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Meet Dana Lipsky

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Lipsky. 

Hi Dana, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I grew up in a family where we were do-it-yourselfers. Weekends were spent remodeling a kitchen, building furniture, or even framing a new house. It gave me the appreciation for doing things yourself from start to finish and being proud of a project that you make. 

I went on to study architecture in college, thinking it was a practical way to be creative, only to figure out it was TOO engineering-based for my brain. After college, I wasn’t ready to get a “normal job” and bounced around the world a bit and fell into the service industry in my mid 20’s when I moved to Kansas City. No matter what job I had, I always had a craft or hobby that I was working on. 

I was at a point about 5 or 6 years ago where I was working as a general manager of a restaurant and was unhappy with my job and where I was. My best friend introduced me to the wonderful world of Instagram and videos of people doing hand-lettering. Immediately I said, I want to do that! She and I both bought pens and markers and all the supplies we could find. I would spend my evenings after work practicing lettering. I bought worksheets of Etsy and just kept trying different styles for hours and hours a week. 

After leaving that job and moving (yet again) back to Kansas City, I felt like I had finally found a hobby that I truly wanted to be more than just a hobby. After spending hours practicing calligraphy, it was finally something I really wanted to share with the world. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has not always been a smooth road – there are always ups and downs. I feel like owning your own business is always a constant learning process. Every project teaches me something new – even if it’s just a new function in Adobe Illustrator. My biggest struggle is still putting myself out there and finding the right clients. I am an introvert by nature and I would rather be making things at home than at an event trying to network. 

One of the common misconceptions is that just because someone has nice handwriting, that it is the same as calligraphy. It’s simply not true. (By the way, I don’t even write in cursive.) Calligraphy takes hours and hours of practice. You have to find what tools work for you. You need to understand different kinds of paper. You figure out what marker or pen to use on a certain surface. And there is no exact answer for anyone. What may work for me may not work for someone else. When you hire any sort of artist, you are paying for their knowledge and expertise. They have made mistakes along the way so you don’t have to. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I currently book clients primarily for wedding day-of signage. That includes welcome signs, seating charts, bar menus, etc. Every sign is unique and hand-lettered for each client and what they are looking for. 

Calligraphy and hand-lettering is what I enjoy doing the most. This can include envelope addressing, place cards, and wedding vows. It may seem mundane, but I love seeing the different shapes form letters. Just a small change or flourish can change the feel of the lettering. Calligraphy also adds a certain level of luxury and personalization that is unmatched. Who doesn’t love to see their own name written beautifully when they receive a piece of mail? 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
What I do is so often in lieu with the wedding industry, so there are always new trends with each season. Acrylic signage has been the look for the last couple years, so it will be interesting to see what happens next. My job is to help make others’ ideas come to fruition, so no matter the trend, I will do what I can to make clients happy. 

I also think after the last year a half dealing with Covid, smaller and more intimate weddings will be continuing. People can add those luxury details without breaking the bank when only 50 people are attending versus 300. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Rachell Stierly Photography

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