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Let’s Talk Calligraphy!

We chat to Imogen Owen, author of Modern Calligraphy Workshop about the creative art of calligraphy and share her top tips on how you can master this stunning lettering trend!

Let’s Talk Calligraphy!

How did your journey with letters begin?
My background is in graphic design, although I tried my hand at calligraphy when I was at school. I rekindled my love of calligraphy a few years ago when I started my stationery brand.

Where does your passion for calligraphy stem from?
I’ve always loved typography. My father has an amazing collection of vintage packaging. Calligraphy is just a part of that, another style of lettering, and it’s such a relaxing thing to do.

You run modern calligraphy workshops – what do you enjoy about teaching?
It’s a great feeling when people get passionate about something I love. What’s lovely is that people don’t copy my style, they learn to put their own personality and stamp on it. I enjoy connecting with people I’ve taught on Instagram so I can see their progression and journey.

Crystal wedding

What inspired your new book Modern Calligraphy Workshop?
There’s so much that I don’t have time to cover in a workshop, so this is my way of delivering an intensive one-to-one class. I’m totally self taught so I’ve aimed it as the kind of book I’d have liked when I was starting out. It’s got plenty of in-depth information on tools and equipment, but equally you can just dip in for inspiration and ideas.

Imogen Owen

I enjoy connecting with people I’ve taught on Instagram so I can see their progression and journey - Imogen Owen

Do you have a favourite calligraphy technique?
This changes all of the time, one day I’ll be in love with brush lettering, another it’ll be calligraphy with a particular nib or drawing type. I’m really lucky that I get to use a range of styles in my day job.

Is there a material that you enjoy decorating most?
I love a challenge or doing something different so I’ll try anything. I enjoy writing on shiny surfaces like glass and agate. I’ve just adorned some lovely oyster shells for a wedding client that were great fun. I appreciate variety as that’s what keeps my job interesting – if I was addressing envelopes every day I’d get a bit bored.

You run a letterpress and lettering studio – how do you juggle everything?
I always take on far too much work! I love my job so I end up working long hours which is very tiring. This year I’m trying to take a step back and keep my evenings and weekends free. When you’re running your own business it’s hard to switch off, I’ve learnt that I need some level of pressure, but it’s about getting the balance right.

Calligraphy letters envelopes
Imogen’s top calligraphy tips:
-Practise little and often, you’ll notice an improvement just from doing 30 minutes a couple of times a week

-Keep each practice sheet so you can see how your work has progressed – you’ll have improved more than you think!

-If you spend time perfecting the basics such as the alphabet, you’ll be able to create fabulous pieces

Modern Calligraphy Book Cover Imogen Owen
Imogen’s new book Modern Calligraphy Workshop is available now (£15, Quadrille)



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