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Meet Jess Grabowski of The Letter J Creates in Western Suburbs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jess Grabowski.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jess. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I began my official lettering journey about 5 years ago when I wanted to create chalkboards and decor for my own home. I rounded up all of the supplies and had minimal inspiration. Let’s just say that it was not all rainbows and butterflies from there. I quickly realized that it would not be so simple; this is true for most art.

I jumped right into social media and began practicing my heart away. I found some artists that I enjoyed and found more supplies that I could really appreciate. It took over a year to really come up with my own unique style. Once I did this, I was ready to meet some clients. I was able to connect with a wide audience on social media and have been so lucky to find some inspiration on there as well. That’s all in the past now. I am so happy with how far I have come. I am truly devoted to what I do and I know it shows through my work.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Some struggles I have faced are finding clients and having lots of competition with digital products. Finding clients is not always easy, especially with calligraphy. Many clients have particular paper or surfaces they need my art on. This limits my ability to ‘start over’ or make any mistakes. My clients know this so it’s hard to trust an artist that you don’t know too well with something so delicate.

In terms of digital products, there has been a huge boom in digitized, mass produced art. This is personally not my style. I love minimalism and unique pieces throughout my home minus the clutter and generic look. I love something handmade and that’s not always the way of society. So, I try to stand out and focus on the uniqueness of my work. I have most definitely noticed the increase in digital downloads but it has not set me back at all.

Please tell us about The Letter J Creates.
I am a self-taught modern calligrapher. I offer calligraphy and paint art pieces. I work directly with a cute little art studio located in downtown Glen Ellyn, Heartfelt Create, and love this relationship. I truly enjoy supporting a local art studio and being a part of a real art community. It was this studio that helped me gain some confidence in the beginning. I hosted my first Hand Lettering Workshop there and it brings me happy memories! I’ve had so many clients find me through Heartfelt Create Studio and for that, I am so thankful.

I specialize in maternity, weddings and events. Most of my work is custom, however, once a year I do release a large project and have them available for purchase.

I am most proud of not giving up on this art. We most certainly live in a digital age but I have always loved hand lettering. From a young age, I remember keeping a journal and re-writing my pages. This continued on into high school. I always preferred an essay!

I believe that my community efforts and focus on the younger generation of artists sets me a part in this industry. Even more so now, our younger artists can easily pass by art and not even now how it could change their life. I’d like to keep my community aware of the arts and figure out new ways to capture their attention.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I would do more research on social media and how I could better utilize that side of marketing.

Pricing:

  • Wedding Mirrors starting at $1.50 per word
  • Custom Wall Design starting at $95
  • Calligraphy/Watercolor Page starting at $45
  • Wedding Place Cards starting at $2.50 per card

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Monroe Street Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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