Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Joanne and I'm a master calligrapher who's been doing calligraphy for more than 10 years now. Here's some background about my history. I graduated with a degree in Psychology (something that is completely unrelated to art) and decided to pursue calligraphy full time instead of finding a job like most people will. I did explore the jobs that were open in the market but felt that none of them were enticing enough for me to just casually commit 2 years of my life to to just "try it out". So I decided that if there was no "ideal" job in society, I'd create that role for myself and somehow, I started building my portfolio slowly.
I wasn't born an artist neither was I born into a particularly well off family. And definitely, my parents would've wanted me to earn a steady source of income through a regular job but in spite of growing up in such a conventional environment, this is why I chose otherwise:
Who I Was At The Start
So to give you some context on how I wound up doing what I do, here's some backstory for you to get a clearer idea. I was born a book worm (still am one), and was raised in typical Asian family. And being Singaporean, the academically driven mindset is reinforced continuously for a good 18-20 years of your life. I started calligraphy when I was 6 (if you read my bio), but only took it seriously as a business a couple of years back, and am only sharing it officially now because I thought it'll be nice to have a balance of both business related topics and personal related stories. So why I decided to have my own art business...
The Reason; part 1 (what I wanted to avoid)
Well, due to my experiences of working an office job, I chose not to work under the same conditions of being confined to a cubicle from 9-5 and have my creativity restricted to what I should do within a specified scope, that I couldn't exactly "edit". There's something fulfilling about creating your own brand but it does come with it's own set of struggles. Whatever I post on social media may seem easy, but behind the scenes, there's a whole lot of pitching to clients, brainstorming different ideas, coming up with new fonts and style, thinking of branding / marketing etc that people may not realize.
The Reason; part 2 (what I wanted to move towards)
I don't know what the future holds (but I know Who holds it), I don't know who I'll meet and I don't know all the answers for the next 5 years. I do have some vague and rough plans but I think what's more important than having everything all figured out all at once, is the willingness to be on a journey where you can challenge and even surprise yourself with how far you can go; a journey where you don't restrict and instead make an effort to continuously stimulate your intellectual growth.
There's a saying I believe in so much "So many exist, but few really live". It's scary walking into the unknown especially when everyone else is finding a job. But I'm someone who'd rather walk into the unknown knowing that I'm doing something I'm passionate about and use that uncertainty as an opportunity to boost my creativity, than to walk into any job and settle for less than what I could potentially create had I chosen the route of entrepreneurship.
So many artists create beautiful art, but I want to do more than just that. I believe that being an artist is so much more than just creating an end product of a beautiful masterpiece. I believe that being an artist is essentially capturing the entire process of what it's like to perceive, envision, tweak, create, replicate a schema or an idea as it transitions and eventually manifests into something finally (whatever it may be). I think being an artist is being able to do those processes in every aspect of life, not just on canvas.
And for those processes to take place, you need just the right concoction of uncertainty, instability, mystery, surprise, heart ache, pain, suspense, warmth, lostness, restlessness, satisfaction, joy, love etc as opportunities from which creativity can grow from. Afterall, we're made to create something out of nothing because that's what artists do isn't it?