Words Take Flight with the Letter Sparrow

“WHERE WORDS TAKE FLIGHT”. This is the heartbeat of hand letterer and calligrapher Kelly Hollstrom, also known as The Letter Sparrow, who gives life to words through her creative work. When we met up with Kelly, we were treated to a morning of storytelling and sharing. From hearing about her youthful days growing up in Detroit to her move to Southern California, Kelly shared her excitement about life and learning. There is a giving nature to workshop instructors who are eager to share their craft with others. This is the case for Kelly who loves giving away her passion, knowledge and excitement to all her students.

Kelly began her journey with hand lettering calligraphy in 2012. She made a few hand lettered canvas pieces for her friends and family. They were so well-received that Kelly continued hand lettering and creating all sorts of projects. Soon thereafter, she launched an Etsy shop to sell her work. Not too long after that, Kelly began to focus on calligraphy and fell in love with the art. What she loves about modern calligraphy is being able to move out of the more traditional forms and create words in different ways. Kelly has had the opportunity to teach workshops in several states and is excited to be teaching throughout Southern California.


What do you love about calligraphy?

“I love everything about it. I love the flow, the ink, the messiness of it, even when I get ink in my cuticles. It’s like the calligraphy stays with you. I love the whole process. I love trying out new ink. I love its versatility.”

What do you love about teaching workshops?

“I love meeting people through the workshops. I love meeting different artists through this community. I love watching my students learn and getting something new. I love when the students go from ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ to seeing progress and then getting it the next line.”

What inspires you?

“Some things that inspire me are nature, colors, shapes, textures, architecture! I really love color and the possibilities of different colors. I think this is what got me into watercolor calligraphy too.”

Here are some of Kelly’s Do’s and Don’ts for Beginners in Calligraphy:


  1. Practice, practice, practice! Make practice fun!
  2. Watch your line-up
  3. Remember - thicker downstrokes and thinner upstrokes


  1. Twist or curl your wrist
  2. Press too hard on your upstrokes
  3. Forget to practice!

Visit her website at: http://www.lettersparrow.com/

Kelly is a native of Detroit, Michigan. She currently resides in Orange County with her husband and son. She is a full-time calligrapher and workshop instructor.

Register for her upcoming workshop:

Modern Calligraphy - Saturday, May 14 (2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.)