Congratulations Patricia, and its so nice to have seen you recently in Perth! I first met Patricia in Sunderland – possibly around the year 2001 and got to know her as the “Family Tree Calligrapher” Seeing her at my workshop in April, made me review this one-dimensional vision (but her family tree work is incredibly beautiful.) I discovered that Patrica also has a wonderful sense of contemporary design and speaks German fluently!
I have asked Patricia to tell us about her calligraphic journey.
I made a career change at the age of 30 leaving primary school teaching to live in Europe for 8 years then returned to Australia knowing I had to follow a dream to learn lettering.
Good teachers were few and far between in Melbourne in the 80’s so I made two trips to WHITELANDs summer school before opening up my business the SCRIPTORIUM .
The appearance of the computer forced me to assess my future earning capacity and I then decided to combine my love of family history with lettering and offer family tree design as a service. Australians are a nation of immigrants so I needed to convince them to tell their story in picture form. Being married (to a genealogist) in the 90’s enabled me to attend ROEHAMPTON in 94/95.
This was the first ongoing serious tuition I experienced.
Since 1988 I have completed 217 family trees, since 2000 two originals of each design which enabled me to quote better and to be able to present my own ideas to the client (try new ideas).
and I also I asked her to tell us a little about her interest in family trees:
It’s been a pretty solitary road I have travelled. At times the isolation has been difficult, but as each project’s challenge was met, and seeing the delight on my clients face, has encouraged me to persevere. I wanted to instil a sense of their’ ancestry through this art form…so the designs were done with this in mind. I wanted to make them easy to follow and to tell a story of the family’s journey. All non indigenous Australians came from somewhere half way round the world, so I knew I had huge potential for work. I wanted to attract the attention of not only the families featured but also that of the visitors to their homes. Many of my clients told me how much it delighted their children. I saw my own family’s tree at age 15 and it then dawned on me how fortunate I was that so many couples had loved each other in order for me to exist. I think that was when the seed was planted for this journey I have been on.
IT is important to do what makes one happy, not simply follow the crowd.
At the same time I attended many workshops at our annual conferences (Summer School in Winter) to learn more contemporary lettering from overseas tutors – I unfortunately never spent enough time with the new techniques. (I was so pleased that Patricia flew all the way from Victoria to Perth to attend my Kilian workshop. She had already fallen in love with pencils…)
I have recently taken up botanical art and also discovered a love of pencils…..which I hope to pursue as I gradually reduce my work load due to damage to my neck from the many hours leaning over the drawing board.