Birth of Vancouver’s First Social Calligraphy Collective

It only takes a spark…that spark was my friend’s recent Instagram photo of Uppercase Magazine’s cover feature issue on calligraphy. Because sharing my passion for calligraphy is like eating candy to me, I offered to teach her. Another friend chimed into the thread, wanting in on it. By the time we moved it over to email, our fire was stoked. (Side story, we almost all ended up at Granville Island’s Paper Ya and Opus Art on Sunday…instead we ran into each other online! When it’s meant to be, nothing gets in the way!)

A divine convergence emerged as we fired emails back and forth late into the night:

  • We all have childhood stories of our hearts ignited for calligraphy.
  • We all believe in the power of beautiful words to build rather than destroy.
  • We all are experiencing a reawakening to engage our creative muscles, not only for our own expression, but also for the greater good.
  • We all have a heart for social justice and communicating with purpose.

Jazzed from the creative synergy of a “craft jam” I hosted the night before, and inspired by my recent branding conversations with another friend to build a business that fights for social justice, the idea for a “social calligraphy collective” was born.


The vision is to carve a collective space for creative community to gather, learn and grow our skills, and dream up ways to use art to encourage and inspire change. The busyness of life can squeeze out the important-but-not-urgent things, like creativity, relationships, and generosity. Hopefully this collective will help make room.

Come to the next workshop to:

  • Dream of how we can use words to spark transformation
  • Learn a basic design process to draw your concept from start to finish
  • Experiment with a few calligraphy tools to ink your design
  • Socialize and ignite your creative energy while giving to a great cause

Sign up. Spread the word. Let’s create a bonfire.

Find out more and register at

The Joy and Pain of Creativity

creative ppl inflicted ideas calligraphyThese wise words resonated and burned in my heart the first time I heard them. My dear friend Ann, a communications peer who had a successful run as an advertising copywriter, and I were brainstorming and talking creative stuff, as usual. So many ideas, so little time!


Let There Be Light (and Life) Again

It’s been quite the ride finding my way again — some things are so long gone and behind me, and other things are coming back to me that I wasn’t sure would ever come back.
There is one thing that came back that I am so grateful for — the return of my creativity. Seriously, in many of my moments of deadness and lack of creative energy in the last couple of years of wasteland, I wondered if I would ever see it again; I wondered if it wasn’t to be a part of my new landscape.
As often how Jesus speaks and whispers to me, it came to me in the normal course of life. (Often I think he’ll only speak to me in lightning bolt revelations when I pull away for a weekend retreat, which he still can do, but so often I see how God appears to people in the course of daily life with major words and directions.)
All in one week, three design projects came to me. My friend asked me to design a Christmas flyer for her. I designed a wedding programme for a dear friend. And the kicker — a sweet little old lady from Orilla, Ontario contacted me through my website and asked to order some of my ooooold Christmas card designs from 2005 (I mean, only one person has contacted me from that site ever, and I’m not marketing it at all. It’s got to be page 100 or something if you googled it!). I felt the creative part of my soul coming alive again. If these had happened as isolated opportunities, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Because I really am that dense.
Slowly, but surely since then, I’ve been getting my creative mojo back. It helps to that my sister comes into my room for impromptu brainstorming sessions on what we can do with our respective creative skills and interests.
In January I went a little overboard actually. In the course of one weekend, I finished several major projects. Some were new projects for the year, but most of them were projects that had been waylayed 3.5 years ago when the burnout truck hit me. I seriously didn’t know if I would ever finish some of them.
With the new light, there is new life, and new fruitfulness. Bear for my friend’s baby in Japan: I started this one 3.5 years ago and didn’t think it would ever be complete. But thanks to my friend’s Facebook “home made pay it forward challenge” I had new motivation. This bear was quite the work in process — it’s the same one that my friends winced at because the incomplete look of his face appeared scary to them. He turned out alright in the end I think!

Home Hankerchiefs: In an effort to reduce my carbon footprint, save money (you would be amazed how much it cost to pay someone else for a simple square piece of cloth), and re-learn/revive my sewing skills, I embarked on the quest to sew my own hankerchiefs. The empty envelope box from my Christmas mailing was the perfect object-of-otherwise-waste to be reclaimed and reused as my “kleenex box”. I may decide to make it prettier one day, but for now it’s good enough for my at-home-only-use.

Cushion covers: to update and tie my new couches and cotton throws together. Man were these a breeze and treat to sew after the grueling hankerchief project!

Whew! I admit it was a little excessive. I am acutely aware of my old tendencies of productivity-addiction peeking through here. I want to be careful to not get hooked again on getting things done just for the sake of getting them done, even if they are fun and creative.

But for now, it’s just good to feel the creative juices running again.