Maurelle is a Vancouver-based creator who turns words into works of art with her beautifully skillful calligraphy.
There’s nothing like receiving a personalised gift under (or in this case, hanging on) the Christmas tree, so Maurelle will be at our Robson Street store next Wednesday December 11th from 5pm - 8pm creating free customised Christmas baubles and glasses cases. We think they’re the perfect gift to go alongside a new pair of specs or sunglasses (for a loved one, or just to treat yourself). Join us for a cup of hot apple cider, browse our range and get a Christmas gift next Wednesday on us!
We caught up with Maurelle to chat about her exquisite work, tips for aspiring calligraphers and exciting upcoming projects.
Calligraphy is not a very common art form! How did you discover your love for calligraphy?
Let's just say I have always been a creative soul. When I was 15, I was introduced to calligraphy and loved it. But you know, life got busy, and I have forgotten to pick up the pen again. 8 years ago, I rekindled my love affair with calligraphy and discovered modern calligraphy as well.
What's the most interesting item you've been commissioned to write on?
From leaves, pumpkins, agates, shells, marbles, ornaments and more, it excites me when I'm challenged to write on a non-paper surface. Recently, I have been commissioned to paint calligraphy monograms on pretty shoes of a luxury brand. It's fun, but I was nervous at the same time since I have to be very careful not to mess it up!
What is your favourite type of project?
Event calligraphy is one of my favourite types of projects. I love the interaction, the instant result of writing calligraphy and handing it to the person. The most satisfying part is seeing the person smile and appreciate the piece I have written. It's so cool to think that they get to take home a piece of my artwork.
Do you have a favourite style of writing or materials and inks that you use?
I love both the traditional script and modern calligraphy, but my go-to style is the latter. When it comes to materials, you only need quality paper, pen, nib and ink. There are hundreds of pointed nibs to choose from, but I always go back to a nib called Nikko G. For inks, I love the ombre effect walnut ink does, for black ink, the Sumi Moonpalace works best and for gold ink, I have always been a fan of Dr. Ph Martin's Iridescent Copperplate Gold ink.
I also do brush calligraphy and this works best when you travel. Tombow dual brush pens and the Zebra Mildliner Brush pens you put in a small pouch and use whenever the creative bug hits you.
You also run workshops to teach this skill, what advice would you give to aspiring calligraphers?
Yes, I teach a comprehensive Modern Calligraphy and Brush Calligraphy, usually in Vancouver and sometimes around BC. For aspiring calligraphers, if you really want to learn the art, get your kit and start practicing. Get started today, and you will be amazed by what you can accomplish in just a few months of consistent practice. There are online workshops you can attend, but in my opinion, if you are struggling with it, attend an in-person workshop with a teacher that will demonstrate and help you address your writing issues. It makes a lot of difference.
Anyone can learn calligraphy, even if you're handwriting is not so pretty just like mine. It is a skill that you can develop.
I would always tell my students this quote by Theodore Roosevelt, "Believe you can, and you're halfway there." Keep on practicing, keep on writing!
What exciting projects do you have coming up?I'm excited about a collaboration that is going to happen early next year with two brands with Japanese influence. One is for a local clothing brand, they will include me in an artist storybook they are creating. The other is a household brand, we will do a commercial showing a day with me. I'm excited about these projects because it will show the other side of me apart from being a calligrapher. A woman, wife, mother, a friend :)