I’m as surprised as anybody to have had my world come together on the tip of a pen. I live in a small 1840s house and love the way old objects connect me to the past in space, if not in time. Walking around my historic town is participating in centuries of community building, living-making, and neighborhood care. It is one of my dearest loves.

But it’s also the place I seek to escape as often as possible. I go and find cedar groves and wooded gorges, and fairy worlds hidden in moss-covered boulders by spring-fed creeks. My living is a constant back-and-forth pull between wild places and crowded brick buildings, woods and old city house, wildflowers and daffodils.

Hand lettering, of all things, enabled me to connect my two worlds. It has become my favorite way of touching history, whether it’s practicing early American writing techniques or using a dip pen for modern calligraphy. Adding calligraphy to my nature illustrations reminds me that the human’s first job in the Genesis story was to name all the animals. I seek to do that fundamentally human work with reverence in my field guide pieces, honoring each specimen with a name that I’ve written as beautifully as I know how.

I have also found joy in bringing beautiful letters and loving illustration to the details of human life, whether they unfold in woods or town. I enjoy lettering on windows to bring elegance and whimsy to city streets, or adding intimacy to envelopes and events that bring together cherished family and community.

When I first picked up a pointed pen, I couldn’t have imagined that this work would so fundamentally change the way I spend my time and interact with my world. I hope my work can make a little mark in your life, too.

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