#LearningViaCalligraphy with Artois Calligraphy
An interview with Stella Sugandy of Artois Calligraphy. We're bringing you stories from our workshop attendees to see how they took what they learned to forge their own path to success.
I was always into calligraphy, fonts, and logo making but I just never got in-depth with it. When I saw Via Calligraphy on Instagram I thought to myself, "why not?!" Improving yourself is never a bad thing.
Like most of us, I started out by making birthday cards, Christmas cards, and signs. I basically drew on any surface I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, I got into a really bad car accident and it was the most horrible thing I could experience. I lost my car but more importantly, I lost myself. While I was healing and getting better, most of the days I just felt blue and didn't know what to do with myself.
One of the things that I always did was write little messages in my boyfriend's lunch for him to take to work. It would say something simple like "I love you" or "'Orange' you glad I made you lunch" and there would be an orange in his lunch. That would be my chance to "practice" my calligraphy. He started to notice how my skills were slowly developing and getting better. He figured I needed to get my mind busy and start feeling like myself again. One day we were just relaxing on our couch and he said "hey, you should start your own business," and that was it! That was the start of everything.
My goal is to work from home when I start raising my own family. I don't want to work my 9-5 job anymore. I want to be able to spend more time with the ones I love and enjoy what I do as a living.
One of the first things I did was I joined a crafter's market which was a great learning experience. I had my own booth, my own table, and all of my handmade pieces. Knowing that there was a deadline, I pushed myself further to reach my own expectations. When I sold my first handmade Christmas ornament, I had a proud moment to myself.
My clients generally find me by word of mouth, but Instagram and Google have also helped people find me as well. Lately, I've been doing a lot of blackboard signs for bridal and baby showers as well as general food signs. Some clients have even asked me to make their business logos.
Eventually, I'd like to get more involved in the wedding industry and making mirror seating charts, wedding invitations, welcome signs and many other things. For now, I feel like I'm off to a good start and on the right path to where I want to end up.
My advice to those just starting out in calligraphy or lettering is to keep practicing and developing your skills. After graduating Sylvia's calligraphy class, I filled up her entire translucent paper in 5 days. I kept on practicing until I developed my own muscle memory. Explore different types of media until you find what you like and what works for you. You never know where life will take you.
You can find Stella on Instagram @artois.calligraphy or on her website at www.artoiscalligraphy.com.
Interested in starting your own creative business or brushing up on your artistic skills? Make sure to check out Via Calligraphy's upcoming workshops that take place at venues across Toronto.