Tell us a bit about how you got into calligraphy and graphic design?
What does a typical day in the studio look like?
Typical Day 3) I call my errand days; I wake up whatever time I want and hit the gym and then I spend 3-6 hours running errands: post office, supply stores, meet clients, etc. for the most part plan 1&3 mentioned above get combined often.
Your space is so cute! Did you hire a designer or decorate it on your own? What is your favorite part about your office?
Thank you! I did it all on my own. The cabinet woman wanted to murder me at the end. Since I have a graphics background I actually asked for her CAD blueprints so I could go in and fine tune it myself. I must have edited her layouts 15 times even up until the last second before she sent it to the manufacture. It took 8 weeks for them to hand craft the wood and during that time I was on a hunt for the perfect knobs. I ended up finding my knobs at Anthropologie on sale a few days before completion of the installation – they were such a steal! I also adore the fact that they are plated in such a vibrant gold.
Each shelf is sized specifically for the items that lay on them. I had to have a special area to display my calligraphy pen collection and it was also very important to me to have a pin board I could show off past projects and pin inspiration pieces to. I am constantly replacing pieces on it.Lastly, the lighting and the big window was EVERYTHING and so CRUCIAL to me. We do almost all of the photoshoots on my site and social media in my studio so the lighting needs to be on point – plus who doesn’t feel inspired with a big bay window over looking beautiful foliage and the water — even when it is a cold winter day I can look outside and be inspired.
Your designs are so creative, what inspires you on a daily basis?
A lot inspires me, I think throughout the years what inspires me has changed but I am constantly inspired by things: people, peers, other artist like Jamie Reardin, fashion, the foliage in nature, specifically flowers & vines and patterns surrounding me. The most consistent form of inspiration would be the pattern flow in nature & design and my love for childhood books such as Dr Seuss’ stories & Alice in wonderland. I pull from both medias to create my whimsical flourished strokes.
I was told in the beginning of my career, by an artist & peer, who to this day still inspires me, that their are two types of calligraphy artists: the master penman of the world who devotes their time to perfecting their letterforms to a degree most people can never achieve OR the one who creates her own style which we refer to as a modern calligrapher. To create your own style you study others and you dig deep into your own thoughts and think about what speaks to you and for you. I am a modern calligrapher but what is unique to my style is that I still study the hand styles from the past; I believe this process is very in tune to my personality. I am very bubbly, outgoing and girlie yet structured and corporate, and I think you see this through my most popular style. I mix copperplate with a modern technique which I have worked on for years and will continue to work on it. That’s the beauty of calligraphy, you constantly have to practice and learn and through that you develop and broaden your craft. Another unique attribute to my business is that I am not just a hand lettering artist but a graphic artist which is what I studied at in college, (I went to Savannah College of Art & Design.) I often combine my calligraphy skills with my graphic skills for projects.
You're coming out with your own line of fonts - how exciting! Can you tell us more about them?
This is my ultimate dream project, combining calligraphy and graphics! My first font will be a suite that includes my everyday style the modern copperplate plus a handwritten sans serif, serif, some flourished ornaments and monograms! I call her ‘Alice’ to pay tribute to Alice in wonderland falling down the rabbit whole; I like to think my flourishes mimic that scene. My second font line to follow will be called ‘petunia’ which is one of my parents nicknames for me. It’s a very simple style.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs out there looking to start their own business?
So much to say, but where to start? First and foremost, I can’t stress enough that you must crawl before you walk. When I first started out I never said ‘no’ to anything and I ended up biting off more than I could chew. In my case it was a good thing in the beginning because even when I had never done something that was presented to me I would tell my clients YES I can do it for you and through that I gained more experience and added more skills and services to my company’s list BUT there is a certain extent that one should go before you are saying yes to everyone and not having time for things that matter.
It is important to make sure your business comes first but not before your friends, family and sanity! I am on my fifth year as an entrepreneur and it is still a constant battle for me to find a balance between work + play, but it really is important to work on this balance. Make sure as hard as you work to make time to play hard too, even if your form of ‘playing hard’ is curling up on the couch with a good glass of vino and your family. Make sure you take time to do that or you won’t be happy being your own boss. It isn’t a 9-5 gig, you have to be ready to give 150% even if that means pulling all nighters that you thought you would never have to do after leaving college or taking a call at 3am. You are basically having a baby, this is for life — there are pros and cons but man do the PROS outweigh the cons. It will be one of the scariest adventures you go on but a fun ride if you don’t give up. Lastly don’t forget, time management is everything — buy a planner or five!
What Gets You Going on Monday Morning:
Words to live by: