Retirement Hobby: Calligraphy (lettering)

by Debbie M.
(Houston, TX)

I am a retired Speech Therapist who has, for years, been trying to find a lucrative side job that I could do from home. I have pages of ideas that have never worked out or have been hit-or-miss as far as getting work.


The one thing I remember from art classes in middle school (yes, middle school existed even in prehistoric days) was the lettering lessons and slowly and carefully copying Old English letters.

But that’s where it stayed—a memory.

I took a long distance art course years later and went to the art store to look for a particular pen that was suggested for drawing lines. When I told the young salesman what I was looking for, he said, “Oh, like in calligraphy”. The manager standing nearby raised her head up and said, “Now that’s where the money is”. I never forgot her remark. I also never did anything to investigate calligraphy, even given her optimistic statement.

That was about 20 years ago.

Now, lately, I’ve started doing some lettering practice along with my artwork practice. What amazes me is how calming it is to practice this skill. But maybe that’s just me.

So (finally, huh!) the tale I want to share is one of surprise. We did Secret Santa at my new part time job. I made a homemade Thank You card to give to the person who had drawn my name. I didn’t think it turned out so well and was kind of hesitant to even give it to her, but I put it in her office mailbox. I felt my embarassment was validated when she never made mention of my card or even acknowledged she’d received it.

Two months later I had to go in the office she shares with others to deliver some materials. Something caught my eye as I was walking past the desks. It was my homemade Thank You card pinned to a bulletin board at her desk area. She had kept that amateurish card.

That had a big effect. When you think your efforts go unnoticed or even suspect they’ve probably just been tossed in the wastebasket, your hobby, product, or services may have more of an effect than you had anticipated.

I still can’t believe someone actually saved my lettering artwork, but it has given me the incentive to strengthen my skills and do more. And I hope you continue with ventures you enjoy, too. Persistence and practice. What you are doing probably has a stronger impact—and appreciation-than you know.

Good luck!

Comments for Retirement Hobby: Calligraphy (lettering)

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note card
by: Sherry/ NC

The lady you gave the card to could have said "Thank you". Why can't people be grateful?

It is important as you can see by the contents of your letter here.

I always try to go out of my way to acknowledge the person who thought of me.

I am glad it all turned out good for you.

Impulse to Impact
by: Jane Gramlich

I love your story! You followed an impulse and made an impact, and that's wonderful. Best to you in your continued practice and enjoyment.

Wedding Invitations
by: Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

... first thing that comes to mind with Calligraphy as a small part-time business. You could address envelopes with wedding invitations for brides -- making the name look all fancy-dancy.

Look on Etsy.com and search calligraphy there. What do others offer that you might do too?

So many possibilities here -- you get to be creative, others enjoy your beautiful letters!

Have Fun!

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