Hey everyone! I’m excited to share a peek today into the work of Michele Hatty Fritz of Meant To Be Calligraphy. There’s lots of pretty calligraphy here to check out, but I also love Michele’s insights that show her true passion for lettering. She not only creates calligraphy — she also teaches classes on calligraphy and brush lettering. So let’s take a look at this inspiring calligrapher! – Jen
Photo Credit: Vicki Grafton Photography
How did Michele become a calligrapher? She started out working with words in a different way, as a journalist. “I spent the first part of my career as a journalist, covering entertainment, pop culture and food for a national magazine and later as an editor for The Washington Post,” says Michele. “But in 2009, I was ready for a change, so I quit my job at the Post to become a full-time, professional calligrapher and launched Meant To Be Calligraphy.” She does have some fun memories from her past work! “I’m probably the only calligrapher you will ever meet who has interviewed Coldplay before a big show in Manhattan, John Mayer in a swanky New York hotel, Patrick Dempsey on a race track in Florida, Josh Duhamel on the beach in Santa Monica after a joint surfing lesson, J.K. Rowling over lunch in Boston and Maroon 5 on their tour bus here in DC.” Ha, so fun!
Photo Credit: Whitney Neal Photography
Rather than one style, Michele offers a slate of 30 signature styles — ranging from fun and playful to classic and elegant — through Meant To Be Calligraphy. “Being able to write across a range of styles allows me to give my clients a lot of options from which to choose and helps my work remain fresh and interesting as I go from project to project.”
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Fogarty Photography
Photo Credits: Abby Jiu Photography
Michele, like most calligraphers, has been asked to write on more than just paper. Calligraphy works just about anywhere and Michele’s written on it all — chalkboards, mirrors, antique windows and doors, cutting boards, ceramic plates, glass bottles, painted canvases, clay pots, oyster shells, rocks, magnolia leaves, apples, pumpkins, and just about every other vegetable with a relatively smooth surface.
Photo Credit: Lisa Blume Photography
Photo Credit: Vicki Grafton Photography
On other calligraphy projects, Michele shares: “I also do in-person appearances where I have customized everything from valentines to New Years resolutions for party guests, and occasionally I’ll even bring along an engraving tool and a pair of safety glasses and turn glassware and the like into on-the-spot, custom party favors.”
Photo Credit: Ready Luck Photography
Michele’s passion for lettering started young — and runs in the family. “My father worked as a hand lettering artist for General Motors for his entire career,” says Michele. “He is the person who taught me my letters. I have very vivid memories of being two or three years old and he would draw letters with dots and then let me connect them. I was obsessed and I used to beg him for more dot letters!” Her mom also encouraged the craft by enrolling Michele in her first calligraphy class when she was just six or seven years old. “I was hooked from the very first lesson and continued to seek out instruction as I grew older,” says Michele.
Photo Credit: Nole Garey
Michele also creates custom products for everyday use as well, like return address stamps and personalized stationery.
Michele credits her parents as the inspiration behind her decision to offer calligraphy classes. “I really wanted to honor my father’s legacy as an artist and honor my mom’s as well. She taught all sorts of crafting workshops when I was growing up and she definitely inspired me to want to share my knowledge, too.”
Photo Credit: Holland Photo Arts
Michele has had people travel from all over the country (including a few international students!) to take part in her calligraphy workshops. “It’s amazing to me that I am already in my seventh year of teaching and it is one of the great joys of my life to watch my students both fall in love with lettering and learn how to master it during the course of our time together,” says Michele.