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?