Photo By Jamie Alexander
Local calligrapher and letterer Lauren Fitzmaurice has published her first book, and her hope is that it helps others learn the art that she initially approached as a form of self-care.
This journey for the new author started seven years ago after her middle son, Miles, underwent open-heart surgery at five days old. “He was doing well, and I was trying to be really good in all areas of life, but I felt very burned out and really needed a hobby or something to focus on for me,” she said. Lettering and calligraphy were becoming popular on social media and Fitzmaurice thought it looked interesting, so she signed up for her first online calligraphy class.
“I got started and was hooked after that,” she said. “I’ve been writing pretty letters ever since.”
Her first paid job as a calligrapher was to address wedding invitations for a sorority sister’s wedding, and Fitzmaurice began posting her own lettering videos on social media and attracted many followers who watched her create the letters with a simple brush pen on paper. Soon Renmade, her business, was born. Clients requested her lettering services to decorate various items, and the community wanted to learn how to write like her.
Since then, Fitzmaurice has taught classes and workshops, held pop-up events where people can customize items like ornaments and trinkets, and offered items through social media. “I have continued to grow and learn over the past seven years through lots of hard work and practice,” she said. “I have kept time for myself to practice and letter. I’ve also enjoyed sharing my work with others through social media.”As a mother and full-time teacher, she said she is focused on creating and sharing what feels good to her.
“Life is busy, for sure. For me, it’s all about balance and finding the time to let myself letter and create,” she said. “I do most of this at night when my kids are asleep or on the weekends. I try to always make sure that lettering is fun for me, and not a job I have to do. This makes it a treat when I get to sit down and create with my brush pens.”
Fitzmaurice said she always dreamed of being a published author, and after using lettering for self-care, she wanted to share her lettering skills with others so they could incorporate it into their own lives.
“Words can be so uplifting and powerful, and there is nothing like sitting down and writing a fun quote,” she said. “I enjoy the creativity involved.”
The book, Hand Lettering for Self-Care, is a guide to learning calligraphy and lettering and using the hobby to focus on the self.
“It can be easy to be overwhelmed when learning a new skill, but this book breaks it down for the beginner, but also builds with intermediate skills perfect for creatives who want to challenge themselves,” she said. “My hope is that this book can inspire others to create not only for others but take the time to invest in and learn a new craft and create for themselves.”
The book came out in late October and can be purchased on her website, www.renmadecalligraphy.com, as well as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and where books are sold. “This is my first book, and it has been so much fun to put it together and see people purchasing and creating with it,” she said. “I have gotten to do so many fun things through lettering. As I move forward, my hope is to create more resources for others to learn calligraphy and lettering. Other than that, I hope to just keep it light and fun!”