I’ve been addicted to pens, paper, ink and stationery since, oh, age 6. It began with my best-friend Agnes – when she returned to The Netherlands, we became pen-pals, reliant on pen and paper to communicate (I’ve just totally aged myself). Europeans have some fiiiine stationery…and with Agnes as a pen-pal, plus others in Germany and France, my love affair with the lush paper, ink and pens really got going. Also, my dad would travel overseas every month and bring back stationery and pens… he chose beautiful things and my addiction deepened.
I would stay up until 3am, at age 9, making stationery, just for the fun of it. My friends liked my stuff so much that they started buying it off of me.
When I was 13 years old, my only sibling had to move away to my aunt’s place. My cousin knew I was nuts about pens and paper, so she gifted me an Osmiroid Calligraphy set. When I returned home, I found myself missing my brother. Being a lonely, bored 13 year old with pen, ink and paper on hand, well, the layout for obsession was perfectly set up, and I dove straight into teaching myself calligraphy.
I taught myself traditional Western European font, that is Blackletter/Gothic Calligraphy. I loved the formality of it and the discipline. After years and years of practice, I got the hang of it. A decade later, I worked as a professional Mehndi (ie. Henna Tattoo) artist. Lo and behold, my calligraphic style ended up being influenced by my Mehndi experience.
My style has morphed into a fusion of West meets East: a firm foundation of European Gothic Calligraphy blended with whimsical, intricate, colourful, sparkly Indian. It’s interesting because I am of mixed heritage and nothing I own is intricate or sparkly. It’s as though my Indian/Nepalese genes has to come out somehow… and so it flows through my fingers, unto paper, weaves with the Western foundation, and ends up something wholly one-of-a-kind on this here planet.