Haley is hands down the most sweet-natured of all of the Smudge Ink crew. I'm not entirely sure how she puts up with our antics but she always has a friendly and calm demeanor no matter how wacky things get. In between working on wholesale orders and interning in the press room here and managing the floral display over at Whole Foods, she is a talented hand lettering artist with a strong affinity for chalkboards. I've definitely been guilty of asking her to address important snail mail so it'll make an impression! Haley generously agreed to share a bit more about her passion for modern calligraphy and lettering, including one of her favorite quotes that has helped her along the way …
Can you tell us a little about how you got started in calligraphy and lettering? What first got you interested?
I first started developing my lettering skills as a Signmaker at Whole Foods Market. It's not something that I had previously put much thought into, but once I started learning the art of signage and making chalkboards I was hooked. I was a Signmaker for about 5 years, and even though I am now steering in the direction of calligraphy, I still really love to make chalkboards! It wasn't until I got engaged that I discovered calligraphy. As I started planning the wedding and designing our invitations, I bought a book and taught myself as much as I could so I could address our wedding envelopes.
How would you describe your style?
I'm not sure if I have a particular style yet! I definitely feel like I still have a lot to learn and consistency is something that takes a long time to achieve with any type of hand lettering. The fun part about modern calligraphy is that there are loose guidelines which allows a lot of room to play. Classic calligraphy is so impressive, and I would love to make it there someday but at the moment I love to play around with different styles.
What is the most memorable or challenging project you’ve taken on?
I have made a few invitations suites now and I really love working on them. Wedding invitations can be so personal, and it's fun to learn about a couple and brainstorm ideas that are completely unique to them. The process of designing a custom suite from start to finish is lengthy but a custom cohesive suite is so special!
Where and when are you the most creative?
I usually feel creative at the most inconvenient times (like on the train during my commute to work) so I always keep a notebook and a pen with me to write notes down or sketch out an idea that I'm likely to forget. I really love to work in the morning—I find that after I eat dinner I rarely do anything productive so I usually wait until the morning to start new projects!
Which calligraphers and/or artists have inspired you the most?
A couple of my favorite calligraphers are Ann Robin and and Ashley Buzzy. They are both so skilled that their work seems effortless. I hope with more and more practice I can achieve that same muscle memory!
What is your favorite quote or mantra?
“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.” ― C.S. Lewis
I really love this quote! I think everyone can relate to the fear of starting something new or switching gears. In the past year I've really tried to develop my own little business and initially I was really nervous about whether or not I could make it work. I still have a lot to learn and lots of goals I'd like to reach but I have been so much happier and inspired since I've started putting my work out there and collaborating with new people.
(photo credits: Haley Tyson)