Junior draws inspiration from calligraphy creations

Leah Matlin and Carly Uhlig

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Junior Cameron Fong concentrates as she practices writing calligraphy. Fong uses calligraphy to create cards and vinyl stickers. She also has an Instagram account where she features her work. Photo by Carly Uhlig.

Eyes fixated on her work, junior Cameron Fong’s pen glided across the paper creating smooth, precise strokes of lines and loops. Fong began to create calligraphy when she was in eighth grade, and she quickly began sharing her passion. She regularly posts her work on Instagram while occasionally making money on the side.

“People pay me to do art,” said Fong. “I designed some Christmas cards, I’ve done birthday cards here and there and then [stickers for] water bottles.”

Fong said she creates vinyl stickers of her calligraphy, puts them on water bottles and then sells the decorated bottles for $25 each. Last year she made over $100 because her mother’s friends wanted to gift the bottles to teachers.

John-Michael Korpal, artist at Flying Dolphin Studio, said in a phone interview that calligraphy can be an umbrella term that fits many different types of script and is a way of communicating with others. In Greek, calligraphy means “beautiful writing.”

“Traditional calligraphy is very strict, … and everything is very formulated,” said Korpal. “With modern calligraphy, it is definitely more of a free expression. It’s more interpretive.”

Fong said she has an Instagram account where she posts her calligraphy several times a week.

“[The account was] just something fun for me to do outside of school.

“It was just going to be for me to see my own progress. … But then people started liking what I made, so I just kept going. [Then the account] started being for other people and myself,” Fong said.

  According to Fong, singer-songwriter Dodie Clark used to follow her account and direct messaged her asking Fong to design a tattoo for her.

“Unfortunately I was not able to at the time … because she wanted it that night.

“I really wasn’t able to, and I felt so bad because it was so cool. [That] could’ve been my art on her skin. It was a ‘La La Land’ quote [that said] ‘A bit of madness is key,’” Fong said. 

While she doesn’t get paid for her work, senior Yejin Seo said she often makes phone screensavers for friends with the calligraphy she creates.

“My friend went to a concert and took pictures, and she really wanted it as a wallpaper,” said Seo. “So she sent me a lyric she liked, and I wrote that [in calligraphy on the picture] for her.”

Seo said she used calligraphy to create a logo for Humble to One, Glenbrook North’s Christian club, and created a poster for Revival Night, an event where Christian clubs from local high schools congregate. She hopes to get paid for her calligraphy and use it as a possible side-job in college. 

According to junior Piper Sonen, she has been interested in calligraphy for a while, and she plans to bring calligraphy to GBN students by next semester. She expects to start a club where members learn calligraphy and drink tea.

Fong enjoys calligraphy because she considers it a mindless activity where she can relax and listen to music.

“Not only is it really pretty and fun, but it’s also kind of therapeutic because I like words and just writing whatever [I] want,” Fong said.

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