Hello folks. You’ll be meeting different lettering / calligraphy artists as a part of the ‘meet the teachers’ series on @surelysimplechallenge. You can find their ‘main’ interviews on surelysimple.com, however the ones posted here are more personal and you might enjoy reading both, so please enjoy a glimpse into the creative folks featured here!
Please tell me a bit about yourself.
I’m Missy Briggs of M2B Studio. My work is primarily wedding and event calligraphy and signage. My personal life is that of a stay-at-home mom to two amazing kiddos, wife to one incredible husband, and dog-mom to two geriatric shih-tzu. If you’ve seen me on Instagram, you know that I’m the left-handed calligrapher that letters backwards. I love to share my art and inspiration on Instagram, and special tips and tricks for those just starting their lettering journey on missybriggs.com.
What is this sorcery? 😳 @m2bstudio Missy is one of the teachers in the #SimpleAlphabets challenge- and she's representing all us lefties out there! I have no idea how she can write so well backwards though in drill formation- and I'm a lefty too. Amazing, Missy! 🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸 🔸🔸🔸 To find out what she's going to teach, be sure to stay in the loop here : by following @surelysimplechallenge and @surelysimpleblog ▶️The Simplealphabets challenge- which starts on June, will have us lettering an alphabet a day and also will be showcasing some teachers who will be sharing a bit about themselves and tips to help you get started too. And of course your work has a chance to get featured – so keep lettering! 🎉 Check out the prompts page on @surelysimpleblog and tell us if you're joining! #surelysimplelettering #handlettered #brushpen #leftycalligraphy
How would you describe your lettering/ calligraphy style?
First of all, it’s not backwards! When I’m working in my studio on a commission, I do not write backwards. I post videos where I do this little party trick and people assume that’s the way I work, every day. All day! I began writing backwards while practicing my lettering as a way to better understand letterforms and evaluate spacing. I continue to do it in videos because (1) it’s fun and quirky and (2) I’m a lefty. Lettering backwards means you can see what I’m writing in a video. Otherwise I have to use an odd side camera angle. When you look at typography or lettering, you assign a feeling to that type style. If it’s swirly, and dots are replaced with hearts, you would say it’s lighthearted and happy. If it’s full of grand flourishes and swashes, you would call the style romantic. When I WRITE, I keep the project at hand in mind, and work accordingly. If it’s fun and romantic, I make the letters dance above and below the baseline or spread out the spacing to add interest. If it’s more formal, I’ll adopt a slant. My typical hand lettering is not slanted, it’s fairly fun and lighthearted, and it has a little bit of an edge.
What makes you motivated enough to keep on keeping on with your work?
I spent many years in a typical 9 to 5 job, and during that time I created very little. I wasn’t sure of my style and I no longer identified with being an artist. When I became a stay-at-home mom, I began my journey back into my art by… introducing myself as an artist! The simple action of defining myself by my aspirations became a way to change my overall mindset. Soon I went from planning to making! I’m at a point where I’m grateful to say that I have no lack of inspiration. I keep an album in my iPhone of inspiration and I keep a notebook full of verses and motivational quotes to get me started every morning. Would you rather go the freelance way or do you prefer a more regulated and secure way of work?
Freelance. I’m very blessed to be able to spend as much time volunteering and doing my own freelance work. I wouldn’t trade my current jobs for anything. What makes you the happiest when it comes to looking at your progress? I see work that I did several years ago and can appreciate exactly where I was. I can honestly say, “That was terrible,” and not feel the need to destroy it. That’s huge for me. I don’t keep a lot of work. I take photos, scan it, and/or give it away. I don’t feel the need to keep so much around. Half glass full or half glass empty? What’s your attitude in life in general?
Full. For sure. Life’s too short to dwell on the empty half. Who do you look up to in your field? Or in life as a whole?
I am fortunate to have found many mentors along the way. And many amazing #calligrafriends. If you look at my Instagram feed, I follow people whose work I truly admire, and who inspire me. They are sharing their truth, their work, and they’re not overly promotional with their message. They’re just putting it out there. I email and text, and talk to many people I’ve met since I began sharing my lettering on Instagram.
How many hours do you put in for your work everyday?
I work as many hours as I can squeeze into the day. I would put a bed in my studio for naps if I could. Some days, it’s an hour. It really varies.
What book/ podcast are you currently reading/listening to?
This is embarrassing. I’m usually in the middle of a non-fiction book. Biographies are my jam! It’s summer, so I’m going to be honest and say I’m reading a beach-worthy, coming-of-age novel. It’s called “Sweetbitter” by Stephanie Danler. I just started it, so don’t tell me the ending! How do you think you have evolved in your art- has it changed you?
I would say that when I was just out of college, my focus was on finding a career that would allow me to modestly create on the side. My focus now is on sharing my journey, apologetically. Take me as I am! What’s next in your artistic journey?
The next logical step for me is to continue to inspire others. My own journey has gone in circles enough to be able to help others jump over that hurdle and move on to realizing their own success. I don’t know if that means teaching or mentoring, but I’d love to help others find their path. My blog, with lettering tips for beginners and special “lefty love” lettering tips for my left-handed peeps, is a start on that next chapter.
PS- Read Missy’s interview at surely simple here.