Nina Sandelin Umont - Meet the calligrapher

Hello, I'm Nina Sandelin of Sandelin Designs! I specialize in flourished, traditional calligraphy styles, creating custom designs and hosting workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area. 


I've been practicing formal calligraphy for roughly two years. And when I say 'practicing', I mean it! I spend at least 30 minutes every day refining my skills and experimenting with new styles. No matter how experienced you are, there is always more to learn. I have been fortunate enough to have trained with four master penmen so far, and love learning with other people who are passionate about calligraphy. It's an amazing community of supportive and talented people, and I've made some wonderful friends in the past few years!


I love how calligraphy is so much more than good handwriting. It is an art, and it has helped guide me back to my childhood dream of being an artist. It is therapeutic and calming, it sparks creativity, and it is something that makes me truly happy. I'm the type of person who struggles with focusing, but when I am practicing calligraphy, it consumes me. 


My best advice for beginners is to remember that you're drawing the letterforms -- not writing them. Go slowly and deliberately, invest some time in studying the traditional letterforms, and try your hand at creating your own style. Practice as often as you can, and keep your early work so you can look back and see how far you've come! And if it's your cup of tea, try putting on your favorite album, pouring yourself a libation, and practicing with no goal other than to unwind and mess around with a pen and ink -- and not to create the perfect piece for Instagram. 


When not practicing calligraphy, I'm messing around with watercolors, or working my full-time job as a data analyst. I wish I could say something interesting here, but my husband and I are a couple of homebodies who love hanging out with our cat and watching Law and Order.