Meet Angelo Meola, Manuscript’s January Featured Artist. With a passion for fine calligraphy and lettering, check out the interview below to find out all about Angelo and where his love for calligraphy and lettering came from.
When did your passion for Calligraphy & Lettering begin?
It was circa 2009 and I had just returned from my travels in Africa and I was thirsty for learning and discovery. Almost by chance I came across the most beautifully addressed envelope – it was delicate and the ink danced across the paper. I spent 10 minutes staring at this envelope, I could not believe what I was looking at. That was the moment that calligraphy came into my life and resonated, cliché but as they say the rest was history.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
There are so many inspiring calligraphers to list, for me John Stevens from the US is up there, what a fantastic talent. Whilst I was training here in the UK, I had awesome mentors like Nicola Dunn & Keiko Shimoda. I think it is important to be around other calligraphers, for guidance, to bounce ideas around etc. It does not always have to be in person, even though we practice an ancient art form, technology makes it very easy to find online calligraphy communities.
In your opinion, what are the hardest and the most rewarding parts of practicing calligraphy?
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, as a perfectionist learning to love your own work is difficult and you will always find faults. However, sometimes it is those imperfections that humanise calligraphy and they are the parts we come to love. There are many rewarding aspects within calligraphy, however for me it is hugely satisfying when your mind and hand become one and are in total synchronisation, void of any distractions with the sole purpose of making your mark– its an awesome feeling!
Do you have a favourite style?
One of my favourite scripts to scribe is copperplate, it is a delicate script and requires a light touch to allow the nib to dance across the paper, plus it always looks so beautiful.
What are the most exciting projects you have worked on and what are you working on at the moment?
The commissions I enjoy the most are the personal ones, working one on one with the client, be it a love letter or a wedding proposal. At the moment I am working on some well known poems which will be available soon from my site.
How does your work relate to your everyday life?
For me I find calligraphy helps void the mind and slow me down a little, actually allowing me time to take notice. In today’s hectic world, time can often escape us, and it is easy to forget it doesn’t actually have to be like that. Calligraphy helps me to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
What are your favourite tools to use?
Manuscript’s Chinese Patterned Ink Stick and an EF Principal Nib – that’s all I need! Oh, and lots of paper!
If you could give any advice to those starting out in the art of calligraphy, what would it be?
Look at scripts like Italic or Round-hand and Foundational, these scripts have rules and guides to follow and teach discipline, there are many historical exemplars you can look at and study and plenty of books with tutorials. These provide a great basis for calligraphy and allow you to learn other scripts and become more expressive. Most importantly just enjoy it! No one was born with the ability to do beautiful calligraphy, it requires just your time and effort.
To find out more about Angelo and how you can get in touch with him, visit his website.