Born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia
Chances are you do not know me so I will save the personal details for our future coffee date where we both realize 4 hours have gone by and we walk away as new best friends.
HOW DID I START HAND LETTERING?
I have no idea who, what, when, where, and why Brush Lettering posts were populating on my Pinterest feed. I had never heard of it before but like all pretty things do, they pull your attention and interest. And soon you find yourself Pinning everything, creating boards, following everyone, and evolve into a new person. That’s what happened to me in October 2014.
Dawn Nicole was my first. I followed her on Pinterest and Facebook; I read her blogs; I took her advice; and asked her questions (priceless wisdom). Her Facebook Lettering page had themed word prompts for her followers to post their attempts, peppered with flattering comments and encouragement from all the participants, you were sure to think you were something amazing.
I bought the pens and paper, and would study the words. Their up-strokes and down-strokes, where the lines crossed, my pen pressure, and so forth. I would practice at night when our daughter went to bed or go to a coffee shop and enjoy my lettering. An hour or sometimes two would pass and not realize the time. Time was constantly slipping away from me whenever I was practicing.
I realized hand lettering must be my hobby. I finally discovered something that I could dig myself into; only took 27 years to find my niche. When you discover something you are good at, other people see it too. Naturally, requests sprinkle in and the better your work looks too. A co-worker wanted me to write-up a small sign for her baking business which led to my first paid job – a logo. Jamie Young Photography wanted me – a newbie at lettering – to create her Photography logo. She was my first customer.
I enjoy my newfound craft. It brings me happiness. It allows me to see what I am capable of. It teaches me about myself and where I need to improve. To this day – every “like” I receive, every follower I gain, every comment, every request, is humbling and flattering. I hope it never gets old. That’s why I will continue providing hand lettering services.
I am still trying to figure out what my focus will be. What service will I be providing? Wood signs? Logos? Chalkboard lettering? And what industry do I want to be involved in? Wedding Industry? Stationery? Design? DIY Crafts? Digital services? Until I figure out where I want to be with lettering and what I want to do with it, I will continue to try it all.
WHY “CANARY LETTERING” AS A NAME?
I thought you’d never ask. My Daughter, Amelia Ryan, is named after Amelia Earhart. My parents, brother, and childhood were deeply rooted in Aviation. My Mom is an Aeronautical Engineer at NASA. She has participated and lead many Aviation related projects and holds a patent (she’s a big deal). And my Dad built an airplane (I know – what am I doing with my life?). It was a two-seater, fixed gear, low wing Glasair 2 with cruise speeds at 200 mph built by him, in our garage that heavily influenced my brother’s passion for Aviation and his ultimate success in the field, but not me (sorry Dad). We would fly to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and all over the place. Fly to airshows like Oshkosh and set flight records, yada yada. Fast forward to meeting the love of my life and finding out our first baby is a girl. We named her Amelia to pay respect and homage to my unique childhood and family.
Amelia Earhart’s first airplane was a yellow bi-plane that she nicknamed “The Canary”. A co-worker made the suggestion to include Canary in my business name to bridge my family and a piece of me. Next, I needed a logo and I wanted it from my sister in law. She drew me the bird and months later I added its beak and then printed business cards (makes it official).
Front and Back!