The highs and the lows

Custom Calligraphy Order- Dec 2015 It's been a busybusy week... I'm at the level of happy exhaustion that can only come from crazy deadlines and physical labour! I had a surprising flow of custom orders at my Etsy shop most of which were to be mailed out in time for Christmas--- so of course the first and last thing I've done is panic! I have such a fear of packages getting lost in the mail or being delivered too late, so I've been very nervous when I had so many orders to be sent out of the country. Fingers and toes crossed - Canada Post please come through!!

There's a wonderful high with the strict deadline of orders which has caused me to work pretty continuously over the past few days. I haven't had time to second guess myself, and the result has been great, I'm actually feeling happier with the work I'm producing (maybe because it's not preempted with worry and anxiety). Hooray for that level of freedom!

Custom Quote Order- Dec 2015

I've also sent out a slew of greeting cards, a lot of them within various card exchanges I've participated in. It's been handy to have my screenprinted cards to send out so that I can spend more time decorating envelopes! I've worked with nibs and brush pens, a slew of different inks, and tried out different calligraphy styles. That was fun, and a great practice! I got pretty creative!

The one thing that's been plaguing me since last week is that my printmaking has once again fallen behind. It seems to be always coasting in the shadows, waiting for my schedule to free up so that I can spend time creating, carving, printing. But that never seems to happen! I did say to myself that I would, no matter what, spend an hour or two every day just creating, no matter what obligations I've got going on.....well that's proved easier said than done. I'm working through it, and hope by this week's end I have a good rhythm of balancing the immediate demands with the longer term goals and plans. High hopes? Possibly. :)

Hope you are all having a lovely week!

xo

Pri

There's no such thing as work/life balance

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Wow, It's been over a month since my last blog post! I've been guilting myself about not posting often enough on the blog, but then I  started to think about why I've been so inconsistent with it, and why it sometimes feels like a chore. I have a bunch of drafts started but can't seem to get past that stage! It's been difficult for me to constantly be 'online'. I've read so many I've been trying to spent time everyday doing thisarticles that talk about the importance of staying 'top of mind' with your followers by posting pictures, blogging, and talking about projects I'm working on. I find that I can't be consistent with it. Some days I want to just be alone in my studio, quietly working. It's a double edged sword- it can be a safe, comfortable environment where there is no judgement or expectations, but it can be also very isolating. I find I work well under pressure, so having external deadlines can be super motivating, but the pressure and stress is nothing like I've experienced before- it's so personal and deep.

It's all such a roller coaster! Even with my productivity levels. Some days, I'm ticking off SO many to do's on my list, and at other times I find I can only do one thing a day and feel creatively stuck or inadequate. And when this happens, I'm so far from thinking about posting a picture on instagram about fun things I'm working on! It's interesting how the social media persona we sometimes portray for 'business' purposes conflict with our 'real' selves. In my current life where my professional and personal worlds are constantly colliding, it makes it hard to separate the two.

This book review I read on one of my favourite sites, Brain Pickings, made me think that maybe it's not about separating our 'business' and 'personal' lives. We tend to think in terms of the all too familiar 'work/life' balance measuring scale. But what if we didn't measure these different aspects of our lives, and instead made an attempt to be happy and at ease everyday, no matter what we are doing? What a crazy idea! :)

I love this card I made for my friend A

Alice in Wonderland Custom Quote & Watercolour illustration

Anyway, here's what I've been working on this past month: I completed invitations and envelope calligraphy for a wedding and a baby shower, completed some custom calligraphy projects, and applied for a craft show (eek!!) I'm also completing a special project for a wedding coming up at the end of the month, which I will tell you about soon! I've also received details to my first calligraphy exchange! It's organized by Flourish Forum, and this exchange is to send a favourite quote to seven other people! I'm super excited about it and will be posting pictures of my work in the coming weeks.

Until then, it's more wedding invitation work (wedding season is definitely here!!), calligraphy quotes...and maybe I'll finally get around to finishing my darn business cards! And an update to my website- soon! yay!

Oh, if you're looking for cards that can be used for any occassion- new home, birthdays, anniversaries, I have a cute set of cards up on my Etsy shop. :)

xx

Priyanka

 

Practicing Calligraphy

I've spent the past week trying to buckle down and just create. It started with the best intentions and lots of determination. But then I realized that I should probably first organize my studio and supplies better, and I bought a bookshelf and tidied all of Sunday. And then, I thought that C & I should build a fort in our living room (oh, yes, this happened, and it was glorious). And THEN, I thought I should get in touch with everyone I know for a catch up. Phew. It's been a busy week. practice sheets

Hard to believe, but I actually also ended up doing a lot of carving for a linocut I'm working on, some custom orders for calligraphy, and a lot of calligraphy practising and learning. I've been hooked on Eleanor Winters' 'Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy' ever since I got it for Christmas. Every time I pick up the book, I'm itching to get my nibs and inks out to try all her amazing suggestions! She makes it all look so darn easy!

If you're thinking of starting up a new hobby (once you've got the basics covered, calligraphy can be incredibly meditative and relaxing! really!), this book is a great starter with lots of helpful tips.

I had previously mostly relied on free online tutorials on the IAMPETH website (explained more below), which are also amazing! There's tons of great stuff - practice sheets, lesson plans, tips. I also stumbled upon Skillshare, which was a godsend! It's an membership site with online classes that you can take at your own pace. The site covers so many different topics (design, photography, calligraphy, entrepreneaurship....)- I learned all my basic knowledge of photoshop, illustrator, and lightroom from here. I also took some calligraphy classes on there, which was great! I need to treat myself to a class on there soon.....

As with every hobby/new obsession, I wondered how many other calligraphers were out there and if there was some sort of 'group' I could join (this might have been another attempt at procrastination...yes, likely). There aren't a lot of resources in Toronto. So I had to dig a little deeper- and found a lot of international organizations based out of the US. IAMPETH ("The international association of master penmen, engrossers, and teachers of handwriting"...that's a mouthful!) feels to me like the harvard of calligraphy associations, but hey, there's no prereq to join! They have an annual convention with calligraphy classes and talks (which feels like summer camp to me!!)- I hope I make it this year! I also started following a bunch of calligraphers on instagram, which then led me to a forum for calligraphers. It's called 'Flourish Forum', and it's seriously amazing, filled with really really talented folks who share ideas, tips and encouragement.

I wasn't sure where my creative journey over the past two years would lead me, but I'm pretty happy that it includes a lot of calligraphy. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that it worked out this way since I've been dabbling at it and lettering (like an amateur, now I know) for years. Still, it's a nice feeling to be able to finally produce work that I've only previously dreamed about. :)

Peek at two custom works I did this month:

Happy Thursday!

-Priyanka

I bought new drinking glasses today

Hello again!

Blog post #2! hurrah! (I really didn't think I'd make it past post #1)

I couldn't decide on a title for this blog post, because I have so many topics to share (not really)....so I thought I would let you in on today's exciting purchase of new drinking glasses from Zara home! I don't know why I've never ventured in their stores before. Here's a picture of my purchase (I'm also not sure why they were so ridiculously cheap.... maybe they're disposable and I haven't found out yet).

On to the real reason for my post today- I've updated my Etsy shop! Hurrah again! I've added three new listings for custom calligraphy quotes. If you're wondering what that is, here are some picture examples:

So if you have a favourite quote or song lyrics (or anything really), I could write it out in the size and font of your choosing, and can even add some pretty awesome watercolour detail, if you wish. :) They make fantastic (and affordable!) gifts!

Agenda for the rest of the week (Yes I know it's Thursday, but technically I don't have weekends ;)): I'm going to section off a couple of hours to work on my first linocut print in a long time. Can't wait! Also, people seemed pretty excited about the patterns on my christmas cards- I'm toying with the idea of doing more 'pattern-y' cards, for everyday use. What do you think? I'm also going to be putting up an Etsy listing for envelope calligraphy soon- I just have to get more product pictures done- who knew they take so long to do!

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or new project ideas! As always, I would welcome any feedback on my website, etsy shop, etc etc- it's really helpful to know what people are interested in (like I'm sure you were in my glass purchase).

Have a good weekend friends!

xo

 

 

 

It's really cold in Toronto

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Hello There! Thanks for visiting my new site!!

On here you'll find my portfolio and ways to contact me. I will also be documenting my journey in calligraphy and printmaking on this blog. (We'll see how often this happens... !!!)

 

Since it's absolutely frigid out (it feels like -21degrees people!!!), I'm tempted to try and set a record for the number of days I can hibernate at home. So I created a long list of to-dos that can be done safely (and warmly) within the confines of my home studio. On the top of the list is updating my Etsy shop with the new products (service?) I will be offering- custom calligraphy! Hope to have the items and product pictures up within the next week.

I've created a bunch of works for friends and family over the past couple of months, and am so pleased that they were a hit! Everyone loved having a meaningful poem/quote/baby's name written out just for them. It's a great custom gift for any occasion, or no occasion at all! If you have a project in mind, even if you don't see it on my portfolio, don't hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to discuss new ideas!

Other highlights on the agenda for the week: some custom quote projects, a couple of cards that need to be completed and sent out this week, enter the labyrinth that is the Canada Post website and figure out 2015 shipping prices (ew), and prelim designs for wedding invites (eek, yes! custom wedding invites! Not something I'm offering out to the general public YET...but maybe soon!)

Now that I've successfully procrastinated for a couple of hours this morning... I'll start tackling the list. Hope you all have a Happy Monday!

xo Priyanka

ps. If you want to know more about my business, I've rambled on about myself here.