We frequently receive questions from aspiring calligraphers looking for advice on where, and how to get started with their calligraphy business. If you love calligraphy and you’re looking to turn your hobby into a business, you’re going to love today’s calligraphy advice post. We’re sharing our best, most helpful tips for those of you who are newer to the calligraphy business world, and hoping to earn money from your love of calligraphy. Plus, we’re sharing a few resources for you to get support and mentorship for your new or growing calligraphy business.
When I started Laura Hooper Calligraphy, which has now grown into Laura Hooper Design House, about 19 years ago, it consisted of a LOT of Googling for useful information, trial and error, and just figuring out what worked and what didn’t. There were no workshops, or calligraphy skills tutorials for learning the style of calligraphy I was interested in. There were no business boot camps or resources. Furthermore, calligraphy was considered a dying art form, and blogging was barely in existence, much less social media! It was overwhelming and isolating, to say the least.
If you’re just beginning, and looking to start or grow a calligraphy business, you’re in the right spot. Today, we’re sharing a few of our most helpful tips and resources for those who are at the very early stages of their calligraphy business and not quite sure where to start.
Develop Your Portfolio
One of the best things that you can do for yourself if you’re just starting your calligraphy business is to develop your portfolio of work. You must have examples of your work and your calligraphy styles to show potential clients or customers. Developing a portfolio of your work is one of the best things that newer aspiring calligraphers can do for themselves when they are working towards turning their passion into a business.
Create a Website
As you’re working on building out your portfolio of calligraphy work, the next thing that those who want to start or up-level their calligraphy business must do is create a professional-looking website with a custom domain. Your website will house your calligraphy portfolio of work so that you’ll be able to show potential clients or customers.
Many times, beginners just want to rely on having only a social media account for their business. As you grow and up-level your calligraphy business, the next move is a professional website with a custom domain address that makes it clear that this is a business and not a hobby.
A bonus tip here is that in addition to a website for your aspiring calligraphy business, you’ll want to strongly consider an email address at your custom domain versus a Gmail email address.
Just these two small steps of a website and custom email address will significantly upgrade the professionalism of your calligraphy services as you take them from hobby to business.
Invest in Imagery
After you work on building your portfolio and setting up a professional website, the next thing that aspiring calligraphy business owners will want to do is invest in imagery or photographs of your work. Calligraphy is a visual medium and with high-quality photos, you’ll be able to best showcase your work.
You’ll want to invest in photography either from a professional photographer or learn about doing the photography yourself with proper lighting and layouts, as high-quality photos will best show off your high-quality calligraphy.
If you’re looking to find clients and customers for your new calligraphy business, one of the best things that you can do for your business is to network. Do your research, and attend industry networking events in your area.
You can also reach out to other fellow businesses or peers in your area who you might be interested in working with or collaborating with. One of the best ways to build and grow your calligraphy business is to meet new people and invest time in creating connections with fellow businesses in your community.
In addition to networking with peers in your industry and local market, if you’re looking to grow or up-level your calligraphy business, you might consider trading services with others in your area. The opportunities for collaboration and exchanging services are endless, as there might be other colleagues in your area who are also looking to grow their business.
For example, you might offer your services to a photographer who takes images of wedding invitations that you designed for a photo shoot. In this exchange, you’ll both build your portfolios.
Private 1:1 Coaching and Mentoring
We’ve received many requests for a calligraphy business mentorship program over the past several years. Sometimes our students just want someone to talk to, or get customized advice. Even 11 years in, one major benefit to bringing my sister Alyssa on board as Director of Operations at Laura Hooper Design House was simply having someone to sound ideas off of and discuss direction, revenue streams, and step-by-step logistics to getting things done.
We are so honored to be able to offer private one-on-one calligraphy mentorship and coaching calls that are tailored to your individual needs and where you are at with your work and your business. Mentees can be pointed-pen calligraphers, letterers, or custom stationery designers. We can talk about social media for your calligraphy business, or even if you’re looking to turn your calligraphy hobby into a profitable business, a private coaching call with us might be a great option for you.
If you’d like to discuss any personalized questions you have regarding calligraphy technique, calligraphy as a business, or social media for your business, you can now invest in à la carte private calligraphy mentorship sessions with us. The private virtual session(s) can be utilized to review any course homework or discuss any personalized questions you have regarding calligraphy technique, calligraphy as a business, social media for your business, and more. These calls are catered to you and your specific needs.
Calligraphy Skills, Projects & Tips
If you are looking for calligraphy tutorials, skill and project-based videos, and business tips, we house this content exclusively on Patreon. There we have a bank of over 100+ videos that you can access based on your needs.
I know from personal experience that starting and growing a business can be a daunting endeavor, but hopefully, you’ll find these resources useful in your journey. As always, remember that everyone starts somewhere so just keep going and keep creating what you love!
Xo Laura & Alyssa