Funky Fresh Calligraphy by Val Martin

I stumbled upon some funky and fresh calligraphy by Val Martin on Instagram. Her letters are a fantastic modern twist on the traditional calligraphic stylings of Spencerian script. So energetic and fun!

1. Your name and title/business name?

Valerie Ann Martin, my friends know me as Val Martin or Viannmartin on Instagram. I haven’t really launched an official business name for my calligraphy but am working towards that.


2. Do you have a specialty or special style that makes you relatively unique? If so, what?

I specialize in Classic Spencerian Script as well as Modern Freehand.

I’ve said this before in one of my previous posts – Every Calligrapher has a “tell”, like a handprint or their own personal nuance in every stroke they make as they write the letters.

I’ve looked through my scripts since I started and it has definitely changed (and improved haha). It’s still in the process of evolving as I learn more as well.

I have noticed that the flow and slants have stayed the same, but there is that particular “point” or angle in my connecting strokes that have always been consistent whether I’m doing classic or modern scripts. I suppose that would be my “tell”.


3. What’s your educational background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?

Whoo boy… My educational background? I graduated college with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology. TOTALLY not artsy. LOL I have stayed in Saudi Arabia for most of my elementary and high school years (11 years I think) before coming home to the Philippines for college.

I feel so weird some days that this whole “art/calligraphy” moment didn’t manifest in my early years. I just recently started in 2014.

4. Preferred tool(s) and medium?

The oblique holder is my weapon of choice paired with an awesome vintage nib, some days brush pens do the trick too.


5. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?

Goodness! This is a loaded question for me. There’s so much that sparks creativity in me for so many things. Travel, books, a movie I’ve watched over and over again and then there’s music …always music… so much of how I write is tied to the emotions I feel.

When I feel a roadblock while working on something or if it’s not been a good day to write – I stop. Put my pen down and step away from the table. Re-center. Then start again.  Some days the block isn’t because there’s lack of inspiration but because there’s so much it gets overwhelming. Stepping back and remembering why I do what I do really helps.

When I think of my calligraphy journey I can also say I have been lucky and blessed to have such a great support group from family, friends, to our calligraphy community via IG that provides a constant feed of positivity and encouragement to help me become better.


6. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight us.

There are a couple of projects coming out probably in the next quarter or so that I am very excited about. Some are geared towards sharing what I’ve learned thus far in my journey with some projects that push me out of the comfort zone to partner with other artists that use different mediums.