Today i’m really happy to announce that our 3rd takeover artist is Milly from Blink Lettering, Milly is a longstanding Ambassador and friend of the studio. She has been championing Tom’s studio since 2020! Milly has founded the first ever Calligraphy show in the UK @thecalligraphycollective2024 and we’re excited to be the Official Sponsor!
Please can you give me an introduction about who you are and what you do?
Hey! I’m Milly, a calligrapher and educator based in Bournemouth, UK (not too far from Tom’s Studio!) I run a small business called Blink Lettering, which I started over 6 years ago now, whilst working full time as a graphic designer. A year ago I took the leap to go fully self-employed, and I’m so happy! It’s given me the opportunity to really shape the business. I was doing a bit of everything; Etsy, weddings, workshops, branding. Now I am focused on teaching and inspiring people with calligraphy, whether that’s courses and workshops, or creating calligraphy pieces that people love, like chalkboards and window displays. I also love to share my knowledge on Instagram and YouTube, with a variety of tutorials.
How and why did you start calligraphy?
While working as a graphic designer, I was feeling a bit fed up with sitting in front of a computer 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. I missed the hands-on creativity that university offered me! I used to do bookbinding, which I loved, however it was taking up a lot of space in our tiny one-bedroom flat. Then one day, I fell into an Instagram hole of calligraphy and lettering. I was hooked. I remember doing a little bit of calligraphy in primary school, and at university I specialised in type design, so it just made sense for me to give it a go! I bought my first pen, Pentel Brush Sign Pen, and haven’t looked back since.
What appeals to you most about what you do?
From a personal perspective, calligraphy has done wonders for my mental health. It’s one of the few activities I can do where my brain completely switches off and my anxiety can disappear. Although running a small business comes with new worries.
The main reason I love what I do, and also why I have shifted the business a little this year, is the community. The calligraphy community is just the most wonderful space. I've made friends for life, taught thousands of students and just feel constantly inspired and proud.
If you had to start again, what advice would you give yourself?
Focus on your own style more. When I first started, I would obsess over how other people created letters, so it took me a long time to figure out my own style and what I loved the most. There were incredible lettering artists just doing black and white text, and I loved it! I realised though that it wasn’t me, and now I’m all about colour.
What are the best resources you’ve found online or elsewhere that helped you get started?
When I first started, I learnt so much from Instagram and YouTube. Back in the day there were lots of Instagram challenges that no longer exist, but these were great for getting inspired and trying out new things. This is why I’m passionate about creating free, accessible content for my audience. It’s like I’m giving back to the community.
If anyone is looking to get started, and feels a bit lost about where to begin, my free 7 Day Drills Challenge is perfect. You can find out more here: https://www.blinklettering.co.uk/free-drills-challenge
Who are the artists/individuals that inspire you most and where can we find them?
There are so many incredible calligraphers out there who constantly inspire me, not just for their talent but their determination too. A big change for me that helped me discover who I am as a person and creative, was embracing colour. Liz Harry Design has been a huge inspiration for this. I love how she introduces colour in to everything, and it’s encouraged me to be more open and bold
What is your favourite quote to write and why?
It’s not really a quote, but I love to write the word ‘minimum’. It’s just such a satisfying word with all the bounces and curves. It’s great for beginners to try, as it can help build muscle memory!
Tom's studio affiliate code: BLINKLETTERING for 10% off any order over £30