Calligrapher Profile: Lauren Carnes

In the next coming weeks, I will be featuring some of my previous students who I've been blessed to share the art of modern calligraphy. They'll share a little bit about themselves, and what their advice is for those just picking up the pointed pen for the first time.

 

Lauren Carnes of Lauren Carnes Photography is a great example of someone who learns something, just runs with it and has lots of fun with it.  I've loved seeing calligraphy through her eyes and how much she reminds me that there's joy in the process.

 

Tells us a little about you. My name is Lauren Carnes and I'm a wife, puppy mommy, photographer, foodie and lover of all things creative. Born and raised just north of Atlanta, I attended the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs! Sorry, Paulene! ;) ) and graduated with a degree in Public Relations and Spanish. I was fortunate enough to stay in Athens, GA for a few years after graduation while my husband finished medical school. During those long nights of studying, I had two options: sit lonely on the couch watching HGTV and eating Talenti Sea Salt Gelato or invest my free time into something productive and life-giving. Fortunately, after a couple pints of gelato, I chose the latter. I've always been a "crafter." In fact, it might even be slightly embarrassing to look in my "craft closet" and see the variety of things I've tried. However, in that time in Athens, I really began to pursue my passion for photography and launched Lauren Carnes Photography just before moving to Augusta, GA in May of 2014. I now spend my time photographing weddings, food, events and more, working from home with my best furry pup, Sophie, enjoying time with my husband, decorating our new home, and building our new life together. I am so grateful for the life I live and the opportunities I've had. The Lord has blessed me immensely and continues to wow me with the relationships He brings into my life.

 

What made you interested in learning calligraphy? Oh my goodness, I simply think calligraphy is the most beautiful thing. I have always wanted to be able to write letters and note of encouragement to friends with gorgeous calligraphy, but it was really propelled when I decided I'd like to learn how so I could send photography clients pretty notes. I have quite a few friends who had picked up calligraphy and taken courses at local art studios, but hadn't found anything in my area that seemed to fit what I was looking for. I was fortunate enough to meet Paulene through the #ColumbiaCreatives group and couldn't have been more excited to learn from someone so talented. She taught me in a one-on-one session on a whim one day, and I fell in love. It's what I use to get inspired and let my mind ramp up or calm down when beginning or ending a work day.

 

What is your advice for those picking up the pointed pen for the first time? Don't be afraid to just give it a try. You will mess up... and that's ok! You may write the same phrase 50 times before you like how it looks, but there is joy in the process. And when you get that one that you absolutely adore, look back at where you started and see how far you've come!

 

What's something with calligraphy you've tried that's become your favorite? Something like color combo, Nib, Ink, etc? Can I gold ink everything? I actually would if I could. The iridescence is my favorite, and I love how it adds a pop and a shimmer to any paper. With fall colors showing up everywhere, I'm particularly loving gold ink on maroon paper. It's gorgeous and may be making an appearance on our Thanksgiving table. And, I recently pulled out an old sheet of origami paper to practice on, and it was so smooth! The ink just flowed so nicely right onto the page! It was great for me as a beginner to have paper that didn't even snag if I tried!

Calligrapher Profile: Jodi Bonig

In the next coming weeks, I will be featuring some of my previous students who I've been blessed to share the art of modern calligraphy. They'll share a little bit about themselves, and what their advice is for those just picking up the pointed pen for the first time.

Jodi Bonig was one of my very first students. She definitely kept me on my toes and asked me plenty of calligraphy questions which was great! It's been so amazing to see her progress and to see her grow!
 

Tells us a little about you. I'm a Columbia, SC born-and-raised native with a knack for all things crafty.  I've dabbled in everything from embroidery to wood-burning.  I'm also a cat mom of 2 and married to a pretty awesome dude named Patrick.

What made you interested in learning calligraphy?  The various applications of the skill is what first attracted me to learning Calligraphy.  Not only would I be able to jazz up my envelopes, but also make gifts for people, cards, gift tags, place cards, etc.

What is your advice for those picking up the pointed pen for the first time? My advice would be to go with the flow (pun intended, but somewhat unintended haha).  When I first started practicing on my own I would get frustrated when comparing my letters and writing to others online thinking that mine wasn't pretty enough and that I must have been doing something wrong.  I realized that I was just taking on my own style and needed to go with it. Just as in writing with a regular pen- everyone's handwriting is different so I shouldn't expect my calligraphy to look exactly like someone else's either. 

What's something with calligraphy you've tried that's become your favorite? Something like color combo, Nib, Ink, etc?  My favorite color combination so far has been shimmering gold ink on navy paper.  I also like pairing calligraphy with watercolors.  The black ink paired with a soft watercolor painting make the words pop even more.

Calligraphy Starter Kits Coming Soon

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Happy first day of October! 

This month, I'll be working on calligraphy starter kits and I'm pretty excited! It will include a Facebook group called #leenmachineandfriends that will have some instructional videos, resources and generally a place to ask questions and chat with other aspiring calligraphers! Make sure to sign up for the newsletter to be the first one to know when it launches.  

Modern Calligraphy Beginner Class Recap

July has been such a whirldwind. Teaching a beginner calligraphy class was definitely one of the highlights. I didn't expect to have so much fun myself and gain a deeper appreciation of the art of calligraphy. 

My first students, Nicole and Jodi, had some major skills. It was so exciting to see them get comfortable with the pointed pen and see their own unique styles develop.

I'm looking forward to teaching again August and September. Check out Gather and Craft for dates and times. Hope to see you in class!

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