“Get ready for a lot of failures and flops, because calligraphy is not something you master in an afternoon”
Q: Maybe this is a question everyone would like to know the answer to: do you draw?
A: I do draw, but that’s not my forte.
Q: And is calligraphy drawing?
A: No, calligraphy is a way of writing words.
Q: Why did you decide to hop into the world of calligraphy?
A: As a matter of fact, it wasn’t my decision to begin with. It may sound a bit cliche, but I didn’t choose calligraphy – it chose me. I’ve always had a penchant for letters in one way or another, and when I discovered this particular form something inside of me immediately clicked; and that’s when I knew I wanted to do calligraphy.
Q: Is there a place for calligraphy in Bulgaria?
A: Yes, there is, and not just in Bulgaria. But there’s definitely enough room for calligraphy in Bulgaria.
Q: Tell us a bit about Calligraphy Masters. Where did you start? Any obstacles with garnering a fanbase? Did you fear failure?
A: Everything started 10 years ago. I was missing something in that field and I decided to make what I was seeking. And it appears that many others needed such a platform because the platform instantly took off and continues to grow to this very day. I didn’t fear failure, because I didn’t know what I was doing. I just did what drew me and I didn’t have any original plans about the platform to feel any fear.
Q: Another overused question – do you have a favourite font?
A: I don’t have a favourite font. This is a matter of typography. I do have a favourite calligraphy style – gothic fraktur.
Q: What can different fonts tell us and why do we need so many of them?
A: I can’t say much about fonts, but in calligraphy, each style is created as a correspondent to a particular need and not to tell something to the viewer. Some are created for the purpose of writing books, others for documents. So it’s really a matter of the times it’s been invented.
Q: Is there a part of calligraphy you particularly enjoy?
A: Well, no, there isn’t, even though calligraphy branches into many other subcategories. I love each part equally, but if I have to choose the one closest to me has to be a mixture of traditional and modern calligraphy. That’s a point that most speaks to me and I try to express myself with.
Q: What are the rules of good calligraphy?
A: I honestly don’t know. I am self-thought, but if I dare say, probably balance, good kerning, and clear lettering. But that’s just a guessing game. A lot of it is a matter of personal choice and feeling.
Q: Can you mention some names in calligraphy that you admire?
A: Absolutely, the first 6 or 7 who I’ve always looked up to and later became part of Calligraphy Masters: Theosone, Paul Antonio, Pokras Lampas, Martin Shchmetzer, Jackson Alves – they inspired me when I first started.
Q: How does fine art influence calligraphy? Does calligraphy influence fine art?
A: I hope it does! I see a widespread use of calligraphy around the world, but I can’t say if it directly impacts fine art. I think they are matching.
Q: What’s the point of “30 bukvi”
A: The aim of “30 bukvi” is to unite Bulgarian calligraphers and attract up-and-coming ones, as well as spike the interest among the general public.
Q: What does a newbie calligrapher need to get into the craft?
A: What’s needed is a love for letters, a lot of patience, consistency, and to get ready for a lot of failures and flops, because this is not something you master in an afternoon.
Q: Any books on Typography/Calligraphy you can recommend to FGA’s audience?
A: Yes, some favourites are: ‘The Calligrapher’s Bible’ and “The Art of Calligraphy’ by David Harris, ‘The Design of Words’, a collaboration of Calligraphy Masters with Moleskine, The ‘Speedball textbook’ series, ‘Foundations of Calligraphy’ by Sheila Waters, ‘Typism’, and ‘Speedball Copperplate Script: A Yin and Yang Approach’ by Paul Antonio