Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Riggs.
Angela, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2015, while traveling for work, inspiration struck me and I set out to teach myself modern calligraphy. Armed with a ballpoint pen, a tiny hotel notepad, and a grief-sick heart, I took to the proverbial streets of Instagram to start learning from the pros. I was both inspired and terrified by the gorgeous artwork I found on other’s feeds. I didn’t let fear of failure discourage me, though. That very day, in the hotel ballroom, I lettered my first piece of art; a Colbie Callait lyric, “I miss everything about you.”
Using my iPhone, I digitized my lettering and layered it over a photo I’d taken on summer vacation with my husband and kids of a rainbow over Monterey Bay. I had never done anything like this before, y’all! I felt so blessed to be able to show others what was hiding in my heart through the color, size, font, and background of my newfound passion. Being able to emote, not only through the actual words I’d written but also through their composition, freed me of the sinking grief I was living in after the loss of my only son, my third child, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 2013.
This passion has turned into a small business where I create custom artwork, chalkboards, and wooden signs, offer calligraphy services and teach others this powerful art here in San Diego, CA.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Obstacles are inevitable, unavoidable, and not to be ignored. I’ve learned some of my best lessons in reaching out to trusted advisors and working to overcome challenges. I share everything openly- even embarrassing failures. Life is far too short and too precious for us to allow fear to lead the way.
My advice to other young women embarking on this journey- be confident. Don’t let anyone, especially that nasty voice in your head, tell you-you’re not good enough!
Be brave. Embrace the awkwardness and post all of your efforts on Instagram or your preferred social media outlets. You’re your own worst critic! The best part of posting? Going back a year later and seeing your progress.
Don’t get caught up in comparison. What is the benefit of comparing your beginning to someone else’s middle or end? You’re sure to feel discouraged this way. Use social media to learn from others, to create a community around your art, to support others in their journey, and to share your progress!
Pro tip- your confidence shows in your lettering! If you’re not feeling it, your lines will be wobbly. Just go for it!!
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
My chalkboard art and wooden signs are my top sellers. I can and do letter on any and everything! I also create digital art using my iPad Pro, which is so much fun! The thing that sets me apart from others is, well, me! I share my story and my passion for others seeking to learn this art or who want to bring a piece of my artwork into their home.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
I’m reading this life-changing book right now called “Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis. I highly recommend it! It’s that kick in the ass that you didn’t know you needed. I’m also regularly encouraged by my friends at Journey Community Church in La Mesa, CA. I give so much of myself in my art that I have to find time to do things that fill me back up. This super-chill church does that for me.
- Intro to Modern Calligraphy Workshop $40/person, minimum 4 people
- Wooden signs $25+ (depending on size and materials)
- Chalkboard art $25+ (depending on size and complexity)
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.Instagram.com/angelariggs
- Facebook: Facebook – By Angela Riggs
- Other: www.survivingSIDS.com