Calligraphy is the perfect finishing touch for any event and stylish addition to any wedding. From beautifully handwritten addresses, to welcome signs and escort cards, professional calligraphy can elevate your big day, adding to the unique experience and mood.
Professional calligraphers work with a myriad of media: Envelopes, seating charts, shells, stones, menus, even wine corks as place cards, you name it! – all of these small details may have a big impact and add elegance to any event.
Ellen Paul, the owner of Ellen Paul Art, is a talented artist who works with watercolors and calligraphy. She is always exploring new styles, such as utilizing watercolors for bespoke wedding invitation sets.
Please introduce yourself and your company.
I'm Ellen Paul, a wedding calligrapher, and watercolor artist. I am from Belarus originally and have three kids and a golden retriever. My family's favorite thing to do together is traveling to Europe, Asia or the USA.
How and when did you begin your work in the wedding/event industry and how did you get to where you are today?
I always thought that I could not draw and paint. But at the same time, I liked to decorate and wrap everything. For several years I learned the technique of decoupage and tried different methods. At some point, I realized that I do not recognize anything new here, and I became uninterested in doing it. It was in 2015. Then I saw the phrase "anyone can draw". Really? I was interested – is it true? At that time, with two kids, I did not have the opportunity to study in a class. Therefore, I took many online courses taught by professional artists – calligraphy class (a few classic scripts), academic drawing, and several watercolor courses, including botanical painting and graphics courses. Being an artist means never reaching the finish line - there is always something new to learn. In 2016, I started to work as a calligrapher for Cape Cod weddings.
Do you have a preferred style? What is it?
I don't have a favorite style; my preferences depend on my mood - sometimes I prefer classical and traditional styles with strict rules. Other times, I decide to ignore traditional rules, to make something creative and modern in my own style. It's like a form of meditation.
What are the main calligraphy design trends today from your perspective? What are the most popular items your clients are requesting?
Most of the weddings for which I work are based on the Cape; therefore, most often requests are for place-cards on seashells and pieces of wood.
You make beautiful watercolors and recently started doing watercolor invitation sets. What do you like about them?
I always loved working on order, it is very inspiring. Invitations set with watercolor and calligraphy give many opportunities for creativity - you need to reflect the atmosphere of an upcoming event in a unique and beautiful way. It is a truly fascinating process: exploring beautiful photos, figuring out what special little things distinguish this place or event, creating illustrations, color and script selection, and assembling the invitation set like a puzzle.
What sets you apart from the competition?
Flexibility: I'm always ready for experiments. Also, I am able to understand exactly what the clients want, even if they don't fully understand it themselves. I always try to answer any queries as quickly as possible, typically within a few hours.
What is most important to you when working with a client?
Trust, listening and patience are vital in working with a client.
What advice can you give to your couples?
When sharing examples of styles you like, don't forget to include samples of what you DON'T like! That way, time won't be wasted designing something you have zero interest in. Quick responses to small questions are also really helpful. A calligrapher's work can be very nuanced, so answering questions quickly allows them to stay on schedule and achieve the result their clients desire.