Tips from the Pros: Calligraphy with Jen Kruskamp of Jen K Calligraphy
Near and dear to our wedding hearts is, none other than, stationery! Beautifully crafted, custom wedding stationery sends the message to your guests that you mean business - this wedding is going to be marvelous! And if you plan for it, you can take that beautiful message over the top with calligraphy that is sure to make your guests swoon.
Whether you’re looking for hand-calligraphed envelope addressing, custom wedding crests or even beautiful signage and placecards at your reception, Jen Kruskamp of Jen K Calligraphy in Cincinnati, Ohio can assist. We’ve known Jen for some time now, and she’s a master at the art of calligraphy and putting those finishing touches on beautiful wedding stationery. We caught up with her to get all the inside information on making calligraphy work for you and your wedding!
Rock Paper Sisters: Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Jen. Tell us a little bit about you. How did you get started as a calligrapher, and what do you love most about your job?
Jen Kruskamp: I’m a wife and mama of 2 little cuties, lover of tacos & the color pink. Also, I’m a year-round iced coffee drinker! I got started in calligraphy when I had missed the sign up deadline for a small calligraphy workshop in Cincinnati (huge bummer), but my husband came through and surprised me for Christmas with a 12 week course in Copperplate (a very traditional and beautiful style of pointed pen). That was about 3 years ago.
I’ve always been “artistic” so to say, meaning in middle school I always doodled cute “signs” on notebook paper for my friends, and in high school I would paint the tear sheets for the football games. I love that calligraphy is something I can do that fills me up creatively, challenges me, and I can share it with others as well. (Who doesn’t love beautiful calligraphed happy mail?)
RPS: How long did it take you to perfect your craft as a calligrapher?
JK: Oh gosh, I’m far from perfect! I do teach calligraphy workshops in the Cincinnati area, and at every single one I tell the attendees its ALWAYS progress over perfection! That being said, I have come a long way from when I first started. To grow in calligraphy (or any skill really) you have to practice, practice, practice!
RPS: If people are interested in learning calligraphy as a hobby, where is a good place to get started? What are some tools that you recommend?
JK: A good place to get started if you want to learn calligraphy or hand-lettering is local workshops held by other calligraphers and online like YouTube and Instagram. Because there are different ways to do calligraphy, there are many different tools. For example, pointed pen you would need an oblique pen, nibs, ink and very smooth paper. For brush calligraphy all you need is a brush pen and smooth paper.
RPS: How do you see people incorporating calligraphy into their wedding day? Stationery? Signage? Personalized gifts?
JK: I love how “out-of-the-box” couples are thinking with how they want to incorporate calligraphy in their weddings. I saw one calligrapher who wrote names on macarons for placecards. So cute!
RPS: If couples are interested in adding calligraphy to their wedding details, what should they expect to budget?
JK: Pricing for calligraphy can vary. The average cost of envelope addressing is between $2-$4 (depending on location and calligraphers experience). Special projects like signs and placecards can vary in price depending on the size of the project.
RPS: Do you see specific trends emerging with calligraphy in 2018 - big and flourished, modern and handlettered, soft and simple?
JK: Oooh I love seeing the wedding trends change from season to season! I’ve been seeing a lot of moody/darker tones with pops of color, and I’ve seen a lot of fine art/organic/romantic trends like French blues, blush, and lots of greenery (my personal fave).
RPS: What are one or two pro tips that you want every couple to know when it comes to incorporating calligraphy into their wedding day?
JK: Calligraphy is an art form, and with any art form, it takes times. It may seem shocking, but you want to find a calligrapher/stationer as soon as you say “yes” to your beloved. Don’t wait or put it off! Also, find a calligrapher who’s style coincides with the vision of your big day! For example, if you’re having a very modern, industrial or rustic theme wedding, you may not want to go with a formal style of script like Copperplate. It’s all in the details!