Joanna : Quirky by design

Calligraphy workshop with Joanna from Quirky by design

X NIHILO team and #friendsofxnihilo had the opportunity to experience a private Calligraphy 101 workshop with Joanna, who's behind all of the hand-painted personalised quotes and initials on your favourite X NIHILO bags! 

Joanna calligraphy workshop with x nihilo

Meet the Artist

Let's get to know more about this Melbourne calligrapher. Jo's love for calligraphy started when she was only 7 years old! Her grandpa - Mr Chia was the one who inspire Joanna to become the amazing calligrapher she is today. After working as an engineering researcher and obtaining her doctorate in 2015, Joanna quit her job and gave herself a chance for her dream to shine. We were very impressed with her skills and craft. 

What is Calligraphy?

Derived from the Greek words for “beauty” (kallos) and “to write” (graphein), calligraphy literally means “the art of beautiful handwriting.” And what a rich history this art has.

Joanna started off with the basics needed for Calligraphy which includes the tools. Paper (of course), Ink, Nib (and a nib holder). Details of basic angles, how to hold your nib and holder correctly...etc. I can't remember because we were just too excited to actually start writing lol!

Time to dip!

When it was time, Joanna let us start writing straight away. I wish I had paid more attention earlier. This is actually not as easy as she made it looks! Joanna makes it look so easy. We started writing from a-z, and that only took us... say... 1 hour!!! As we kept practicing it got easier and easier to control the angle and weight we wanted.


Once every 5 mins Joanna would say 'remember to breathe ladies', because we were so concentrated that she could tell we were holding our breath. Joanna said that Calligraphy is more like a form of meditation to her. It's not about the speed; slow and steady is the key. Once you get used to it, you'll feel it's very therapeutic.

@michellacc : Bank mini b/w | @itskeyleigh : Bank mini b/w | @theversastyle : Hunter

Make it yours

X NIHILO partnered with Joanna to create a personalisation service exclusively for your X NIHILO bags - it is only offered on the X NIHILO official website. Each bag is hand painted by Joanna so each is unique in its own way (and the only 1 in the world!). We take pride in this service because we're helping keep this dying art alive, supporting a local Melbourne artist and a friend as well as donating 10% of the profit from this personalised service to ONE GIRL - a not-for profit organisation that helps educate girls in Africa.

@mollysmyth : Bank mini b/w | @therubyreport : Bank mini b/w | @thegreyhaus : Chaser

We hope you will have a chance to try out Calligraphy for yourself one day and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Great news if you're in Melbourne, be sure to check out Joanna's next workshop!



See Personalisation inspiration here  

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