Calligraphy is an art that takes a lot of patience, dedication, and practice to learn. That’s why we admire and look up to artists who have mastered the craft and share their beautiful works through social media. Here are just a few of those amazing Filipino and Filipina calligraphy artists who’ve got our attention!
25. Samantha Balboa, 25
Sam Balboa started her calligraphy journey in 2016 as a way to destress from work. “I was working as a Marketing Officer and commuting every day was considerably draining me,” she shares. “To balance that, I set aside a few hours on the weekends to write random quotes (usually from songs, quotes from old university professors, or just random words) and practice strokes based on free worksheets I downloaded online.”
“Others might say calligraphy is stressful since you have to write so carefully and mindfully but that is what makes it so relaxing for me,” she adds. “I wouldn’t say I’m an expert calligrapher—I still have a lot to learn. I continue to do calligraphy because apart from making me so happy, it is my form of meditation and relaxation.”
Currently, she makes use of a copperplate style of calligraphy with flourishes and has earned from designing wedding invites and tags. She also hopes to start a business in the future with her twin sister who shares her passion for calligraphy and lettering.
24. Arianne Mae Bonacua, 20
Freelance artist Ari Bonacua shares that as early as 8 years old, she has always loved playing with paints and pens. “I think I just kept that fire burning through childhood up to the present,” she says.
Though she has been doing it as a hobby for most of her life, she only considered to turn it into a career in September 2018 when she was invited to join an art fair and eventually met a community tied together for their common passion for the arts.
“The art of creating is my inspiration itself, I really love having an idea and creating it into reality and being able to convey messages and feelings through my art to other people. In doing this, I am inspired to continue doing it even more,” she explains.
She describes her art style as balanced and proportional due to her self-confessed obsession with proportionality. “I always make sure my calligraphy artworks can fit in an imaginary box, [and] this is actually one of the tips I tell my students in my workshops.” She also uses two different mediums—brush pen and watercolor—when doing calligraphy and incorporates botanical elements into her pieces. “This allows me to play with colors. I can switch it up or blend it out and I really love experimenting with it, so most of my calligraphy artworks can be very colorful,” she adds.
When she isn’t playing with pens and papers, Ari spends time at her school library reading books, blogging about them, and writing reviews.
23. Edwin Gonzales, 25
Edz Gonzales started modern calligraphy three years ago when he first saw his aunt doing lettering and crafting. Since then, he was hooked!
He describes his style as freehand modern calligraphy and does this during his free time outside of his full-time day job as a restaurant kitchen staff. He also does decorations for events and parties on occasion.
“I’m deeply in love with arts. I want my world to be filled with it; full of colors makes it a happy place. That’s why I fell in love with an artist,” he shares.
22. Juan Karlo Osete, 25
Juan Osete began his journey to learning calligraphy three years ago, though he shares that he already got into it at a young age.
“What [persuaded] me was my discovery of using a brush pen,” he shares. “It made me want to know more about Calligraphy.”
Now, the brush pen is his go-to tool in creating the amazing art he posts on his Instagram account.
Aside from calligraphy, Juan usually does murals as a hobby.
21. Allan Anthony Maranan
Anthony Maranan shares that he discovered calligraphy in 2010 after his father bought a Speedball textbook which he studied during class breaks. Since then, his interest and enthusiasm to learn and improve led him to become part of a community that shares the same passion as he did.
In describing his art style, Anthony says that he likes to keep it traditional.
“I always admire the elegance, simplicity, and formality of classical and traditional letterforms like the cursive hands and Blackletter script A.K.A the Gothic alphabet so I always strive to achieve its ‘vintage’ and classic feel and reflect it on my works,” he explains. “[However,] I also work on less formal or modern letter styles like brush lettering and some chalk lettering commissions.”
Until today, he makes it a point to spend weekends reading books to improve his craft. “I believe learning something doesn’t end up after schooling,” he says. “Skill isn’t something one can get just in one sitting—it is achieved through commitment, consistency, and patience. Like the lines in a 1993 film ‘A Bronx Tale’ I live the words: ‘Remember, the saddest thing in life is a wasted talent. You could have all the talent in the world, but… If you don’t do the right thing, then nothing happens.’”
20. Neil Garin Alegro, 26
Neil Alegro first pursued his craft last April 2017. Now, he’s one of the pioneer artists of the Art Tour Team, a group of artists that conducts calligraphy and watercolor painting workshops to empower and inspire the youth.
“I’m into traditional calligraphy such as copperplate script and Spencerian script. This art style requires a lot of patience to master it,” he shares.
Neil is also part of calligraphy groups The Calligraphy Hub and Calligrafriends PH. Aside from being a calligraphy artist, he works as an Events Coordinator and a volunteer at Happy Hearts Events Planning.
19. Christian Cruz, 22
Christian Cruz first studied calligraphy in 2014, but he shares that he was already interested in it at a young age.
“Every time I see good, handmade signages in the streets, I can’t help myself but be amazed at how those things were created. So, I tried it myself. My inspirations are people who have extremely good handwriting and show extra craftsmanship in this field,” he tells us.
He describes his art style as purely who he is. “I’m into traditional calligraphy, but I’m doing it in a modern way with different mediums that I’m comfortable using,” he says. “After years of doing calligraphy, I have developed my own strokes and my own style that is somehow different among other local artists under the same niche.”
Nowadays, he enjoys doing envelope addressing, being an event calligrapher, and conducting private workshops in schools, companies, and events. He calls himself a “one-call-away calligrapher” and is currently doing freelance work. When he isn’t getting creative with pens and papers, he’s traveling or watching anime series.
18. Jeth Torres, 29
Jeth Torres shares that he started lettering since he was 6 or 7 years old inspired by his father who used to hand-letter the titles of his school projects. He says that illustration was his “natural talent” but found lettering much more enjoyable. As the years passed, he honed his talent for lettering and calligraphy and eventually realized that it was his true passion.
When describing his art style, Jeth says that it’s mainly inspired by Arabic strokes and calligrams, Western & Asian calligraphy, prison and gang tattoos, and Calligraffiti. He does them both traditionally and digitally. He has also done “Mouse Calligraphy” which he explains “is basically digital calligraphy, inspired by [local calligraphy artist AJ Dimarucot’s] work, using a computer mouse instead of brush or pen, and it’s done in Adobe Illustrator using the Brush Tool.”
“I don’t know if I was the one who coined that term but no one is using it based on my research,” he adds. “I’ve been doing this technique for five years now.”
For his day job, Jeth works as a full-time Design Lead at Canva and is also a freelance graphic designer. He also runs his own brand Swash.
17. Micole Tam, 22
Micole Tam reveals that her journey in calligraphy happened “by accident” back in 2014 when her mom bought her pens from Japan not knowing they were brush pens for calligraphy.
Since then, she practiced every day, doing it on school projects, personalizing her things, and creating art until she started selling merchandise, collaborating with different art brands, and doing calligraphy workshops.
“The people who supported me from the start and those who took the time to appreciate what I did really inspired me to keep going,” she shares. “Calligraphy and all the other art forms I do are a break from the everyday routine, that doesn’t only put a smile to my face but others as well and most importantly glorifies The Creator up above.”
Describing her art style, Micole says: “I’d like to think that my art is simple and yet brings a lot of good vibes. A simple encouragement or quote I write speaks to people. It isn’t too serious nor classic, it’s pretty straightforward. It’s just fun.”
When she isn’t focused on calligraphy, Micole enjoys illustrating products and engraving for makeup and beauty brands. She is also currently taking up Dentistry.
16. Tisa Muico, 29
“As most love stories often do, my love for hand-lettering/calligraphy started with a boy,” Toronto-based Filipina creative Tisa Muico shared with us. “I have always been creative, but creating art was something that fell by the wayside after university. But in 2015, I was dating a pen collector who constantly talked to me about flex nibs, walnut ink, and the perfect weight of paper—a real stationery geek (what a dreamboat)!”
According to Tisa, her eagerness to please her date led her to practice calligraphy. Fast forward to today and they now live happily together as a married couple, creating beautiful works for Tisa’s Instagram page!
In describing her art style, she says it often changes based on what she’s currently into. “I can definitely say that my calligraphy style is as capricious as I am – relying on my mood for the day, or the tools I am using, even the book I’m currently reading,” she says. “Often, my style is informal and modern. I like the imperfect look of dry brush calligraphy. I also often pair calligraphy with illustrations (mostly florals), wherein I get to experiment a lot with color.”