Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Hey everyone! I’m honored to share the work here of a new favorite calligrapher, Kim Shrack of Manayunk Calligraphy. I love that Kim’s work has dabbled in using calligraphy for the everyday, calligraphy for special moments, calligraphy for super fun projects (hello, a Bachelorette nursery!), and calligraphy to give voice to a cause she feels passionate about. Let’s dive in! Jen

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Photo Credit: Molly Carr Photography

Bachelorette fans, take note…

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Here’s a peek at one of Kim’s favorite projects to work on! She created a calligraphy mural for none other than the former Bachelorette Desiree Siegfried (née Hartsock) and her husband Chris. Monica Mangin from The Weekender was tasked with designing a Pacific Northwest-style nursery for the couple, and Kim was pulled in to create an accent wall. Kim shares, “I pulled quotes from some of my favorite children’s books for the design. What I loved about this project is the idea that as their baby grows and learns to read, he’ll be surrounded by those words everyday – words that encourage him to be strong, kind and brave. It’s such a huge honor to be a small part of that.”

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Photo Credits for nursery: Kyle Powers for Us Weekly Magazine.

“I absolutely love doing murals!” says Kim.

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Photo Credits: Stacy Able

On creating lettering work beyond paper, Kim shares: I love working on non-paper surfaces. I’ve done lots of non-traditional place cards, so calligraphy on materials like marble, slate, etc. But by far my favorite non-paper place cards have also been the sweetest – macarons! It’s a very delicate process involving teeny tiny brushes, luster dust and a steady head – but the results are oh so lovely.

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Photo Credits: Gabrielle Cheikh

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

In addition to all the lettering work Kim produces, she also teaches calligraphy courses on Skillshare. Her courses have been named Staff Picks (a designation for the top 1% of all classes) and she’s been named a Teacher to Watch (go Kim!). The two available classes are Modern Brush Calligraphy for Beginners and Develop Your Own Calligraphy Style.

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Inspiring Calligraphers: Manayunk Calligraphy

Finally, Kim created this print (and there are tote bags) benefitting RAICES. Here’s what she had to say about this fundraising project and using her voice in this way as a creative artist who’s also a business owner.

Kim shares: Like an overwhelming number of people, I was very affected by the news that families who were entering the US seeking asylum were separated at the border. As an American, it disturbed me. As a new mother, it ripped out my heart. I researched organizations that were working to reunite families, and that’s how I found the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES. I learned that those parents who were detained were unable to be reunited with their children until they could pay their full bond — which is a minimum of $1,500. So I created a special collection of designs to benefit RAICES. 100% of the profits from the sale of these items when to RAICES, and I am thrilled to say that through the sale of these items on my website and in-person fundraisers by the Glenside Women for Progress, and a direct fundraiser on Facebook, we were able to raise $1,537 — enough to bail one person from detention and reunite a family.

Common sense says that it’s not smart to mix business and politics. I get that. Posting on this issue led directly to a loss of followers and subscribers. But here’s the thing: human rights are not political. Period. As human beings, we have an obligation to one another. When you see something that isn’t right, you can’t just “stay out of it.” Speak up. Donate your time or your money or both. Someday, my daughter, who is 9 months old, will learn about this period of American history in school. When she comes home and asks my husband and I what we did, I’m not going to say that we stayed out of it. That is was impolite to talk about such things. That is was bad for business. Instead, I’m going to tell her that I used the skills I had to try and do something. And more than that, I’m going to tell her that thanks to a group of people whose only commonality is that they like calligraphy, we were able to reunite a family. That’s worth more than any follower.

A big thank you to Kim for sharing her work!

Photo Credits, except where noted: Manayunk Calligraphy

Want to be featured in our calligraphy column? Reach out to us at submissions [at] ohsobeautifulpaper [dot] com with the subject line “Calligraphy Feature” for more details!

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