Meet the Maker: Modern Calligrapher Joyce Lee
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Meet the Maker: Modern Calligrapher Joyce Lee

Difficulty Advanced
Budget £10 - £30
Time 1 hr +

Joyce Lee is a Modern Calligrapher who works under the pen name Artsynibs. Her work appears effortless and full of life, encouraging all who view to try their hand at calligraphy themselves. Artsynibs run calligraphy workshops that fit this bill precisely. We’ve asked Joyce about her journey as a calligrapher, the materials that she uses, and her advice to anyone wishing to pursue and perfect their own hand lettering techniques.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what your work involves:

I’m Joyce, and I go by the pen name Artsynibs. This moniker has evolved to become more of a brand on its own and it specialises in modern calligraphy. My creative journey can be found mainly on Instagram, where I showcase the commissioned work I do, workshops I lead, and companies I collaborate with.



How did you first become involved in calligraphy, and how long have you been a practising calligrapher for?

In my family, we have a tradition of collecting fountain pens. We’ve had a few vintage pens along the way and I was fascinated by how they were so elaborately crafted. Long story short, that sparked my interest in the art of beautiful writing.

I picked up the pointed pen for the first time about 6 years ago, and never looked back!


Where do you find inspiration?

On some days, the people I speak to inspire me. Conversations with fellow business owners and creatives get me going. On other days, the buzz of the city fuels my creativity. I suppose my inspiration mostly comes from rather city-like avenues.



What do you think it is about hand lettering that resonates in today’s world?

Personally, I feel that it’s the accessibility of tools that makes it so popular. It’s not as daunting as calligraphy or sign painting, where the tools are more specialised and techniques more disciplined. Hand lettering reminds us of the days we doodled on our textbooks or adorn our study notes.


What tools and inks do you reach for the most?

When it comes to pointed pen calligraphy, it’s usually the straight holder, with a Principal nib and Sumi ink.

Brush lettering wise, it’s the Pentel Aquash water brush and walnut ink.


What surfaces do you find best to work on?  

Smooth paper, the smoother the better! However, most of my commissioned work sees the use of handmade paper. It’s gorgeous textured paper!



Tell us about a piece of work that you are particularly fond of:

I’d say it’s the “Enjoy the Little Things” tote bag. When it comes to business, it’s generally about the numbers at the end of the month. But with this product, I dived into it with the sole intention of producing something that I can call my own. Since it was created purely because I loved the idea, it’s definitely one of my favourites. For now, it’s only given out to attendees of an Artsynibs Workshop, which you can find out about on my website.



What are 3 tips that you would share with a budding calligrapher?

  1. Be kind to yourself.
  2. Start with a pencil.
  3. The hardest thing won’t be the techniques. It’ll be slowing down.



What’s next for you?

I’m hoping to fully commit to this passion that’s been brewing for a while – to convince more companies to take a second look at calligraphy and/or handwriting. It’s something worth investing in, be it in the form of products or for internal training.



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