Today I’m so excited to introduce you to my insta-friend, Evelyn, for the second installment of Creative Interviews! Evelyn and I found each other through Instagram and slowly became friends through the glimpses of life found in those little squares. I always appreciate her authenticity, encouraging spirit, and beautiful hand-lettering! Read on to see how Evelyn decided to pursue her passion for calligraphy!
Preferred medium: Paper, pointed pen and ink
Favorite spot in your home: Our living room
Ideal way to spend a Saturday: Playing games, napping and watching Netflix at home with my husband (sweatpants obviously required).
Biggest inspiration: Being outside! I’m a huge fan of hiking so I love getting fresh air into my lungs, seeing the amazing colours and shapes nature has to offer and getting my body moving.
Favorite color: White (I know, I’m boring)
//via Bon Paper House
When did you begin calligraphy and getting into hand-lettering? Do you have any formal training?
My journey through calligraphy and hand lettering can be attributed to so many different people in my life. One of my good friends started teaching herself calligraphy several years ago which inspired my sister to try as well. I picked it up while planning our wedding a year and a half ago using my sister’s supplies, but didn’t return to it until January 2016. My husband and I were both pursuing our Masters degree in math in Germany at the time and calligraphy was definitely a way for me to retreat and unwind from the stresses and challenges of school, living in a new country and being far away from family. My sister in law is also a calligrapher and introduced me to the Modern Calligraphy Summit, an online two week workshop. Up to this point, I hadn’t taken a class in calligraphy, but was just learning from free online resources, so MCS was really where I discovered my own style.
How did you come up with the name Bon Paper House?
This was probably the only real candidate I had for a business name! We were living in the city of Bonn, Germany when calligraphy started picking up for me and it was also the place my husband and I first called home. While I was brainstorming ideas for business names, I knew I wanted Bonn to be in it, but I honestly thought people would get confused and think I was located in Germany. As I was trying to decide whether or not to drop the second “n” in Bonn, I started thinking about everything that’s brought me to where I am now. Aside from all the love we have for Bonn, the journey of becoming an entrepreneur was (and is) full of so many things. Through all the difficulties, the fears, the nerves, the anxiety and everything else in between, it has been full of goodness and grace! So it was decided! Bonn – n = Bon = Good in French — sorry, the math in me is coming out!
When and how did you decide that you wanted to start selling your artwork?
So everyone’s life is stressful at some point, right? There’s no getting away from it! While we were in Germany, I really learned that I can handle stress, but all of it had me questioning whether it was worth it or not. I started evaluating my approach towards my Masters and towards calligraphy. They were completely different! While both areas were challenging, I dreaded studying and working on assignments whereas calligraphy was something that I loved tackling everyday. This began a nine month debate I had with myself: should I continue to pursue my Masters or pursue calligraphy right now? Finally, in October 2016, I put away my textbooks for good and decided to fully dive into entrepreneurship. Nothing significant happened to help me make my decision, I think I just needed to muster up the courage to take the leap — it also helped that my friends and family were super supportive!
//via Bon Paper House
What is the biggest thing you have learned about yourself since you’ve started selling your calligraphy work?
I’m introverted so I value my alone time a lot. However, transitioning into this stage of my life has tons of unknown variables so I’m constantly questioning myself and, unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers! Through this whole process of starting my own business, I’ve been able to connect with other creatives (like you, Heather!) who have not only been huge sources of comfort and encouragement, but have also offered lots of knowledge. I’ve learned that I really do love that sense of community because it’s just more fun to walk alongside others!
Does your art influence the way you decorate your home? If so, how?
Definitely! My style is organic, simple and clean so there are a lot of plants in our home with a pretty neutral palette (lots of whites and grays).
Where can people find you?