I'm very excited this week to share my second artist takeover on Instagram. I'd like to introduce you to Kirstie from Ink & Flow who's personal story is truly inspiring, following her two passions of Calligraphy & Yoga. You can read her intro below and find out why she lives by the mantra of 'Feel the fear and do it anyway'. I can't wait to see Kirstie's creations in her takeover this week!
Please can you give me an introduction about who you are and what you do?
My background is in Graphic design and for over 10 years I lived and worked in London in the publishing industry. In 2018, I was working full time as an Art Editor for a magazine but didn't feel completely happy and I wasn't sure why. The company I worked for, hosted a wellness week giving away lots of wholesome activities such as massage and yoga, and I jumped at the chance to book onto a complimentary coaching session. The coach asked me what I enjoyed doing in my own time...I had attended a 2 hour calligraphy workshop around 6 months earlier so I told her how I was enjoying my calligraphy practice and also loved yoga. Her reply was simply 'Well why don't you do them as your job?' My initial reaction was to think she was crazy and there was no way I could teach anything let alone improve my calligraphy to a point of earning money from it!
I was so inspired by our conversation, I taught my first calligraphy workshop 6 weeks later and soon quit my job to travel to India to train to be a yoga teacher. On my return Ink and Flow was born and I now live a very happy life by the seaside working full time as a calligrapher and teaching occasional yoga and hosting wellness retreats :)
How and why did you start calligraphy?
I have always been creative so was drawn to give it a go when calligraphy workshops became popular in London. I remember the teacher saying to me that I might struggle as I'm left handed, just goes to show what's possible if you put your mind to it! I remember being so surprised as to how mindful it was and loved the creative spark it gave me.
What appeals to you most about what you do?
The community aspect! Both with fellow calligraphers and also to all of my students. I have taught so many students now and some have gone on to start their own small business which makes me SO proud! I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for everyone around me supporting me on my journey.
If you had to start again, what advice would you give yourself?
To attend more workshops and to trust the process! Practice and all is coming as they say! You get out what you put in.
What are the best resources you’ve found online or elsewhere that helped you get started?
Tom's Studio of course! I bought my first bespoke pen in 2018 (I think!) and it's still going strong today. Blots Pen have also supported me since day one, supplying me with a lot of my workshop materials and helping me out when I need last minute pens and nibs.
Who are the artists/individuals that inspire you most and where can we find them?
My biggest inspiration who springs to mind is Betty Soldi. I just love her playful and energetic style. I attended an online workshop with her and one thing she said that has stayed with me is 'Feel the energy of the pen on the paper' I love that! Her book 'Inspired' is a must have in my opinion.
What is your favourite quote to write and why?
'Feel the fear and do it anyway' - a quote I live by! I have learnt on this journey of running my own small business that growth is on the other side of fear.
Photo credit: @dellaluna_photo
Tom's studio affiliate code: INKANDFLOWSTUDIO for 10% off any order over £30