HIIIIII! So on one of my latest Instagram posts, I asked my audiences on Instagram and Facebook for some questions, which I’m answering for you today. Let’s just get right into it!
“Does having bad handwriting or not being artistic mean that I can’t do calligraphy?”
Ummm, no. Seriously, I’m not kidding! If you take the time to learn the basic strokes, it really doesn’t matter how bad or good your handwriting is. Calligraphy is all about patience and applying pressure at the right time. Having nice handwriting might HELP your calligraphy practice, but it definitely doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically be good at it. I think that people with nice handwriting had a lot of patience and discipline when they were learning to form letters when they were younger, which is something that DOES transfer into calligraphy. A great way to practice your basic strokes is by taking a workshop with me (duhhh) OR joining the FREE “Show Me Your Drills” Challenge with Becca Courtice from the Happy Ever Crafter.
“Are you doing anymore workshops?”
Yes! Well I’m trying to anyways. I’ve reached out to a few local establishments to ask how hosting a workshop in their space works. I’m hoping to host calligraphy workshops in Carleton Place, Almonte and Smiths Falls this year! Once I book locations, I’ll add them to my new “Workshops & Events” page on this website. I’m also NOW offering PRIVATE workshops, so feel free to contact me for that here.
“What brushes do you use for painting wood signs?”
It will depend on the state of the wood. For smooth, sanded board I like to use acrylic paint pens the most and Walmart sells a brand that works well. I used to use the oil based Sharpie pens, but they never were as opaque as I thought they should be. The oils in the paint and the stain don’t seem to mix well, so the paint doesn’t sit nicely on the wood. When I paint barn board or any rough wood, I honestly use a cheap, small paintbrush from Walmart that comes in a pack of brushes and acrylic paint. In some instances, I’ll use my Cricut to cut stencils and paint those. I’ll do the calligraphy on my iPad, cut out a stencil of the lettering with my machine and then paint it on wood. I don’t do this as often anymore because I find that it takes up a lot of time and there’s usually a lot of waste.
“How do you make time for your business/hobby in your life?”
Honestly, I don’t know! Up until very recently I worked a lot of shift work, so I struggled to find enough time to do everything that I wanted to do, including working on my business. Working every second weekend complicated personal and professional parts of my life. I missed out on a lot of events with family and friends, and was never able to book craft/wedding shows to meet new clients. When my days off came, I was usually too tired to want to work on anything but I made it work somehow. It was honestly quite draining at times and I definitely felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants for most things!
I’m now working Monday to Friday (and loving it), which makes scheduling time for client work a LOT easier. I know I have most of my evenings free to attack emails, contracts and whatever else comes my way which is so refreshing! I keep an agenda for my business, which I pencil in client bookings and block off time I need to work on the projects, so I have a good idea of how much time I’m really leaving myself for everything. I also have an office in my home, which helps a lot! It’s very helpful to have a space to separate personal time from business endeavours. It’s all a lot of work, but I’m hopefully it’ll pay off someday soon!
PS. I’m also a part time CrossFit coach, so I technically have three jobs!
“How many people do you need to host a private workshop?”
I am now offering private workshops (yay!), and request a minimum of 5 students. My maximum size for a group would be 10, so I can offer all students the amount of attention that they need!
“What has been your favourite project so far?”
This is SO hard. Jeepers. It would definitely be between a set of mirrors I did as seating charts for a wedding in June of 2018, and a leather jacket I painted for an October 2018 wedding. Both projects were my first attempt at either surface and I was very proud of both. I’m definitely looking forward to more mirrors and jackets this year!
“What workshops are you planning on hosting this year?”
So once I get the locations down, I’m going to be hosting “Introduction to Brush Lettering” workshops! I’ll be taking students through the basic strokes, letter formations and joining letters using brush pens over two full hours. I’ve been trying to figure out appropriate pricing for these workshops and I’m almost there! Most of my students understand that calligraphy is a skill, and learning a skill is valuable and very time consuming for both the students and the teacher, or so I hope. I’ll also be sending students home with tools for them to continue their practice, so my pricing will reflect those costs. I’m thinking $70/person at this time, which will cover the take-home kits, the space, supplies and my time.
“What are your favourite brush pens?”
I’m not a super adventurous person with brush pens. I’ve used the Tombow hard tip Fudenosuke pens and have really liked them. I recently purchased a pack of Zebra pens, and they are really starting to win me over! As much as I like the Tombow’s, I do find that they dry out quicker than I’d like and the black doesn’t seem as rich as the Zebra pens do. If I had to pick, I guess I’d say Zebra Brush Pen in Extra Fine & Fine!
“What is your biggest goal this year?”
Ermagherd. What a question! I definitely believe that putting your goals out into the universe increases it’s likelyhood of happening…so here we go. I want Lit Letters to be a sufficient and FT source of income for the summer of 2019. I have a dollar figure in mind that I need to hit to make it possible, so it’ll depend on how big my projects are with each couple/business as to how many jobs I need to book.
To give some back story, I just started working in a school, so my work calendar follows the 10 month calendar that the school year falls on. This means that I have summers off which is both good and bad. Good for business, because it’s timed well with the busiest months of the wedding season but bad because I won’t have any income to rely on unless I book myself enough clients for those months. I THINK I can come close to it this year, and am confident I can at least lay the foundation for Lit Letters being a sufficient income for Summer 2020! I have more specific goals listed on a social media post, but this is my main (and scariest) one!
Well, this was fun! Thank you so much to everyone who submitted a question! I’ll definitely do another one of these in the spring!