Joanna Krupnick never planned on opening the calligraphy set her mother had given her for Christmas one year. But when, in February 2015, she found herself stuck on a remote island during a mid-winter snowstorm, she unpacked it and immediately began honing a new craft.
“I practiced all day, every day for weeks and then I shared some photos on my own Instagram account and it got so much feedback,” Krupnick told CBSN. By May, she had been hired to address invitations to a wedding. “It was obviously extremely stressful because it’s someone’s wedding.”
The digital technology native used Instagram as the platform to promote her old-fashioned designs, and ultimately launch a new career and start a business called Order She Wrote.
The self-taught calligrapher initially fielded requests from friends and friends-of-friends. She now is sought after by bigger outfits including Tiffany’s, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, or in her words, “companies that I was sure had tons of options to choose from.”
“That’s when I realized that I was in a much grander scale then I realized and that people really liked my writing,” she said.
Once she’d polished her craft, though, she needed to develop another new skill.
“The biggest hurdle is the business side. Putting value on this skill and my time and the service that I offer is tough because I wasn’t super business savvy when I first started,” she explained.
While a pen and paper — or seaglass, wood, mirrors, pumpkins and rocks — are at the heart of Krupnick’s calligraphy work, technology is also integral to her business’s success.
“Something like an iPad where you can write on it with a pencil is making it, I think, way more accessible for people to reproduce and to be able to digitize your writing forever is really awesome,” she said.
One virtue of digitization is being able to collaborate with other artists.
“To be able to share it, to be able to work with other artists to collaborate, every single person is different and you have something that no one else does, and to bring that forward is sort of the best thing you can do for yourself,” Krupnick said.