1. What’s your name and title/business name? Where are you located, city, state, country location?
My name’s Eugene trezen Berd, my handle is @tre.zen for calligraphy and @zenholders for the intruments I make. I’m a calligrapher, letterer and a freelance designer based in Kiev, Ukraine.
2. What’s your educational and professional background, i.e., college, professional school, high school, apprenticeship, etc.?
To be honest I don’t have a ‘proper’ education in art (but I do have a pretty useless Master’s Degree in marketing though) because there isn’t any [calligraphy] guilds in Ukraine and most of the people I know and work with are self-taught. We have workshops and courses, but people who teach there are self-taught as well (I sometimes teach, too — lettering and gothic calligraphy). I try to learn from as much [as I can from as many people] (online and in person), through studying books and even [Instagram].
3. Preferred tool(s) and medium?
Anything that writes! Pens, nibs, markers, brushes, iPads, chalk, pencil, Illustrator — you name it. I could never settle with ‘a’ tool, so I use everything I can. When you have like 25 different brushpens it’s *really* hard to settle with one, you know?
4. Where or how do you “recharge your creative battery,” i.e., books, blogs, music, art, exercise, meditation, prayer, hobbies, interests, etc.?
I feel like the battery only runs out if you *don’t* make art. The more you work, the more ideas, random and on purpose, come to mind. So to me recharging a battery means actually going back to work. Stop procrastinating, stop binge watching shows and get back to writing, you can always find inspiration through work. As for the usual exhaustion — anything to feel a ‘change’. Books, music, going for a walk or to the gym, editing some never-ending-previous-stuff-I- did in photoshop and Illustrator, anything that gets my mind off the current work.
5. Tell us something about you that might surprise or delight.
My journey into lettering and calligraphy began when I found a vintage 1950’s Montblanc fountain pen. It had a flexible [nib], which is quite rare nowadays, so you can use it like a ‘real nib’, with thicks and thins. It was beautiful, golden, old and fairly expensive. Surely enough, one time it fell on the floor. Nib down. It’s dead now, but I will always grateful to it for making me start.