Artistic lettering is an enjoyable and relaxing hobby for many people. Forgetting about the stress of the day and losing yourself in your art is beneficial to the heart and soul. Have you ever thought about turning your beloved hobby into a source of income? There is a lucrative market for talented calligraphers if you know where to find it. Hand-written lettering elevates the level of beauty and sophistication of any project, making it a popular choice for wedding invitations, signs, and even place cards. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, breaking into the market and honing your skills to make money doing something you love is within reach.
(mohamed_hassan / pixabay)
Learn Your Craft
If you have only dabbled in calligraphy in the past or haven't developed your own unique style yet, begin exploring and experimenting with different fonts and letters. You do not need to invent a brand new font, but it is nice to create a signature style. You may want to begin by mastering some fonts that you like. Then, give them your special touch. It is helpful to have a couple of unique styles from which your customers may choose. Ideally, these choices should be diverse enough to appeal to various tastes and be useful for different projects.
You may also want to experiment with different lettering tools and inks. Artists use brush pens, rollerball pens, and fountain pens for calligraphy. Each creates letters differently. Mastering more than one calligraphy method allows you to produce a wider variety of effects in your work.
It is challenging to define the worth of a product or service when you are new to the market. The best way to price your services is to familiarize yourself with what others are charging for the same product. Individuals who have been selling calligraphy know how long projects take and how much to charge for their time. Trust their experience and price yourself accordingly. You can always adjust your pricing in the future as your skills improve and you get a better feel for the work you are doing.
You might want to consider running a sale to attract your first customers and establish your business. If you can wow a few people into recommending you to their friends, that will help jumpstart your earnings.
Because calligraphy is a form of art, accurately showing potential clients what they are buying is imperative. Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than getting a product that looks nothing like what they ordered. Creating samples of your work and photographing them is the perfect way to show off your skills.
You don't need an SLR camera with multiple lenses. Modern phone cameras do an excellent job in most cases. However, you do need good lighting and a steady hand to avoid blurry or grainy images. Taking your pictures in a room with lots of natural light is best. A small tripod may also be helpful to hold your camera absolutely still. If you are concerned about taking your own pictures, find a friend or family member with more experience in photography that can help.
Just as you would stage a house to sell it, stage your photos to sell your art. Staging might involve placing a necklace, flowers, or lace near a beautifully addressed wedding invitation. If you are selling Christmas cards, consider placing holly in the photo or a string of lights. A hand-written menu next to a delicious dessert or drink is very fitting.
Placing your work in the appropriate setting allows customers to envision their own project in the context that others will view it.
Develop a Workflow
In every successful business, there needs to be an order to the way that things are done. Before you take on your first customer, determine what your process needs to be from start to finish. Be ready to answer clients' questions about what they can expect once they place an order with you.
Providing potential clients with an accurate quote that both parties agree to before you start working is essential to maintaining a good business relationship and ensuring clients are satisfied. To provide the necessary information, you need to understand the entire scope of the project. Be sure to take into account the cost of materials as well as the quantity requested and any deadlines you must meet. Remember that some inks and papers are more expensive or more labor-intensive to work with, which may understandably affect your pricing. Include the cost of 20% more paper than you actually need to cover mistakes you may make, as they will happen. Once you and the client have agreed upon a price, you can gather your supplies and set to work. Completed projects may be picked up or mailed back, as requested by the client.
Selling Your Work
There are many ways to drum up calligraphy business. Many artisans run ads on sites like Etsy to sell handmade products. Listings are inexpensive, and the site already receives a lot of traffic. It may help boost business to create listings for all of your services—for example, one for wedding envelopes and a separate one for place cards. Using these unique keywords in your listing title will help your ad show up when people search for different services. However, if you go this route, you will be competing with many other calligraphers.
Social media is another route you could explore. If you have a good following on Instagram or Facebook, consider starting there. Post pictures of completed projects and sell them to friends or family. Word of your talents can spread from there, driving demand for your services.
Local businesses can be a source of revenue as well. Does your local coffee shop need a new menu? Is the sign in the window of the art studio looking a little faded and worn? Reach out to business owners and show them what you can do to improve their image.
Whether you plan to make a little money on the side or turn calligraphy into a full-time business, there is plenty of need for the art form. You have unique skills, which you can market to individuals and business owners alike. If you have the time and put effort into developing your skills, it could pay you back in spades.