During our month of “wedding Wednesdays” we give a warm welcome to today’s FACE, calligrapher Moya Minns of MM Ink. We think calligraphy is such a beautiful art and Moya’s work is some of the most beautiful we have ever seen! Welcome, Moya!
After growing up in the Bahamas how did you make your way to Atlanta?
I left the Bahamas to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Howard University in Washington, DC. After graduating, I started working as an auditor for one of the public accounting firms and married my high school crush who is also from the Bahamas. We wanted a change and had enough of the cold winter months in the Washington DC area, so we headed South and found Atlanta to be a great choice.
How did you discover your love for calligraphy?
Growing up, drawing and sketching quickly became a hobby of mine. Then, I received a calligraphy pen set in high school and fell in love! My cousin and I would spend hours writing; and many of my homework notes were done in calligraphy! I just could not put the pen down!
You recently left your job to focus all of your energy on your calligraphy business. Was that a difficult transition to make?
It was a smooth transition, actually. I started the business part-time in 2003 and I felt comfortable with its growth since then. More importantly, with 3 little ones now, I wanted to have the flexibility to spend more time with them and also wake up every day and do what I love. God certainly has a way of showing you His plans for you, and my transition is proof of that.
What is the biggest challenge you face between being a mom and running your own company?
Finding the right balance. I love being a mom and I love being a business owner and calligrapher. They each require a great deal of time and there are moments when one needs more of my attention than the other. Establishing ‘office hours’ and daily routines has helped me to find that balance, but it is a work in progress. And there are days when I just go with the flow and a game of Old Maid in the middle of the day is perfectly fine.
The art of handwriting is being taken over by computers and email. Do you think cursive should still be taught in elementary school?
Absolutely!! Handwriting is a form of personal expression. It reinforces literacy and helps kids develop their fine motor skills. Master Penman Michael Sull has a new book out called American Cursive Handwriting – a complete curriculum on traditional cursive penmanship, which I will be purchasing this summer to teach my kids and would love to volunteer at their school to teach their friends!
Who are your mentors?
Master Penman and Chief White House Calligrapher Pat Blair, who taught me pointed pen calligraphy and Sheila Waters, an internationally known calligrapher who taught me broad edge calligraphy.
What is your favorite calligraphy style?
Oh boy…. I love them all! I have received lots of requests recently for my Lola, Belle and Blush styles – all fun calligraphy styles I enjoy doing. It’s funny, when I get a request for a style I have not done for some time, I fall in love with it all over again.
What calligraphy tool could you not live without?
My Hunt 22 and Nikko G nibs!!!!!
I saw on Twitter that your husband recently granted you use of all of the home office space. What is the first thing you are going to do to redecorate?
Gut the closet so that I can have an official ‘receiving’ and ‘shipping’ department! I also want to add shelves to display some of my work for inspiration. I will also fill the walls with some of my favorite motivational quotes that I will design. I really enjoy having my husband in the office with me though, so I think I will still have a small desk in there for him. <smile>
What is the greatest piece of advice you have been given?
Enjoy the journey. Failure is not final, it’s feedback. Confidence is your best accessory.
Where is your favorite place to eat in Atlanta?
My husband and I love Nan, a family-owned Thai restaurant on Spring Street near Atlantic Station. The food is great, and we love the ambiance and great service.
What do you love about Atlanta?
I love the weather – short winters, lots of time to spend outdoors, the beautiful colors in the fall.
What is your favorite way to begin your day?
After dropping my kids to school, spending some time praying, reading, and enjoying a Starbucks chai tea latte. Exercise should be in the mix too…I’m working on it!
What can be found on your bedside table?
My Bible, the book I am currently reading, Daring Greatly, a highlighter, cordless phone, and usually a toy that one of my kids left behind.
Name three things that you can’t live without (besides God, Family, and Friends)?
Socks, my calligraphy pens and tea.
Thanks, Moya! For more information on MM Ink Studio, visit her website: http://mminkstudio.com.
And, a big thank you to Amy Lesesne for her beautiful pictures of Moya! Visit her website for more information: http://amylphotography.com.