We got in touch with our customer, owner of a successful stationery shop and family business Pyaar in Hong Kong, Kirby Leung for this month’s featured artist piece. We hope you enjoy the below interview and calligraphy as much as we have.
What is your background and where did your calligraphy journey begin?
I did my undergraduate studies in Business Administration and Finance. Then a postgraduate degree in Education and then went on to get my masters in English Language Studies. However, none of those things interested me. Never in a million years did I think calligraphy would become my passion and joy. I started around 2 years ago, attending a brief workshop with my best friend in hopes of creating our own Christmas cards, and I haven’t been able to stop since.
Who / Where do you take your inspiration from?
Everyone and everywhere. I believe that everyone has something to teach and offer you, so I am always open to learning from new teachers, new techniques and whatever I can get my hands on!
What, in your opinion, are the hardest and the most rewarding parts of doing calligraphy?
The hardest part about calligraphy is not to feel defeated or that your work is not good enough. Social media makes it very easy to compare oneself to another, but calligraphy is not a race and we should move and progress at our own pace. However, once you have had a “break through”, now that’s the most rewarding or when someone appreciates the hand written card you have sent them.
Do you have a favourite style?
Copperplate is my absolute favourite. I started out doing Modern Calligraphy, and was convinced I wasn’t made for the traditional stuff, but now I basically spend all my time studying and practising Copperplate.
What are the most exciting projects you have worked on and what are you working on at the moment?
I love working for brands, doing on site calligraphy jobs and writing invitations to their events. At the moment, I am working on an envelope job for a wedding. I love working with different papers and inks for each project.
How does your work relate to your everyday life?
I own a stationery shop that also acts as my studio. I am lucky to do a job that I absolutely love.
What are your favourite tools to use?
Oblique pens and Leonardt EF Principal nibs are my fav. I love all sorts of inks, gouaches and watercolours. I like experimenting and trying new things.
What would your advice be to people new to the art of calligraphy?
Start with an open mind and remember that is should be fun first. Go on Instagram or youtube to find inspiration! Don’t be afraid to ask other questions, you would be surprised how amazing and open the calligraphy community is. Of course, taking classes, joining a local guild or events like IAMPETH are always fun too!