Photos Clément Pascal
Sade Williams, 26, started practicing calligraphy in sixth grade after a schoolmate’s mother gave her class a few informal lessons. Now she runs the handwriting service I Heart Calligraphy, through which she teaches and scribes for clients nationwide. “I’m trying to create a calligraphic art that’s modern without being corny,” the Southern California native, who moved to Bushwick last spring, tells us. A lot of the work is wedding invitations, of course, but not all of it. “I’ve written on chalkboards, picture frames and quilts,” she says.
We ask if the proliferation of fancy fonts on computers has hurt the calligraphy business. “Nope! I’m a human! It doesn’t compare,” she says. “People rarely toss something a person has taken the time to write, and people understand the value of someone sharing their art and energy. I actually contribute fonts to Gracious Eloise, a company that provides personalized thank you notes and such. But even then, it doesn’t replace real ink on a page.” Plus, she has a distinct advantage over computers: “I can be submerged in water and survive. The same goes for written words on a page, if you use India Ink,” she tells us. “Computers are great! But why aren’t they waterproof?”