Toronto Calligrapher, Sylvia

Toronto Calligrapher, Sylvia Follow

9-5 Digital Marketing Strategist
5-9 Event Calligrapher & Workshop Instructor
🖤 Leader of @TheJustMarriedJacket pack
👇🏼 Learn more or book here

27,682 Followers  882 Follow

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Happy anniversary to these lovebirds. @amenability was the coolest bride in her gold sequin dress. But even cooler because she surprised her new husband with her custom denim jacket with a reference to Star Trek TNG. 🖖🏼 #jacketsviacalligraphy
Hair: @katiemariebridal
📷: @corynnfowlerphotography
So many people express their doubt in trying calligraphy and lettering by saying that they have bad penmanship. It's totally a common misconception that your "nice" handwriting is a prerequisite. Look at my usual chicken scratch! 🐓
Think of it this way: you learned to handwrite for the purpose of communicating a message, so speed is usually a factor. This writing is usually for taking notes or writing out your grocery list. If you decide to take on calligraphy, think of it more like drawing than writing. You draw each stroke very slowly and it's more often used for decorative purposes like cards and signs.
So don't be so hard on your handwriting. Mine sucks too. #thisismynormalhandwriting
Happy Friday! I think it’s time for #fridayintroductions again! My name is Sylvia, or Syl for short. I named my business after the dropped part of my name (and for clever wordplay) and now people call me “Via” which is not really my name... but I guess it is now.
Here I am doing one of my favourite types of jobs: event calligraphy at @holtrenfrew. I love dressing up, getting out, socializing, and seeing people get really impressed when I write their names 😅
I have a full time day job as a lead digital strategist at an agency, which I love. I’m often asked about when I’ll go full time with calligraphy but keeping it part time is perfect for me. Having been a full time creative entrepreneur in the past, I like this side hustle balance. It allows me to value the time I spend on my art and helps me stay passionate about it.
Tell me about you! What’s your work situation? Do you dream about making your own business full time? Are you thinking about starting a side hustle? (PS, this is your chance to ask me about my job because I have like 15 unanswered DMs that are stressing me out because writing about my career path is too hard)
Maybe it was the pitchers of sangria and the fresh baked bread, but everyone was in high spirits at last night’s workshop at @thedrake commissary. I had such an amazing group who all chatted and made friends while learning beginner brush lettering. The best part about teaching these classes is seeing everyone get instantly addicted to improving their skills!
As we’re kind of getting into the last quarter of the year, I’m winding down on workshop dates. So get in while you can for the October and November classes (and a bullet journal one next week)! Hit the link in my bio to find tickets 🎟
Custom design painted for the union between Oli and Patricia and an ode to their provinces of origin. Can you guess from the symbols which provinces they’re each from? 🇨🇦 #jacketsviacalligraphy
After a few stressful months of endless hustle, my intention for September is to practice more self care. #viabulletjournal
Last month I accidentally posted something to my stories that I meant to send to a group chat. It was a video of me scraping my face with my #guasha tool and you guys were so confused (valid tbh) 😅. I hold a lot of stress along my neck and jaw so this and the #jaderoller help relieve it. Point is, sometimes self care is taking a whole ass vacation... but most of the time it’s just massaging your damn face at home (or slapping on a sheet mask). What’s in your self care routine?
Quote inspired by @thecoffeefilter 🖤
So many badass babes this year. This one was a gift from Mr. to Mrs. @lovekeisham
Just gonna take a moment to brag because I just painted four jackets in four nights. 🥇🥈🥉🏆 (but um, not this one because I save bridal pics to post after the wedding. Can you read the Roman numerals and decipher the wedding date?) #jacketsviacalligraphy
My last back to school was well over a decade ago but I still feel like today’s the last day of summer! It’s engrained in me that September is the time for a fresh start; even more so than January. Anyone else in the mood to get organized?
These ladies were def on the same wavelength as me and came to my last sold out bullet journal workshop. We went over methods of getting your to-do lists and calendars in order for work and personal stuff. And everyone left with a classic @leuchtturm1917canada dotted notebook with their calendars all setup for the next 6 months. Want to do the same? Tickets for the September class are up now! Link in bio 📆
This wedding season has been pushing me to the point where I may have started contemplating an exit strategy. It can be so stressful managing so many clients and their tight schedules and deadlines at once. But then you finally get a weekend of rest and you sit back and watch the wedding play out on instagram stories and it’s all just kinda worth it. Congratulations to Jeanine and John on a gorgeous big day ✨ #signsviacalligraphy
For all your questions about my mirror seating chart process, check out ALL of my tools and tricks on the blog. Link in bio.
This is my ever-evolving style, with ligatures and flourishes that I add along the way. One that I developed over hundreds of hours of practice. Every letter is hand drawn and slightly varying; imperfect.
I wanted to jump into the #thisisnotafont project because I've been really feeling the effect of this lately. In the tech and startup world we're always looking for ways to automate and scale but that's just not the way it works if you're a maker. A maker puts themselves in every piece they are commissioned to create. And because this isn’t a font, we can’t treat ourselves like printers or undervalue our time. This is definitely top of mind as I’m trying to balance what types of projects I should be taking more and less of, as I’m feeling creative burnout. Lettering artists, do you ever get asked what font you use?
From the project originator @skribsinner:
- Lettering is drawing/sketching letters.
- Calligraphy is writing beautiful letters, often with thick and thin strokes.
- Fonts are what we use to type letters on our computers.
- Typography is designing using fonts and typefaces.
Tonight we’re doing another bullet journal workshop with @embiria at @cambriasurfaces! Listen to Palak, Founder and CEO of Embiria talk about the experience 👆🏼 I wasn’t sure how this workshop would be received since I talk really nerdy about productivity tactics, whether you should have a separate notebook for work/personal and how I like my calendars formatted. But I’ve found my people!
So excited to share my bujo experience and what’s worked for me to balance my schedule and track my goals. 💫

Seems like everyone is in back-to-school mode so we’re offering another on September 18th. Link to get tickets in my bio! #learningviacalligraphy
🎥: @berkeleyevents
Holy, tickets sell so fast for my brush calligraphy workshops that I barely get to post about them!
If you’ve been looking for a new hobby or would like to up your lettering game for cards and gifts, this is the perfect workshop for you! You’ll get my custom worksheets, tracing paper, pens and lots of one on one instruction. We’re doing one on September 12 back at @thedrake commissary so it’s also a perfect night out if you’d Iike to grab some snacks and drinks. Only 4 spots left. Link in bio!
#learningviacalligraphy x #embirialife