Mini Interview Series - Zoe from The Golden Letter
This week sees the first episode of a new feature of the blog, little mini interviews with amazing calligraphers, some of which I am lucky enough to call my friends. First up this week is my darling friend Zoe from The Golden Letter, I met Zoe a few years ago through a wedding industry Facebook group and I think I may have spoken to her pretty much every day since. She is not only an amazing calligrapher but an awesome wedding stationer too. She very kindly found a spare minute to answer some questions for the blog recently.
How long have you been doing calligraphy and How did you get started?
I’ve been hand lettering in some way for as long as I can remember. My favourite possession as a pre-teen was my Parker calligraphy pen. Saying that, it took until my son was born, 7 years ago, to bite the bullet and take some lessons. I did a year of traditional calligraphy classes while on maternity leave - and then self-taught myself modern calligraphy via the magic of the internet! This was about six years ago.
How long was it before you turned it into your full-time job?
I’ve been full-time self-employed for two years, and The Golden Letter has been going five years. For the first year it was really a hobby that I was documenting online, with an occasional calligraphy commission - but after making a few invitations this way, it very quickly turned into me creating wedding stationery as a proper side hustle. When the side hustle was earning more than my part-time day job, I decided to take the leap.
What is your favourite part of running The Golden Letter?
Working for myself in general. I can work the hours I want and need. Take days off to meet friends and catch up at night. As a single mum it also works brilliantly to work around school holidays etc
What is your favourite nib?
My most used is a Nikko G - but my favourite is actually a William Mitchell Post Office Nib
What calligraphy tools you cannot live without?
I’m never without a pentel sign brush pen.
Where do you like to shop for your tools and stationery in general?
I could be here for days! Inks and nibs I buy from The Calligraphy Store. Cult Pens is my go to for a lot of niche brush pens, along with London Graphics Centre. I live right by a massive Cass Art and Cowling and Wilcox, so i’ll often pop into both for random bits and pieces.
As a huge stationery addict I could spend all day in stationery stores, and trawling the internet. I love a little independent store and finding unusual things. Present and Correct is always magical.
Favourite colour combo?
Black, neon pink, mint.
Recommended resources for beginners?
Oh god, where to start. I think The Postman’s Knock has the widest and easiest to understand online resources.
To help develop your style I’m also a big fan of Molly Suber Thorpes most recent book which is insanely comprehensive.
Top tip for anyone getting started?
Drills drills drills. Do them with a pencil or a brush pen - you don’t need to just do calligraphy practice with a dip pen. It’s all about building up that muscle memory.
How long before you nailed your style?
My style is continually evolving, but I would say it took at least two years of practising every day before I had a recognisable style that I didn’t hate.
Describe your style of design in three words
Moody, minimal, tonal
Tips for lefties starting calligraphy?
You’re at an advantage - and that doesn’t happen very often!
Use a straight pen with your paper at an angle - as big an angle as you need to stop you from over-writing.
You can find Zoe over on Instagram @thegoldletter where she shares her stationery along with top calligraphy tips and general fantastic insight into running a small business.
Keep writing and see you next week!
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Also in The Calligraphy Store Blog
The calligraphy store blog will be launching at the end of January. Filled with posts about supplies and projects along with inspirational interviews with our favourite calligraphers we hope it will be an excellent resource for all calligraphers whether beginners of experts.