We may not always be aware of it, but letters are everywhere. They surround us and they give us the power to express what we feel; we carefully string together words and sentences with these 26 simple letters. A true appreciator of letters and especially the art of hand lettering is Tanja, also known as ‘Frau Hölle’. This very talented artist recently released her first jewelry line, aptly named, the ‘Alphabet Collection’.
1. Hello Tanja, thank you for sitting down with us. Can you tell us how you got into lettering and calligraphy?
Tanja: My inspiration actually came from social media! About two years ago, I saw hand lettering for the first time on Instagram and I thought; wow, I really want to be able to do that too! After watching YouTube tutorials, online guides and lots of practicing, I taught myself how to do hand lettering. Last year, I published the first German hand lettering guide and in 2016 I started my own Hand Lettering workshops in Munich.
2. That is so cool! Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Tanja: As a graduate in engineering I worked in the online world for a long time. My last job was working as a Digital Product Manager in Munich. As a compassionate person for the digital daily business world, I discovered Sketchnotes in 2013 and the method of imagery. In 2014 I started offering ‘Kritzeltraining’ workshops with pen and paper to private- and business customers. That same year I also discovered hand-lettering and it became a daily form of relaxation in the evening and it brought beauty to my everyday life in the form of maps, notebooks and to-do lists. Ever since then I have been sharing my passion with so many people and through my lettering guides and workshops I have kindled the enthusiasm in many people for letters. In May of 2016 I became self employed as a visual coach and lettering artist. I have become a form of daily inspiration for many people on social media.
3. Your collection is beautiful! How did this collection came to be and what was the inspiration behind it?
Tanja: The 26 different letters in our alphabet surround us everywhere in our daily lives, but still we don’t pay attention to the beauty that is hidden in the form of letters. The brush lettering (calligraphy with a brush pencil) has given each character a special expression, just like in traditional calligraphy. My ‘Brush lettering guide for simple Brush Writing’ is very well known. So, it was clear to me that my Alphabet Collection’ should be created with a brush pencil. It resulted in 26 initials with the distinctive characteristics of brush calligraphy; thin spreading and thick smearing.
4. What message do you want to bring across with this line?
Tanja: Do not forget about the art of handwriting! In a time of digitalization of society, our handwriting is a way of expressing our personality and humanity. The initials of my ‘Alphabet Collection’ are unique and personal to its wearer - or it keeps those you love close to the heart.
This gorgeous collection is unique in so many ways and carries a strong and beautiful message; keep the art of hand lettering alive! Everyone has a special person who we want to keep close to our heart and what better way to keep them close than by wearing their initial? Whether you buy this piece as a present to yourself or as a gift for a special person, it is truly one-of-a-kind. Make sure you share your necklace with us by using the hashtag #StilnestStyle!
These gorgeous pictures were taken by Anija Schlichenmaier.