Jenny Sanders of Graceline Art is with us today sharing all of her insight into the design and calligraphy world. Jenny is a personal friend of our curator, Liz Denfeld, and Jenny created the beautiful print included in our April box to reflect a personal motto that Liz lives by. Read on to learn about Jenny and how she is sharing her talents through her incredible work.
How did you begin your small business Graceline?
I had been doing calligraphy for a few years with Moira Ink and soon after a move to a new city, felt that the time was right to go out on my own. I was drawn more and more to a very minimal aesthetic , simple, clean designs, airy watercolor, and loose, organic calligraphy and wanted to explore that and see where the Lord leads!
Calligraphy seems like it is somewhat of a “lost art.” Where/how did you learn calligraphy?
I hear people say that a lot – but honestly it is truly becoming so much more prevalent. There are so many talented calligraphers out there these days doing great work and teaching workshops that it is really regaining a popularity again – which is great! As for me, I am actually self-taught. I had always loved lettering and handwriting – I was the girl in high school whose notes were always super fancy with headings and different lettering styles. I did not actually pick up a true dip pen seriously until about 6 years ago – and even then only off and on. I took to using the tools fairly quickly, which I learned on my own, however learning letterforms and refining your style takes practice and time. I really learned so much by looking to other calligraphers and letterers whom I admired – especially Crystal Kluge early on. As I continued to practice and glean from others my style began to change and become more of my own. It still changes and evolves and I hope it always will as I continue to learn and improve! The best advice that I could give any beginning calligrapher is to practice-practice-practice and to not be too hard on yourself – you will get there!
Where do you find the inspiration for your quotes?
My three favorite places are from the bible, from hymns, and quotes form books, although I have definitely used curated quote boards on pinterest for ideas for what to write! Usually if I hear or read something that something that inspires me I take a picture to remember for later.
You recently moved to Oregon—where did you move from, and tell us about this transition.
My husband John and I moved from Scottsdale, Arizona, where we had lived for five and a half years to Portland, Oregon in February of 2014. It was a big transition for us in many ways. In that year we lived in four different places and moved three times – which was a bit stressful. Another big transition for me was that up until the move, I was working part-time as a bookkeeper and when we moved I started doing my art and calligraphy full time for the first time!
The transition to Oregon has been wonderful – I truly love it here so much! I love the grey and the rain and actually get blue when it is sunny for too long. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest has my heart – the beautiful autumn, the amazing spring flowers, and even the beauty of bare winter branches are such an inspiration. I have also been so blessed to meet so many wonderful ladies here - most whom I met through Instagram. Oh, and the coffee shops are the best!
What are some of your favorite things to do with your family?
When I was very little, my mother used to cut out all sorts of different colors of construction paper for me in the shapes of different flowers, all with different layers, petals + stems as well as trees, grass, clouds and more and then I would get to play with them, making my own creations with the layers of the beautifully colored paper. I would rearrange them over and over with her and then she would or sometimes paste my arrangement’s down to the paper was something that I always enjoyed. Looking back I realize just how creative and artistic she was to do that!