In honor of the White House’s National Week of Making, we’re celebrating ALL makers — budding and experienced ones alike — and launching our “This is the week that I…” campaign! To kick things off, we’re chatting with Lauren Fitzmaurice, the brilliant and wildly talented winner of our 50 Days of Lettering Challenge. Scroll on to learn more about Lauren’s inspo for creating pieces and how she stays motivated!
1. When did you first fall in love with calligraphy?
I started calligraphy in January of 2015. I had always been creative, loved handwriting and dabbled in all kinds of crafts, but I hadn’t really found my niche as a maker. My family had just overcome a difficult year with our youngest son having open heart surgery right after he was born. The entire focus of the year was helping him heal and getting our family into a new routine, all while balancing life and my full-time teaching job.
I started 2015 feeling a little burnt out from the difficult year and needed something creative to do for myself. I stumbled on a few calligraphy Instagram accounts and blogs and decided I would give it a try. Little did I know just how much I would fall in love with calligraphy and lettering.
2. Tell us about your first week doing calligraphy. How did you feel inspired + stay motivated?
Once I figured out that I wanted to try calligraphy, I went to the craft store, loaded up on all kinds of supplies and started looking at every resource for calligraphy that I could find. I found several classes online for pointed pen calligraphy and started practicing several hours every night. To stay motivated, I began to participate in the calligraphy community on Instagram and began to post my work. It was inspiring to see the amazing work that other calligraphers were producing and it made me feel so determined to figure it out for myself.
3. What was the hardest part about getting started?
Calligraphy is definitely not a hobby that is easy to master instantly. It takes lots of practice and perseverance. I am left-handed as well, and this also added a little challenge to the learning process. It is very difficult to not compare yourself with other people and where they are in their creative journey. To overcome this struggle, I just stuck to my practice, participated in the calligraphy community by reaching out and learning from other letterers and began to find a style all my own. The more I focused on my own goals and journey, the more confident I felt. I now hope to inspire others with my work and help aspiring calligraphers begin their own lettering adventures.
4. What is one unusual thing you do to feel creative and inspired?
If I’m ever feeling like I need a boost, I just pick up a few of my favorite things! A large iced coffee with lots of cream and sugar, a sprinkled donut and an upbeat playlist of music always seem to give me a little pep in my creative step! I also start every single lettering session with a good pencil doodle in my sketchbook to get those ideas flowing.
5. What’s one creativity tip you would give to aspiring full-time makers?
Since I am also a mom, wife and full-time teacher, I do most of my calligraphy at night, once the events of the day are complete and my kiddos are asleep, and on weekends. I often get asked how I am able to run my calligraphy business on top of all of the other things on my plate, and it is all about carving out a few hours every night to be creative.
Adding this couple hours of creativity to my daily routine has completely transformed how I feel and approach everything in my life and has added some much-needed balance. I encourage aspiring full-time makers to find their niche and passion as a maker and carve out a little time every day to master their craft and create things that inspire others.