Handcrafted Writing Instruments + Creative Tools

Crooked Calligraphy - Meet the Calligrapher

Crooked Calligraphy - Meet the Calligrapher

Today, it's the turn of the one and only Shinah from Crooked Calligraphy.  Her unique calligraphy style and penchant for profanity has seen her success skyrocket. She's a lovely person to boot and Im very proud to say one of my first customers!


1) A sentence or two introducing yourself.

Well, I wasn’t always a professional calligrapher. Until a few years ago, I was a corporate attorney who worked on mergers and IPOs. My whole life used to be on the traditional “successful” path - straight As, perfect SAT scores, Ivy League university and then law school. But in my six years as lawyer, I never felt really ALIVE or fulfilled. So after a lot of thinking and wringing of hands and building up courage, I finally decided to quit my job and do some creative exploration!  


2) When did you start writing calligraphy?


I’ve been playing with cursive writing and hand lettering since I was 10 years old (remember passing notes in middle school? Yeah, mine were FANCY). But, I didn’t learn pointed pen calligraphy until about a year and a half ago. I fell in love with it HARD and practiced for hours a day until I thought I was good enough to start designing some greeting cards.  


3) What do you love about calligraphy?


For me, it’s the perfect blend of structure, creative expression, and usefulness. Your words have to be legible in the end, so you’re working within definite boundaries (an “A” has to look like an “A”). But, within those bounds, there’s still tons of room for personality and expression. And, you can use calligraphy for all sorts of things like envelopes, christmas cards, home decor, etc. If you gave me a blank canvas and some paint, I wouldn’t know where to start. But, with calligraphy, I just flow.


4) Can you share any top calligraphy tips?


Find a bunch of calligraphers whose style and technique you admire on Instagram and stalk the hell out of them! Watch their videos to see how they form their letters, try copying the quotes they write, see what makes their style stand out. I hate repetitive drills, so I just learned by copying a bunch of different styles until I developed my own. I’m definitely not a traditional calligrapher! My letterforms aren’t perfect, my slant isn’t consistent - but theres an audience for every style so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!


5) When you're not practicing calligraphy, what do you like to do?


Knit scarves, cook one-pot meals, read fantasy novels with dragons in them =) 

You can see more of Shinah's awesome work as well as calligraphy classes on her site

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