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 workshop 101 with Joanna, who's behind all the hand-painted personalisation quotes and initials on your favourite X NIHILO bags! 

Joanna calligraphy workshop with x nihilo

Meet the Artist

We were very impressed with her skills and craft. 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 obtained her doctorate in 2015, Joanna quit her job and gave her dream a chance to shine. 

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 with the very basic of Calligraphy which is the tools. Paper (of course), Ink a Nib (and a nib holder). Details of basic angles, how to hold your nib and holder correctly...etc. I can't remember because we're just too excited to actually start writing lol

Time to dip!

When it's 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 keep practicing it got easier and easier to control the angle and weight we wanted.


Once every 5 mins Joanna will say 'remember to breathe ladies', because we were so concentrated she can tell we were holding our breath. Joanna said that Calligraphy is more like a 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 this personalisation service exclusively for your X NIHILO bags - service only offered on the X NIHILO official website. Each bag is hand painted by Joanna so they're all unique in its own way (and only 1 in the world!). We take pride in this service because we're keeping this dying art alive, supporting Melbourne artist and a friend as well as donating 10% of the profit from this personalised service to ONE GIRL - an not-for profit organisation helping education for girls in Africa.

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

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



See Personalisation inspiration here  

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