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A client asked me to interpret song lyrics that he wanted to gift to his friend pursuing music - namely, Smash Mouth's "All Star" lyrics translated from Aramaic to English. The request was relatively simple - black and red ink, use Fraktur and highlight certain lines, use some red dots as décor, and add a simple red border.

I decided to write on 9.5 in x 13 in parchment paper with a 1.5 mm nib and a 0.75 mm nib for the contrast. The 0.75 mm nib gave it a thin enough line and it came out nearly monoline. I added a simple filigree border and filled the space at the bottom with a bar because the client requested no byline or song name. This was an enjoyable yet challenging project for me but I learned a lot about spacing, planning, and fixing mistakes. The client was very pleased and I can't complain.

The month of February, I was busy with my first wedding commission. It's a big deal for me because I got to combine what I love - calligraphy and watercolor. It has been humbling and gratifying from start to finish. The bride and groom were so sweet, gracious, and they fully trusted me to make the decisions based on their color palette and text.

If you asked me two years ago, what I wanted to do, I just knew that I wanted to quit my then corporate tax job and career of ten years. If anyone asked me what I did, I used to cringe at saying tax accountant; maybe tax analyst felt a little better. Anytime someone at work told me, “you don’t seem like an accountant,” whatever that meant, I graciously took it as a compliment. That’s how much I despised it! Needless to say, there’s always a job in tax and it gave me a good paycheck and the stability that I needed back then. Plus some solid friends who were there with me to plan our escapes. I feel like I’m picking up where I left off in 2006, a couple of typography classes deep in college, working on paper, trying to fight the digital revolution. Fighting no more because I needed Photoshop to arrange everything.

I acknowledge more study and steady practice are required. These seem to have come out better than my own invites from last summer and for that, I can’t complain. I combined Fraktur with Italic, one of my favorite partnerships. The idea of combining small italic with larger Gothic letters as the headline was inspired by my teacher, Victor Kams from Madrid, Spain (Instagram: @misterkams). I was able to take a Zoom class with him in 2021 learning his Fraktur and double stroke Fraktur. I still draw inspiration from that class.

Invitation and Details card have been sent off to the printer. In April, once I get more details, I will start working on the Menu card and seating chart.

The last time I was in San Francisco, it was the 90's. I think I was 11 years old. I visited my dad for the summer when he was still living there. SF was his favorite city in the world right after Lake Tahoe. And before that summer visit, I was birthed there and we were on our way to NY soon after that. I don't know what took me so long to go back. I knew I wanted to see and try a lot of things. But with just one full day, I packed it in with a lot of walking, hours of calligraphy inspiration at the San Francisco Public Library, and a letterpress workshop. I look forward to being back next summer during the calligraphy conference in Sonoma.

Calligraphy from left to right: Susie Taylor, Marie Angel, Imre Reiner, Yukimi Annand, Carl Rohrs, Rick Paulus, and Rudolf Koch.

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