Learn how to start a Calligraphy Business – I’ll share the Top 5 Ways to Monetize your passion, the Best Calligraphy Tools and more calligraphy resources
Calligraphy Kits – Buying Guides
- 0:56 Top 5 Ways to Make Money With Calligraphy
- 1:05 1 | Weddings
- 1:53 2 | Teaching
- 2:26 3 | Fonts
- 3:19 4 | Word Art
- 3:48 5 | Videos
- 4:20 BONUS #6 | Salaried Positions
- 5:01 Essentials Tools + Supplies (link below)
- 13:11 Calligraphy Business Resources (link below)
- 13:22 1 | Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe
- 13:48 2 | The Calligrapher’s Business handbook by Molly Suber Thorpe
- 14:16 Wedding Calligraphy by Laura Hooper
- 15:29 Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0
So I’m going to share with you today the top five ways that you can monetize your love of calligraphy into a business or a side hustle, as well as the essential tools and supplies that you’ll need to invest in and where you can go for more information about calligraphy as a business. Hi everyone. I’m Lisa from pretty fabulous and I help online businesses create beautiful digital downloads using adobe indesign. So if this sounds like you are something you might be interested in, make sure to hit the subscribe button below. I post new videos every Monday and Thursday as well as unboxings on Saturdays. Now, today we’re going to talk about how to make your love of calligraphy, a revenue line, a side hustle and actual business, as well as all the tools and supplies that you’ll need to invest in to get started. And where I think you can go for more information about you in calligraphy as a business.
The first way to monetize your calligraphy skills is probably the most obvious, and that’s for weddings, whether it is doing invitations or doing envelopes or doing wedding accessories. And what I mean by wedding accessories is the place settings, the menu, sometimes the signs save the dates and the Bachelorette party and everything else that kind of goes with weddings that you might need someone to design something pretty for now, if you know how to use indesign, you can actually combine that like I do and you can give them an entire solution where you are doing all of the invitations and everything that needs to be put in print. Another thing people do at weddings onsite is they will bring an engraving machine and they will actually engrave art or favors or something like that for guests and that’s always something fun that can kind of help entertain people or they can do that at receptions or even engagement parties.
Now the second way to monetize your calligraphy skills is simply by teaching. So if you know how to do calligraphy and you love helping others, then you could do it in classrooms that you could do it at community center. You can do it at your local college. You can host videos and courses online. I have an interview with my friend Joyce, and that’s what she does, so you can learn more about that and you could also do tutoring and one on one with people who are trying to learn calligraphy as well. The third way is to actually create fonts. There was a woman, and I can’t remember her name, but she only makes fonts and she made, I think she said a million dollars last year just selling fonts on creative market. She wasn’t even selling them on her own site, so that is a really great way to monetize what you love and share your unique style with many people all at once.
The second way is to make logos, so using your love, I shouldn’t say second way, but within their creating your own unique funds, you can create a font for a logo. For example, Coca Cola is a calligraphy font that someone actually designed just for Coca Cola. The fourth method that you can do to make money with your calligraphy is through etsy and craft sites like society six, so you can take your, you know, a cute phrase with your handwriting and you can slap that onto a Mug, a tee shirt. I’m Napkins, paper plates, you know, everything can be personalized and monogrammed and somebody might want to have that for their next party or just to have in their house to cheer them up or to give as a gift. So that is a, another great idea to take your calligraphy skills and share it with other people.
The fifth way is on fiber and I actually made money recording videos as you know, I love doing videos but I recorded videos for fun on my youtube channel and then people started asking me if I would record a video for so and so’s birthday, like write happy birthday shown or will you marry me in a video recording? So I actually think that there is a market for making calligraphy videos, especially if you look on instagram. A lot of the big calligraphers we’ll have videos and that will get a ton of likes and shares. Now those are five different ways that you can make money and as a bonus, the number six way is to get a calligraphy job. Now I researched this and there are not a lot of people hiring. However, there are two positions at the White House for calligraphers. There’s a master calligrapher who I believe makes $126,000 and there is a junior calligrapher underneath that person who makes 89,000.
Now I’m not sure who else is hiring salaried calligraphers, but I suspect there are probably other places like ambassadors or people who throw a ton of parties or a golf course or somebody who is always sending out calligraphy letters and envelopes. Second, we were going to talk about essential tools that you need and I feel like this goes without saying. Everybody needs a bleak pens. Now, I would strongly suggest getting an oblique pen that has a screw, a titan tension rod that holds in your news. It’s just easier to change those in and out versus these. Usually these are the prettier ones that you see on etsy and I fell into the trap of buying these a lot when I first started out, but you do need a pair of pliers. I find that annoying because I always break a nail when I do that to try to put my nibs inside of there.
The other thing you’re going to need is a protractor and mostly that is if you are doing copper plate calligraphy, which I do a lot of, which is the classic English round hand. It must be at 55 degrees a. another thing you’ll need is obviously a ruler to draw lines. I have a ton of these little dishes to hold different paints and washes. I have a ton of these little plastic containers to mix them in. I have a large one to mix it in and then as far as basic tools, and I know this kind of mixes in with supplies, but I have the gum Arabic solution because not always. You’re not always using, say one particular color a lot and it can get a little gummy in between and if you throw some gum Arabic solution that usually loosens it up. A, another thing I love is the winsor newton art masking fluid and this is really great if you are going to be doing some watercolor or you have some, a sparkle dust I guess is the right thing to say to help it stick to that.
Um, and another great thing that you could use our is that a black eraser now this black or racer is, I want to say archaic. And the reason I say it’s archaic is because when I was first starting out, I use the black racer and I use some white chalk pencils to draw lines when I was doing envelopes. And in addition to that, sometimes I would line things up with a light board. So a lay board is good when you’re first starting out and you want to say trace some paper. Light board is just like, it says it lights up and then it lights up the paper underneath. And that allows you to write on top of it with another piece of paper. I’m now the light board. These are pretty cheap, like they’re. I think they’re like 25 or 39. Just make sure to get the largest late board you could possibly find because when you write you’re definitely going to want to.
You’re going to run off. The second thing you’re going to want to get our pucks and these little pucks. If you can see this picture, the light board will sit on top so that it’s at an angle so that you are not a writing on a flat surface. It’s always a thousand percent better to write at an angle. So these are things that I say are archaic because instead of using all of this stuff, instead you could simply get a laser light. And my laser light is broken right now and I have one on order, but I will link it up below. It is so cheap. I think they’re like five or $6. You can run to home depot and get one. And when you lay the laser light down, that’s the only line that you need and you never have to go back again and try to erase it or fiddle around with charging up your lightboard.
Uh, it’s, I think a thousand times easier and pretty much what everybody is using nowadays. Anyway. The other essential supplies are these little pipettes, if you remember these from chemistry in grade school as well as one of these. And I fill these up with distilled water and I am able to add them to my galoshes or to any sort of paint that I need as I need without overwhelming or trying to pour it from a big jug. I also have a clear eraser, which is definitely, definitely needed whenever you have color envelopes or anything else. But again, you were using the laser light. You probably don’t need that. Uh, the other thing, and I know this is silly, I used to mix all of my paint. I don’t know. Can you hear that? It makes a little sound. This is a stir like a mixer and it will mix all of your galoshes with the water or any other washes, whatever you’re doing and it doesn’t very quickly and it does not splashed all over the place.
Whereas I sit there and I, uh, if I don’t have one of these, I’m like stirring it with a toothpick and it takes forever. So this is a definite investment if you are going to be a professional calligrapher as well as I have this little box where in case I am doing some calligraphy on site, I can take my oblique pens and I can carry those safely in my bag without stabbing myself as well as holding my paintbrushes. Now this is a cheap one. It is plastic. They do have nicer, expensive ones that however I would strongly advise against purchasing those because these are going to. We’re down in your bag and they usually have ink, you know, no matter how well I try to wash out my noobs they have some ink in. It will trail onto the box. Whereas if it’s plastic, it’s just not a big deal.
The next thing you’re going to need is you’re going to have to stock up on a ton of nudes and they have some packs from John Neil, I think, where you can try 25 different nibs all at once because it’s really important to find out which nibs will create what effects depending on what your client is looking for. Another thing that I always stock up on are the Fintech metallics. Now there are. I used to think I needed the metallics that were already premixed for me and they don’t look as nice as the Fintech, so these are pretty expensive and if I’m doing, let’s say just one wedding, I will go through an entire one of these and you never want to be in a place where envelopes are due in a couple of days and you’re waiting for one of these to ship or you need to run out to the store.
So always stock up on those. I promise everybody wants gold. Everybody. Uh, the other thing is watercolor pencils. You don’t need to stock up on these. I actually have this pack. I have very few requests for watercolor and as you can see it hasn’t even gotten down to where you can see it. So I would say that is probably not a big deal. The other thing you definitely need, and I cannot find it, show it to you is a glove. So we glove. That’s going to cover up this part of your hand because you, I promise you are going to have your natural oils or whatever. They’re going to ruin these super expensive envelopes impossibly drag across the paper or vellum or whatever you’re doing. So for 100 percent, make sure you have a glove. And over here I never used to use these, um, but I find this really helps.
This is gum sandrock and after I’m done with all of my envelopes, you know how you lay them out and you don’t want them to smear anywhere. But sometimes when those envelopes go into the male and whether it’s raining or it’s humid, I’m not sure what the mailman is doing, but they ended up streaked. And I have clients that aren’t very happy. Gum [inaudible] is something you can put on top of the envelopes after you’ve made them and it will kind of set the envelope, if that makes sense, so that it does not ruin or, um, smear in any way when the mailman touches them because you’ve spent all that time not putting your oil on with your glove so somebody else can come along and ruined that envelope instead. So this is a definite yes for an investment or weight when it comes to paper supplies.
I stock up on a ton of art again and Rodeo Rodeo. I don’t know if I’m saying that right notebooks just for practice. Um, I can use the Arctic on sometimes for small little projects, but paper is something that you are never, ever going to not need, especially when you need to practice. There’s only certain laser paper, uh, by hp that does not smear and bleed. So I will leave a link to all of these supplies that I am showing you a below now. Now that we’ve talked about supplies, let’s talk about where you can go to learn just about the business of calligraphy. And remember, we’re not at all talking about how to do calligraphy, how ever, um, there is this book called modern calligraphy by Molly, super thorough and it has a lot of projects in here when I mentioned that you can, could do some projects to make some extra money, whether it’s for weddings or for something to sell on Etsy.
She has a lot of great ideas in here that I think could be monetized on etsy and people really want. So this is a really great source of unique calligraphy designs that you could do. Um, now she also has a book called the calligraphers business handbook. And this just came out a few months ago. And what I really like about this is most books are just focused on weddings and molly doesn’t focus on weddings. She focuses on all the other different ways that you can make money as a calligrapher, namely working with clients to create logos and unique designs are chalkboards or something else. So that’s really good for this. Versus a wedding calligraphers, again, very, very much in demand. I don’t think you’ll ever have to worry about not having business. People are always getting married, wedding calligraphers, this is Laura Hooper, I’m just Laura Hooper and her sister, Alyssa hooper and the two of them run Lora Hooper calligraphy and they have a lot of great information in here about wedding.
So if you go to her website, she actually tells you exactly what fonts she will write in and she has people pick and so she pretty much has this down to a science I think when it comes to being a wedding calligrapher and not the kind of wedding calligrapher that’s on etsy. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s kind of, you just put some examples up and people just pay you versus she has tried to create a system and a process for people if they want to work with her. Uh, so it’s very clearly defined versus I would say she runs the show versus sometimes at the etsy. When you get clients there, they definitely run the show. Other, a fourth place that you can go for information is the modern calligraphy summit that is a virtual summit. I believe they’ve done just two so far.
And the woman in charge of it is, I’m married to a professional baseball player, so when you see her studio, it is pretty much what every calligrapher would have in their studio if they had unlimited access to funds to invest into their studio. So don’t get too overwhelmed with all the assistants and staff that she has an all of the huge equipment because that is probably something you can’t invest in right away. And so make sure to comment below with any resources for a calligraphy as a business that I left out that could be useful to somebody else. All right. I hope that you found that helpful and I will see you guys later. Bye.