{About Laura} How I Entered the World of Calligraphy

October 16th, 2013

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If you haven’t found us yet, you should definitely head over to the Laura Hooper Calligraphy Instagram feed. On Instagram, I am often asked “how long have you been doing calligraphy?” or “where did you learn the art of calligraphy?”. So I thought I would share the story of how I became a full-time calligrapher/stationer.

People often ask if I have neat “regular writing,” and the answer is yes, I have always had neat, legible writing, and I have also always been fairly artistically inclined. My grandmother on my dad’s side was a painter and cartoonist for Hanna Barbera, and I used to do some painting in my younger years.

Around the age of 12, I took a weekend job working at a booth in the Valley Indoor Swap Meet in Woodland Hills, CA. The company was called Cowboy Chuck, and I was hired to hand-write in the names on the caricature drawings that they sold in the booth. I loved working there and am pretty sure I must have considered myself an “expert” in handwriting.

Fast forward to about 22 years old, when my best friend was getting married and she asked me to address her wedding invitations. I can’t recall what they looked like now, but my guess is nothing fancy on my part. However, when my dad’s coworker’s daughter was getting married, my dad decided to volunteer me to write the envelopes. Then my sister’s boss got married…and you know the drill. Lo and behold I was addressing as many envelopes as possible in my spare time.

In the meantime I had finished my Bachelor’s in Business with an emphasis in Management, and I was working at a mortgage company doing the standard 9-5, while concurrently developing Laura Hooper Calligraphy. I did any and every job I could just to gain experience, clients and a word-of-mouth reputation. I started working on stationery in addition to calligraphy, and sometime in 2005, when I was 24 years old, I decided to leave the corporate world behind and take on Laura Hooper Calligraphy full-time!

I was living in an apartment in Northridge, but ran my “office” out of my old bedroom at my parent’s house {this was really great since all the mess stayed at their place!}. As the wedding industry evolved, so did my business and finally in about 2009, I moved to Hermosa Beach with my then-boyfriend, Jeremy, and opened up a studio right on Pier Avenue in dowtown Hermosa where I worked until Jeremy {now husband} and I relocated to Northern Virginia/greater DC area this past summer.

So there you have it! I hope this provides some inspiration to all of the aspiring calligraphers out there and just know that practice, practice, practice is the key! The industry {wedding and lettering in general} continues to grow, and I continue to try new things just like everyone else, but what I always do my best to remember is that “we are who we choose to be”…

4 Comments

  1. Pauline

    Laura, thank you so much for telling us your story! Calligraphy and lettering is always going to be a learning journey and I am enjoying every minute of it. This is such an inspiration.

  2. Brooke

    As one who just fell into this {wonderful} world of calligraphy through friends and family getting married, I’m always trying new things with lettering. I’m curious what your favorite pens/inks/nibs might be? Thanks for the constant inspiration.

  3. Jenny

    Thanks for sharing your story!! Mine is very similar up until the studio part (maybe one day!!) I snagged my first client via instagram and my company A Fine Flourish evolved from there. It has only been about 8 months but the quote you shared gives me the inspiration to keep at it even when I get defeated because the only person in my way, is ME!

    Jenny

  4. Margaret Shepherd

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    I love hearing stories like this. Everyone’s path into calligraphy is a little different but it almost always involves the way people respond almost instinctively to a beautifully hand lettered piece of mail. I enjoy your casual but elegant scripts, and know how much practice they take.

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About Laura

About Laura

Laura owns LH Calligraphy and is pleased to be a full time calligrapher. She creates and custom designs maps, invitations and envelopes with the traditional feel of calligraphy with a modern twist.

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