Workshop Instructor: Kate Coogan

Kate Coogan is the creator and founder of P+H Chalk. Her lettering is admired by over 20k followers on Instagram from around the world. It’s our privilege to host one of Kate’s workshops this week and to share a glimpse of her lettering journey!

It was Kate’s daughter’s 1st birthday. And like many moms wanting to create something special for their kids, Kate wanted to make a chalkboard birthday sign. This led her to do some online research in order to teach herself how to design and letter a chalkboard. This project was her first chalk creation! Soon after, she began creating chalkboard signs for her friends and family members. What began as a small project and growing hobby turned in a crafted skill and passion. Now three years later, Kate has launched her own Etsy shop selling various lettering pieces and custom work. She also creates projects for weddings and special events and teaches lettering workshops.

Kate’s artistry extends beyond her lettering skills. She is also a ballet dancer and instructor. Kate has studied ballet since she was 4 years old. She currently teaches ballet to both children and adults in dance studios in Orange County.

Whether through written word or dance, Kate is gifted with the art of expression. Her passion is to share these forms of art with her students. Her lettering journey continues to grow, as she loves using a variety of mediums from brush pens to chalk markers!

Here’s more from Kate!

What are some of projects you enjoy working on?

“I love working on wedding stuff. I get to be part of someone’s special day and create something that will often end up on a wall or in someone’s home.”

What’s one of the more challenging projects you’ve worked on?

“I’ve worked on wedding seating charts. This is when I write every guest’s name on the board. They take a long time because I grid out the entire board and it’s about precision.  I’ve done seating charts with about 200 names.”

What do you enjoy about teaching workshops?

“I enjoy helping students work through their struggles, similar to the ones I experienced when I was learning. Students experience an AHHA moment and something clicks. I love that. I also love meeting students and geeking out over pens and ink and paper.”

What do you enjoy about chalk lettering?

“It can be overwhelming when working with a large space on a chalkboard. It’s a medium that not everyone is usually familiar or comfortable. I like to give my students examples of outlines and how to fill up the board with banners and laurels. I get to show how a blank board can be transformed into art.”

What are some tips about using chalk vs. chalk marker?

“With chalk, you can change it all the time. You can sharpen chalk to have a tip using the wide end of a pencil sharpener. You can also dip it in water to make it a bit smoother. Chalk has a more rustic look so it gives that feel.”

“Chalk markers are similar to paint markers. You have that ink and paint feeling. You have to get them ready by shaking them and preparing the tip. You have to keep doing that while you are using it.”

Visit her website at:

Kate was born and raised in Long Beach, CA. She currently resides in Orange County with her husband and two daughters.