a traditional class to get familiar with the lettering so they can learn eventually how to ‘riff’ on it. Besides Molly Book I also recommend this book:

      It has helped me a ton in getting familiar with strokes:)

  4. Gorgeous– I wasn’t familiar with her work, so thanks so much for sharing. Love having new inspiration as I’m just getting started. For every day practice, do you use vellum over tracing lines? Or graph paper? Or plain white paper? Thanks so much– I’m new to your site and love it!

    1. Hi Mo welcome! For my personal practice I put my guidelines under the Borden & Riley marker paper or the Canson marker paper, I use the larger pads as it gives me more space to work with. I have found this the easiest way. I also took my guidesheets to Kinko’s and had the printed on overhead transparency plastic so that they wouldn’t get all yucky and I find it super easy to see through with the transparency.

    1. Thank you Laura:) I love that part as well, it’s nice to have a jumping off point to try out new nibs. I know the outcomes vary considerably but it is so overwhelming to know where to start!

  5. I haven’t commented on your interviews or your calligraphy resources before but I figured it was about time to remedy that because oh my goodness, Tristan, they are so great! Angi’s work is stunning! And thanks so much for linking to The Curious Calligrapher — just a few days in and it’s already such an amazing resource!

    1. Kelly that makes me so happy that you found a good resource! I understand they will be adding a forum soon so hopefully you will see me there too!

  6. Thank you for another superb and helpful interview! Angi’s work is beautiful – modern, but very clear and lovely. Every time one of these comes up, I get to discover someone new and feel my own work is revived by seeing their style and ideas. It is so true, too, about one letter setting off an entire alphabet in your mind. The advice about simply doing a project that is difficult for you is well-timed. I am such a perfectionist and have a hard time with failure, but I really do think once you look back at the flops, you see all the things that came of it and what you learned; a general principle, but hard to put into practice. Thanks again to both of you :)

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