A designer by the day, Yi Min @yiminheng from Penang, Malaysia first started calligraphy with encouragement from her ex-boss. Today, she is being commissioned by luxury brands like Coach and Michael Kors to do calligraphy and bag painting. She sees beauty in letterforms beyond digital typography. We chat with her on her growth journey.

R: Yi Min, how did you come to fall in love with calligraphy?

Yi Min: I was impressed with beautiful calligraphy out there, and wanted to give it a try after my ex-boss encouraged me. At first, lettering and experimenting with longhand styles was just a way for me to unwind from hectic work routines; but after awhile, calligraphy and lettering became my passion. I fell in love with it and enjoy writing creatively. Calligraphy enables me to inscribe beautiful letterforms beyond digital typography.

R: Do you have a favourite/fixed calligraphy style? How did it evolve over time and what are your thoughts on 'finding your own style'?

Yi Min: I love all my calligraphy work! :) I found that I create different calligraphy works at different stages in my life. For my previous artworks, they might not look mature, but I see them as a part of my journey. It's just like how we look back at our photo albums- they all have stories to tell. 

I explored a lot before I fixed into one calligraphy style. It depends on what kind of calligrapher you want to be. If you are on the way to learn calligraphy, I would suggest to not limit yourself and explore different styles. Every person has a different personality, and same goes to hand writing. The theory is the same, but the style might be slightly different for each calligrapher. Have patience and put effort into practising, and one day you will have your very unique calligraphy style.

R: When life gets difficult, how do you stay the course and stay resilient? How did the pandemic impacted you?

Yi Min: I always believe that one should keep going and move on no matter how hard your life is. Don’t stop. As long as you are moving, there is hope. Yeah, and because of that, I wrote a lot during the pandemic! And also because of the pandemic, I got to know many calligraphers and friends online, do IG live together and learn from each other. We share tips and knowledge, and I am thankful with what I have gained during the pandemic.

R: We love your calligraphy and hope you enjoyed using Mori Pursebook too! 

Yi Min: Yes, Mori Pursebook replaced my daily notebook! I am a person that cannot live without pen and paper. I like to write everything down on paper. My previous notebook was a little bit small in size. This Pursebook (B6) size is just right for me. The purse compartment is very convenient for me to put some pens and tiny things. I love the brand story behind and for sure I love the products too!

Yi Min uses Mori's Black Cream Pursebook, handmade by Mori moms for sustainable livelihoods.  Check out full range of designs here.

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