In 1997, my daughter was about to become a Bat Mitzvah. Since I had always considered myself to be artistic with no formal art training, I was insistent on addressing her invitations. After all, I had nice handwriting and there was no way I was paying someone to do what I was capable of doing. So I enrolled in a calligraphy class at a local high school and attended a few classes. However, I was totally confused by what the instructor was trying to teach us. I took the little bit of knowledge I had and addressed my daughter’s invitations anyway. Realizing that calligraphy involved more than just nice handwriting, I began private tutoring with a very experienced, excellent calligrapher. I started learning one of the many “hands” (or styles of writing) one letter at a time… and I would practice writing that one letter over and over until our next tutoring session. I eventually progressed to a second hand…and practiced more. I learned about different types of pens and nibs and ink and paper. I learned about angles of the pen point, pressure of the pen, how to mix ink, and proper etiquette in addressing envelopes. Finally, I started taking on calligraphy jobs, which gave me the most practice. In addition, I joined the South Florida Calligraphy Guild, a non-profit organization founded in 1981. Through the Guild, I attended meetings with other calligraphers and picked up many tips about writing, inks, and how to run a business. I attended workshops taught by professionals to learn different hands, including Hebrew writing. From there, my business flourished as different stationary stores in the area referred clients to me but mostly, by word of mouth. I also realized that hand calligraphy was a “dying art” with few people who practice it anymore. Calligraphy became a passion for me and people were in awe of how beautiful their envelopes, place cards, etc. came out. “How do you have the patience to do this?” they would say.