Milen Balbuzanov, also known as Milenist, was born in 1989 in Rousse. At the age of 14, he spent two years living and studying in the Netherlands. However, upon his return to Bulgaria, his college diploma was not recognised, and he was not allowed to take comparative exams. Consequently, he found himself in the 10th grade instead of the expected 12th grade. During this time, his mother fell ill with cancer, prompting him to leave school and start working to support her. Unfortunately, his mother passed away when he was 20 years old. Seeking new opportunities, he moved to Cyprus and worked as a bartender for two years before eventually relocating to Copenhagen, Denmark.
Throughout his life, Milen has harboured a deep passion for letterforms and has worked with them in various ways. From graffiti and logo design to typography, he explored different avenues. At the age of 23, while searching for a font, he stumbled upon Calligraphy through a video review of Pilot Parallel Pens by Theosone. This discovery resonated with him, and he realised that Calligraphy was his true calling. For a year, he dedicated himself to practicing, researching, and seeking out other Calligraphy artists. Unfortunately, at that time, there was limited information available online, which led to his frustration. In response, he came up with the idea of Calligraphy Masters.
The initial six individuals who embraced Milen’s idea became the founding members of Calligraphy Masters: Theosone, WLK, Paul Antonio, Jackson Alves, Martin Schmetzer, and Pokras Lampas. In the ensuing months and years, Calligraphy Masters gained significant attention and cultivated a dedicated following, underscoring the world’s immense demand for such content, artists, and community.
While Milen has been involved with Calligraphy for the past decade and has been using it as a medium to express his art, he has only actively written for approximately three years due to his responsibilities in managing Calligraphy Masters. His creations span various surfaces, including paper, clothing, murals, cars, and even bodies.
In 2023, Milen joined FineGraffArts, and more recently, he established a community for Bulgarian Calligraphers called “30 Bukvi.”