#LearningViaCalligraphy with Duri Song of Brush Crush Lettering
An interview with Duri Song, the artistic talent behind Brush Crush Lettering. We're bringing you the stories of Via Calligraphy's workshop attendees to find out how they used their newly learned skills to forge their own path to business success.
I took a beginner's lettering workshop because, other than girl crushing hard on Syl and having always loved hand lettering, I wanted to learn brush lettering for my upcoming wedding.
I sort of fell into starting my own business. After my wedding, my friends asked me to do their wedding signs, name cards, seating charts, and other wedding items. Then friends of friends would ask me and would basically force me to take payment. I owe my business to these first clients who really supported and valued my talent and work and also wouldn't let me do things for free.
After officially starting my business, the first thing I sold was a collection of signs for a friend of a friend's wedding. Honestly, I avoided taking any payment because I felt so weird about it. After much badgering, I quoted them well below the going rate because I just loved doing what I was doing. They paid me twice the amount that I quoted them for and it really helped me build my confidence and sense of worth.
I generally find my clients by word of mouth, wedding groups, and Instagram. I specialize in personalized calligraphy products for weddings, special occasions, events, and other similar events. My favourite projects have been when a bride has asked me to come up with something different or unique for their wedding. It's a really great feeling when people trust you to create something and you can bring their vision to life.
At the workshop, Syl told us that she would practice her lettering EVERY night for 3 hours. At the time, I remember looking disappointingly at my worksheets and told myself that I would need to make that sort of commitment to be decent at it and eventually I would get there. And I did! I feel like as a creative, you are also constantly learning, exploring, and trying out new things. For anyone just starting out, I must admit that it is scary as heck, but you just have to DO IT!
I also love the calligraphy community in Toronto. The community of letterers is relatively small, but it is so incredibly supportive. I love that we have this sisterhood and that we're not at all competitive with one another.