#LearningViaCalligraphy with Tashya of Little Caleon Creates
We're bringing you the stories of past workshop attendees to find out how they took their new skills to create their own path to success. Find out how Tashya sparked her creativity and got inspired to get back into freelance work.
A few years ago my best friend sent me a link to a workshop on Facebook and asked if I wanted to go. Without really looking into it, I just said yes. A few weeks later, we attended Via Calligraphy's beginner brush lettering workshop and it's safe to say I've been addicted to lettering ever since.
At the start of it all, I spent a lot of time looking up other creatives and analyzing their posts and techniques. I never thought I was good enough so I was always hesitant on what to post.
I practiced for months trying to figure out my style. I would play around with all kinds of mediums to see what I liked and didn't like. I had owned a freelance business before and I told myself I would never do it again because of all the pressure and stress it put me through. It was different with lettering. I didn't take a workshop with the intention of starting a business. It just happened.
I was so in love with the progress I was making and all the hard work I had put into making handmade cards and gifts for my family and friends. All it took was for somebody to say "you should sell your work." A few days later I started a creative Instagram page and it kicked off from there.
My very first commissioned piece was a set of acrylic place cards for a wedding. It's a funny story actually. A friend of my sisters was getting married and I had offered to do place cards for her. I thought "hey, how hard could it be? It's simple, hand-lettered names onto cardstock. Easy peasy!" A few days later, she came by to drop off materials and it was a box of 250 acrylic pieces. It was so unexpected but I couldn't say "no sorry I can't do this style". So I did some research, did a bunch of testing, and they ended up looking awesome. It was a lot of work but it was well worth it.
I've gotten a lot of orders through Instagram, but I find that most of my clients have been referred by my friends or past clients. At the moment I think I'm still trying to find what I specialize in. Lettering really brought back my creativity so I've been experimenting a lot lately.
If I had to pick one thing to specialize in, I think my favourite projects are definitely ones that tie together my love for lettering with graphic design. I recently designed a wedding suite that required a hand-painted element that was digitized and accented with hand-lettered names. That was probably my favourite project to date.
My advice to somebody who just finished taking a beginner's brush lettering workshop or is just getting started would be to find your style. Make mistakes and keep going. Don't focus on perfecting other people's techniques, find what works for you and run with it.
Most importantly, don't look at everybody on Instagram as your "competition". Support other creatives. It's hard to strive alone.
You can find Tashya on Instagram @littlecaleoncreates and on her Etsy store. Curious to try hand lettering for yourself? Check out upcoming calligraphy workshops with Via Calligraphy in Toronto.