Home » Calligraphy, Inspiration » My Writing Story

My Writing Story

IMG_3787

It’s been an absolute blessing being able to do what I love and share it with others. I love writing. I love playing with ink and paper and color. I love learning and how I learn even more when I teach. Whenever someone tells me that they’r a fan of my works, I honestly need to pinch myself. Like really?! Of ME?? And when they tell me that I’m inspiring them, the sap in me just bangs at the holy gates of tears because it feels so unreal.

I went into college never thinking that this was what I’ll be doing. I didn’t study art, save for those summer workshops my parents put me in growing up. I didn’t go to lettering or writing classes. I watched people paint and watched them draw. I worked in an advertising agency as a suit and I’d hang around the artists and creatives while they do their work (this probably annoyed the hell out of them, on hindsight). I type really fast. I’m a prolific notetaker. I have a lot of pens. That’s really all.

Unlike other people who quit their jobs to find “other things,” I didn’t hate what I did. I enjoyed presenting, making charts, writing briefs, and even the stress of managing what seemed like the entire universe. I called Ace Saatchi & Saatchi my home for 8 years. After getting married, I felt like I just wanted a change.

Ah, getting married.

photo by Nelwin Uy

It was during our wedding preparations that most of these a-ha moments happened (but since I knew I had a great job, I guess my brain just filed them somewhere for future reference). I was totally smitten by the writing that I kept on seeing in wedding inspiration blogs. It bugged me how they were written, and I wanted to do it. I ended up addressing our envelopes but just used a broad edged felt pen and the cursive we were taught in school. I went back to work but the beautiful writing haunted me.

After eons online, I was led to and joined the Fountain Pen Network and its Philippine equivalent. I met wonderful people and got tons of inspiration to just go ahead and teach myself how to write pretty.

2011-resolution

I wrote this with the first ever fountain pen I bought (a small Inoxcrom that looked like a toy). It didn’t flex, but it taught me how to properly hold the pen to let the ink flow smoothly. This was my “mission statement” for 2011 and in January of that year, I was free of the corporate world and was out on my own. I didn’t know how I was going to start, and I didn’t know if anything would actually work. I set up the site and kept on writing.

My first calligraphy nibs were bought from fellow Fountain Pen Network members. I dove into the writing and just kept on searching for books or sites that could teach me how. I bought a Moleskine diary and started a calligraphy-a-day thing to force me to practice (where I also learned that Moleskine’s paper sucks with ink).

note-march14

lets drown2

I am proudly self-taught though I do yearn to be in a class with a penman who can teach me and let me know if I’m doing anything wrong. I’m hoping that this will happen one day. Please, universe? IAMPETH Convention, maybe?

DSC_0057blog

So to anyone who’s wanting to learn something new, I say just go ahead and do it. I always say that it’s a frustrating start. But really, the challenge of it makes the end so much more satisfying. If you have the passion, the patience and the little voice deep inside that tells you that you really want it – know this: ANYTHING CAN BE DONE. It’s really just all up to you.

If you want to teach yourself calligraphy, just drop me a message – via Facebook or email. I’ll be happy to share some resources.

Thank you all for the love. I can’t believe it’s been more than two years already!

33 Responses to My Writing Story

  1. So inspiring… I believe I have a similar story with my writing career. Self-taught all the way! Calligraphy is also something I’d love to excel in… I’ve always been complimented on how nice my handwriting is and I thought, “Why not take it to the next level?”

  2. ‘If you have the passion, the patience and the little voice deep inside that tells you that you really want it – know this: ANYTHING CAN BE DONE.’ – gotta post that as FB status later …great inspiring story Foz! cheers to following our dreams! =)

  3. I admire anyone who takes the risk to chase after her passion! And look how far you’ve come in just two years! Thanks for sharing your story, Fozzy :-)

  4. Loveet foz! Amen to that. Happy that you are doing what you love :) Hugs!

  5. :) I really enjoyed reading your story. I’m on the verge of going on my own as well and readding this made me even more inspired to pursue what I love. Thank You :)

  6. Fozzy! I remember the first time I met you and I was so inspired by you were doing that I wanted to sort of teach myself calligraphy too!! Thank you for sharing your gift! :)

  7. Thank you everyone, your words are so sweet and it makes me incredibly happy. Starting out was scary at the same time thrilling – I didn’t have anywhere or anyone who’d really teach me, but I knew that I really wanted to write pretty like my calligraphy crushes. It was a big dive and it’s been so worth it.

    Big hugs!

  8. What a great story. Some of us are just so privileged to have witnessed your transition from suit to artist. Remember the stuff you scribbled in my notebook? It wasn’t even calligraphy yet – just copies of fonts you liked! Proud of and happy for you, Fozzy. You found your sailboat! ;)

  9. Thank you for the inspiration, Fozzy! You’re one of the people who inspired me to write again (on paper and online), to be honest. I’m still trying to find my creative path, but I owe a part of the journey to you as well. :)

  10. I’m absolutely in love with your work!
    I first encountered calligraphy during my studies and have recently picked up classes again. I’m enjoying it soooo much. Calligraphy is really wonderful and your work is so inspiring!

  11. Hi Ms. Fozzy! I truly admire your works.
    I’m still waiting for you calligraphy workshops..
    Hope that there will be one sooooon! :)

  12. I don’t always linger online, but when I do and I’m led to your blog, I always enjoy what I see. So thanks! Do keep writing.

  13. Hi Fozzy! I attended one of your workshops recently and I just can’t help myself but be amazed of all the beautiful things that you’ve shared with the class. I’ve been doing a lot of writing since then and I hope that someday, I can be like you, sharing a lot of pretty things to the world :)

  14. Reading your story is so inspiring Fozzy. Thank you for sharing…

  15. I am seriously haunted by all the prettiness from those wedding blogs. Im getting ready send you an email for some help on my invites and also to get some info on your resources. Love you blog, and thank you for representing for DIY community in the philippines :) HOpefully you can have a workshop while im there next year around february-ish *wink wink*

  16. Hi Fozzy, came across your website while searching for some calligraphy resources. Lovely to read your self-taught journey. I’m also self-learning how to write pretty and hopefully one day I can do all the pretty flourishes like you!

  17. It is a huge jump and vast improvements to reach here in just 2 years and I thoroughly enjoy each photo you share on instagram… Keep on inspiring, learning and writing~!

  18. Yey! How inspiring! Ace Saatchi is a very good company! You are so blessed! But the courage to venture out is an even greater blessing. All the best to you girl. :)

  19. This site is very inspiring, Fozzy. I stumbled upon it because I am a bride to be, and would like to do my own invitations. My friends say I have a pretty handwriting (back when I used to write longhand haha!), and my fiance used to paint, so we thought of making our own personalized invitations to cut on wedding costs. I am trying to teach myself calligraphy, so do reach out to us by keeping the posts coming!

  20. Hi! I am fan from instagram.:)I saw one picture of your work, and I was hooked. I just want to say that it’s such a relief, to be honest, to know that you didn’t go to a fancy art school and I find it inspiring that you were self-taught. I am looking into calligraphy and stumbled upon an online course with Melissa Esplin. It’s a month long online course for $95, should I go for it? or can you recommend a local workshop? btw, I have zero calligraphy experience and my cursive handwriting is something I’m really insecure of. TIA!:)

    • Hi Joanna, I took the class and it’s great! I’d encourage you to take it. I don’t actually write in cursive normally – it’s this mutant mix of print and script. So I don’t think there’s a connection (it helps, but they’re not dependent on each other). Happy inking!

  21. Hi, Fozzy! :)

    I am one of many who stare at photos of your work for minutes, mesmerized. I desperately, desperately want to learn how to do calligraphy (just as a hobby), and have been wanting to join one of your workshops, but like Joanna up there, I’m insecure about my script! It’s horrendous! I do print okay, but my script is just hopeless. So nahihiya ako to join your workshop because I don’t want others to see my horrible handwriting. :p

    • Hi Bea, if you love writing then just go ahead and do it. Doubting will not get anything anywhere and it’ll just keep you from starting on something you want. I don’t even write script on a normal basis and I can’t even keep a straight line. So please don’t get discouraged by it!

  22. Hi Fozzy

    I’m a fan. I love your handwriting…and I even tagged you in my “attempt” to do calligraphy. :) If you don’t mind me asking..how do you clean your nibs and will you be holding another workshop on calligraphy? :)

    • I just wipe them clean with a damp paper towel and let dry before storing. If the nib is really bad, I have a Speedball cleaning solution (got it from Deovir Arts). Unfortunately I think this month will have my last of the workshops, but you can check out InkScribbler.com as I think Alexis is going to hold more this coming months.

  23. Hi Fozzy, I stumbled on your instagram account months ago and I adore your work so much! I did some fake calligraphy using thin sharpies. My blog title was inspired by your calligraphy. It’s not as good as your work though :) I thought, I should really attend your workshop! Hope to meet you soon! :)

  24. Very inspiring! What a way to start my *journey* to calligraphy reading this. Thanks!

  25. Hi fozzy,

    I’m just one of your fans! I’ve loved lettering since high school, but have stopped sometime in college due to massive note taking pains haha. I was wondering where can I buy holders and nibs? I’m just trying too teach myself too, but the calligraphy nibs I have are the thick 0.8mm and medium ones in sheaffer, but I want the thin ones to try copperplate and cursive.

    • Hi Denise, not sure if I sent you a separate email or anything – you can purchase nibs and holders at Scribe Writing Essentials :)

  26. hi there! I’ve been wanting to do a “calligraphy-a-day”, but similar to your experience with the Moleskine journals, I haven’t been able to find a journal that works well with calligraphy (either the paper is too thin/flimsy and the ink bleeds/feathers, or as with most sketch journals, the paper texture is wrong and causes the nib to catch and skip). Do you have a recommendation for a good journal? I’d like to be able to keep my daily practice in a journal/notebook, instead of just on random pieces of paper!
    thanks :)

    • Hi Xie, I love using Rhodia. I think they also have a planner type notebook, but I’m not sure. You can also use Quo Vadis or Habana notebooks. Their pages are better than the Moleskines :) Good luck and have fun!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>