As part of my assignment for my Diploma in creativity, I set out to interview a number of people flourishing on Instagram. The assignment focused on the impact Instagram had had on society.
Now if you head on over to Leslies page, you will find it filled with a myriad of gorgeous watercolor images, and beautiful Calligraphy! In 2017 she published the most gorgeous book “Modern Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide to Pointed Pen and Brush Pen Calligraphy” and is an incredible achievement, which if you are interested in available on amazon here!
WHEN DID YOUR JOURNEY START?
I’ve always done doing DIY things since I was younger. I loved scrap booking and paper crafts as a kid but it wasn’t until I was planning my wedding that I really got into calligraphy and lettering. I saw all these beautiful wedding mock ups with all these paper goods and I loved how all things handmade and handcrafted was making a big come back. I wanted to teach myself before my wedding but I just didn’t have enough time. But after my wedding, I started diving right in. I started learning in late 2014 but I didn’t actually start my Instagram account until mid 2015. And I think that we’re always continually growing, improving, changing our styles so my Instagram was a way for me to document that journey.
How did you get into this niche?
I never ever ever in a million years expect to have the following that I do today. I started participating in lettering challenges because it was fun and then got into watercoloring because I loved it. I started with getting a few hundred followers, then a few thousand, and then it got crazy. I think one of the biggest things was being featured by big companies. To this day, I don’t know how they came across my work but I was excited to share it. I was featured by Insider Art, Michaels, Town and Country, and the Creative Market. It was just really insane to me that this was happening.
DO YOU HAVE A DAY JOB?
Yes! I am a pharmacist by day and a calligrapher by night. I have a bachelors of science in biology and a doctorate in pharmacy, which means I spent a lot of time studying science and not so much exploring art or anything really creative. Which is why I think I really CRAVED it. I wanted to make something with my hands and push my mind to be creative.
WHAT WAS YOUR DEFINING MOMENT? AND WHATS NEXT FOR YOU?
I think getting my book published was a big deal. And it was SELF published so you can just imagine all the new things I had to learn in the process. I think having it done and out there in the world made me realize that there’s potential to do a lot in life that you didn’t think you could or would. And I love that I have a lettering book out there that’s helping other people learn this art. I’ve gotten some really great feedback too and that has been one of the most rewarding things to me.
DO YOU HAVE A GOOD SUPPORT NETWORK
Yeah, definitely I’ve made a lot of friends through social media that are doing what I’m doing. And it’s great to have those kinds of friends helping you, giving you advice, collaborating with you. A lot of my friends and family have no idea what I’m talking about sometimes like if I complain about my social media engagement or my social media reach. It’s hard speaking to them about a totally foreign subject. Luckily I’ve met so many supportive people who are doing similar things!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCT OR TIP?
I have so many products that I adore. My best artistic tip is for you to define your own style. When I first started learning, I definitely began by trying to replicate. But once you have some of the skills, I think the most important thing is to stretch your creative brain and see what YOU can create. Being able to replicate something is just a comment on how well you can execute someone else’s vision but its not showing your point of view.
WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU?
Haha, usually when I get this question in the “real world”, I tell people that I have an Instagram account where I paint and letter and people follow me for it! But what can I say if you already know that about me…? I’m not sure what to say. My husband says to say that I do Thai kickboxing for fun and I actually used to train at a gym that was run by a world champion (but I am no where that good or close to ever competing). I think it’s really fun to kick pads and its great exercise.
And if you haven’t checked out her multitude of adorable tutorials you can see them here!