Copperplate, Calligrafriends, and Coffee with Younghae Chung

At M.Lovewell, we love sharing the story behind the artist. It's been one of our favorite things to do as we get to meet each artist and hear about how they learned and have grown in their craft. It's always something so personal and unique so we consider it a privilege to hear their stories and be able to share them with you. We are always inspired and our spirit of learning something new is again challenged and ignited.

Recently, we got to chat with calligrapher Younghae Chung over some coffee. Here’s a closer look at Younghae:

Younghae teaches both beginner and intermediate workshops in Copperplate calligraphy

Younghae teaches both beginner and intermediate workshops in Copperplate calligraphy

 

Younghae was first introduced to Copperplate calligraphy about a year ago at an art supply store in Florida. From a desire to create hand lettered prints for her home, she found herself wanting to tap into her creative spirit and learn something new. With one college calligraphy class under her belt, she google searched “calligraphy classes” and stumbled upon a local advertisement for a Copperplate workshop and decided to sign up.

“I asked my husband to watch the kids for the weekend so I could take the class,” the mother of two recalls. “We joke about how I would never be where I am with calligraphy if he had said no.” Attending the workshop was an experience that launched her into the world of calligraphy. The class was taught by Kaye Hanna of “Lavish Lettering”, a master calligrapher with over 28 years experience. Younghae found her kind and humble spirit and love of calligraphy to be contagious. Younghae fell in love with the art, finding the script to be elegant and its practice both therapeutic and calming.

The written word has also been an important part of Younghae’s journey. She enjoys writing words from Scripture to visually capture messages of truth and hope. It has now become a way for her to bless others through providing custom prints. Just over a year later, after much practice and dedication to this art, Younghae is now teaching and passing on the love of calligraphy to many others.

What do you love about Copperplate calligraphy?

“I love the structure and methodology. Learning the foundations of Copperplate calligraphy has trained my eye to know how to write the letterforms. From there, one can branch off and develop his/her own calligraphy style”.

“In a tech-driven world, I love that I get to be part of a niche handlettering community that encourages people to go back to something that is personal.” 

What advice do you have for beginners in calligraphy?

“It takes discipline, critical practice, and A LOT of time. Don’t get discouraged if you are starting out and your writing doesn’t look like someone you see on IG or Pinterest! I’ve read somewhere that it takes about 4-6 months to see progress in your penmanship. In some way, calligraphy is different from handwriting because you are learning how to write with a foreign tool and re-training your mind to understand proper form and hold. Continue to practice, write snail mail to friends, give hand lettered gifts. When I first started off, I offered to do calligraphy for various events and write custom prints for friends. My focus wasn’t on money, but to gain learning opportunities and experiences that were priceless.

“Engage with the community! You can research local guilds/clubs or simply be active on IG. Ask questions, leave encouraging comments. Everyone in this community is so willing to share and help each other. Some of my closest calligrafriends have started from leaving comments on each other’s feed.

Want to be a #calligrafriend?

Calligrafriend (n.) - friends in the calligraphy community

What’s been one of your favorite projects?

“I recently finished a custom print for a family who asked me to write a prayer they say to their children every night before bed. I love hearing people’s stories and am humbled to be part of their lives in this way. Creating something meaningful like this is what makes me love what I do”

 

Fun Tip from Younghae:

New calligraphy nibs need to be prepared because they come with a special coating to prevent them from rusting. There are so many ways to remove the coating (eraser, alcohol wipes, toothpaste, boiling water), but when Younghae needs to prep 20+ nibs at once, she sticks them in a potato and let the starch help remove the coating! A tip she picked up from her fellow classmates at the workshop in Florida. Brilliant! 

Younghae is a native of Queens, NY. She currently resides in Southern California with her husband and two sons. She is a full-time mom and calligrapher. 

Visit her website at: Logos Calligraphy

Register for her upcoming workshop:

Introduction to Copperplate Calligraphy - Sunday, April 10 (2:30-5:30 p.m.)