One of the serious perks of running Paige Tate is that we get to collaborate on fun projects with artists who are insanely talented and inspire us in all aspects of life: on running a business, being a wife, mom, and Christian, getting in that creative time and exploring and reflecting the beauty of the world we live in.
One of those artists who I absolutely ADORE is Whitney of Whitney Farnsworth Calligraphy and Design (click here for serious eye candy). Whitney is one of those down-to-earth souls you just love to be around. Her beautiful spirit is evident to everyone around her and she’s one of those girls you want to be total BFFs with. A wife and mother to her one-year-old daughter and furry pup (oh and a couple chickens out back!), Whitney makes time in her busy schedule of family obligations, hanging out with friends and teaching workshop classes to pursue her passion of living a quiet life and working with her hands. It has been such a joy to get to know her and see her creativity at work. Plus, she loves Dr. Pepper, so I knew from pretty early on we were going to get along!
We recently sat down with Whitney to spill all her juicy secrets about her craft and the life she lives.
First thing’s first. If you had to eat one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“Hands down, red velvet cupcakes from Bird Bakery here in San Antonio. I find it hard to stop at just one!”
What’s your go-to closet staple?
“Probably my Madewell skinny jeans. I seriously wear them five days a week – they’re just sooo comfortable.”
How did you get your start in calligraphy?
“I took a local class because I was kind of interested in it. Calligraphy is so beautiful and I just wanted to try it for myself. I fell in love with the scrolling script and the way the pen felt in my hand as I laced words across a page. When a friend asked me to help her design and address her wedding invitations I realized I could make something of this. I continued to practice and it just took off from there.”
How would you describe your style?
“I would characterize it as modern with a touch of whimsy. It’s important, as a designer, to figure out your style and to embrace it. It’s your signature.”
What are your favorite calligraphy tools?
“The tools you use can make or break your project. A good quality tool will give you a good quality result. I use a Speed Ball Oblique Pen Holder with Zebra G Nibs. The oblique pen helps me keep a consistent angle as I script and the nibs allow for smoother strokes and finer lines. The difference between the upstroke and down stroke is more dramatic and that’s what calligraphy is all about.
For paper, I like using a Tracing paper pad that I purchase from Hobby Lobby. It’s so smooth which makes it easier to write on and maintain my line guide. Finally, I use black Sumi Ink. The quality is bar-none and it makes digitizing designs so much easier because of the opaqueness of the ink. If I am going to work with color, I go with Winsor and Newton Designer Gouache because I’m able to create super custom ink colors when necessary. Winsor and Newton has a high quality product and I am always pleased with the results.”
Is there anyone that you would say has been your inspiration in your calligraphy journey?
“I love Betsy Dunlap. I was exposed to her talents about 10 years ago, and think the world of her. She is so experienced and has such a unique style and done a variety of projects.”
Speaking of projects, what are some of your favorite projects to work on?
“Oh, there are so many! All of them are my favorites so it’s hard to choose just a few! I’ve had the opportunity to be commissioned to do wall murals, banners, logos, coloring pages, invitations, and custom scripting – like the time I scripted a client’s wedding vows. I also really love to use chalk and do chalkboard scripting for a change in medium. Ultimately, I think I really enjoy the little projects and the customized ones. No one day, no one project is the same as another.”
Do you have any advice for beginners?
“You just have to get your hands dirty and try it. It might not be pretty at first but as the old adage says, ‘practice makes perfect’. As you get going, look for calligraphers that inspire you, develop your own style and then do your thing!”
Don’t you just love her?! We are so fortunate that we get to work with her! Be sure to check out her gorgeous work – WhitneyFarnsworth.com | Instagram | Pinterest. And, of course, you can see her work in Paige Tate & Co.’s coloring books, Wholehearted and Color at Home! And the best news ever?! Whitney is sharing this beautiful fall print for all of our newsletter subscribers! Sign up HERE to have this beauty sent straight to your inbox and be sure to tag us on social media and show us how you decorate your home for fall with this print!
Photo Credits: Carolann Morgan Photography