About Lona Lee

I am originally from Queens, New York, where I grew up binging on pizza and bodega snacks. At school, I carried a large stash of colored pencils and gel pens for writing elaborate school notes (read: nerd). I enjoyed mimicking signatures and others' handwriting styles, and I forged my mom's well enough that she often couldn't discern if she or I signed on the parent's signature line. After high school, without a clear direction in life and only a sheer desire to chase the sun, I went to the University of Southern California and got a degree in Sociology with a minor in Design. That sprightly spirit also led me to a semester in Florence and a summer workshop in Barga, Italy, learning intaglio printmaking (multi-plate color etching). Looking back, intaglio has proven beneficial in my current study of calligraphy and love of color. 

A lot of 'life' happened in my twenties and I kept much of my creative side dormant. I went to grad school and worked as a corporate tax accountant for a good ten years. During the Covid pandemic of 2020, I picked up calligraphy earnestly and took advantage of not having to commute into the office every day. After joining numerous workshops with various internationally-admired calligraphers and committing to nightly practices, I decided to follow my heart, leave my corporate job, and feed this starved creative child living inside of me. Now, as a full-time calligraphy and lettering student (part-time other things), my favorite thing to do is create compositions and unsolicited cards for friends. A lot of my inspiration comes from my teachers and calligraphy idols like Carol DuBosch, Barbara Calzolari, Victor Kams, Ed Benguiat, David Choe, and all artists from formal to street. I am intrigued by the dualities around me - east/west, concrete jungles/tree-filled forests, formal/casual, traditional/modern, and I try to interpret these concepts in my creations. I also enjoy bookbinding, watercolor classes, yoga, street tacos, and anything outdoors with my husband, Dae. I live and work in the South Bay area of Los Angeles.

To inquire about purchasing original artwork, private commissions, or any other questions, please email me at hello@lonalee.com

To see my latest practice sheets, check out @lona.letters on Instagram. 

Based in Los Angeles, California

Photo: Carissa Woo Photography