If you read my about me page you already know the basics so I don't feel the need to say the same thing twice. In this post and on my blog, I will try to let you get to know to a little more about me on a deeper level and some of my journey to becoming a professional artist and calligrapher.
I have been thinking about starting a blog for a while now. I have always enjoyed writing and being able to express myself through my own written words. It really is the best way for me to give my overactive and overthinking brain a chance to slow down and reflect on the day or maybe something more specific I need to think about on a deeper level. After some inspiration from a course I am taking online with other creatives, I decided to use my website as a spot for me to do just that - reflect while taking time to untangle my thoughts and set some intentions for myself as a person and as an artist.
I had no idea when I started the Wander Crafter - Craft Academy that it would change my mindset and how I looked at my business, at least not as quickly and drastically as it did. We just started our third of a six week course and I am loving the opportunity to connect with other calligraphers who have the same aspirations as I do along with the expertise of our coach Rosie, who is helping us find our potential as business owners in the art community.
I started my business at the end of 2017 after years of doing little projects here and there for friends and family. When a friend of mine who is a part-time photographer reached out to see if I could hand letter a sign announcing a pregnancy, I decided to take the leap and officially open Letters from Elliott. It all started with a Facebook page and a couple of amazing opportunities that came my way shortly after opening. Another friend of mine owns and operates a cute little shop that puts on some great vendor events a few times each year. After being a guest artist at a couple of her events, personalizing items found amongst the vendors, I started to get a little bit of momentum and was getting requests for more and more personalization jobs, specifically requesting my hand lettering. I was then by complete chance, asked to rewrite the menus for a local coffee shop in my hometown and while I had no experience doing such a thing, and probably really had no business even taking on a job that big, I did it and they turned out really great. I like to joke that I blacked out the entire weekend I worked on that project and ended up with something awesome by happenstance but in reality it was lots of planning, measuring, lettering, erasing, lettering again, and lots of panic in between. With exposure like menu boards in a busy coffee shop, the messages and orders came in more frequently than ever. I am so thankful for those individuals who took a chance on me and had the confidence in me and my lettering that I hadn't found yet. I will never forget them and how their decision to hire me as a new artist, really changed the trajectory of my business and also, not to be dramatic, the course of my life. I am forever grateful for those women and the opportunities they gave me. Women as owners of businesses are some of the most supportive people on the planet and I am proud to know some of the best.
I am hoping to use this blog to share some of the behind the scenes stuff from my life as an artist and calligrapher in small town Iowa. With a lifetime of self-taught art and design experience, a passion for calligraphy, and the desire to reach others through my work and maybe even my words - I hope you enjoy my blog!