My Instagram feed is often filled with the following photos: selfies with meaningful quotes, OOTDs, destination photos, and of late, beautiful pieces of art personally handwritten by the owner of the account. Calligraphy has always been something I have always been interested to take but never had the time to do so until recently. I’ve never been known for my excellent penmanship but an old colleague turned good friend Icka Santos inspired me by saying that, “Calligraphy and handwriting are not the same. Some of the really good calligraphy artists that I follow confess to have really bad handwriting. It’s really more of drawing and painting. You draw or paint a combination of strokes to form a letter or words.”
Icka, who is a teacher by profession, started calligraphy in the latter part of 2014 as inspired by one of her students. Long fascinated by typefaces and fonts as influenced by her parents who are both architects, which carried on to her work as a teacher, “I was always so excited to make handouts for my students and I would literally spend more time looking for the right fonts than typing out the information I wanted my students to read. Calligraphy interested me because I’m not a very artistic person but I love to write. Not write a poem or story but the actual work of writing down letters and words. It’s a good hobby because you can bring it with you everywhere.”
Icka then pursued her passion by attending workshops and surrounding herself with people as passionate about calligraphy, “We have a great calligraphy community worldwide and our local calligraphy community is equally awesome. Local calligraphy artists like Fozzy Dayrit, Alexis Ventura, Anina Rubio, Drew Europeo, Dr. Gail Madalag and Joel Fabiana are always more than willing to share their knowledge of this very intricate art form.”
For Icka, calligraphy is a stress reliever and a good way to unwind after a hectic day, especially for professionals who are so busy with their day jobs. It’s also a good way to tap into our inner child and a way to unleash our creativity. Our lives, though extremely busy, still need that boost of creativity and imagination to make it enjoyable.
Never letting go of her passion as a teacher, Icka then turned from student to teacher by running workshops of her own and the results have been so overwhelming that she is running another set of workshops, even one in Davao.
For Icka, it’s all about sharing the joy associated with it while also pursing her two new life passions: calligraphy and teaching. Icka inspires everyone to believe that it’s never too late to pick up a new hobby and share it with others.