Start a Calligraphy Business
By Eric Hammer
If youre good at art or you just happen to be looking
for a low cost of entry home based business, then starting a
calligraphy business can be a great idea. Calligraphy has been
around for centuries in essence writing in very fancy
stylized lettering in a way that appeals to people who want to
see such things. It is commonly used when writing up certificates,
wedding invitations and other items.
These days, even though computer printers are perfectly capable
of creating calligraphy style designs without the need for a
human hand, there is still something about the one of a kind
artwork that a professional calligrapher can offer to clients
that appeals to most people and which will get them to decide
that its worth their while to spend the money to hire you
for the job.
The important thing to remember in starting a calligraphy
business is that you need to be really good at it and you need
to build a client base. Nobody likes to trust their wedding invitations
for example to an untested amateur, therefore youll need
to start small, doing work for very little money and building
up to earning better incomes.
How Much Can You Make?
Calligraphers always charge a per piece charge rather than
a per hour charge for their work, so the amount you will make
depends largely on how fast you are (and of course how good you
are). As an example, a sampling of Internet sites which offer
calligraphy services have prices ranging from just $1 per envelope
to as much as $5 per envelope for addressing wedding invitations.
Certificates may fetch around the same amount of money if
the work is basically just to write the name on a line, though
you could ask for much more money if you are doing the entire
certificate by hand. Some calligraphers for example charge as
much as $99 for a complete certificate though $5-$20 is more
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
In addition to the basic calligraphy business which involves
writing words in artistic style, consider also offering hand
scroll work where you decorate things such as wedding certificates
in stylized ways.
You should also keep in mind that you are in a service business
and there is a lot of competition. Dress respectably when visiting
potential clients, always have samples of your work and be sure
to photograph completed projects to show to potential clients.
One of the things that some professional calligraphers recommend
is that you never give away free samples. Instead, it is suggested
that you start out charging very cheap prices but keep charging
something so that people understand that your art is not free
it costs money. And of course, be sure to remind prospective
clients that you are starting out in business and thats
why your prices are so cheap so that they know they are
getting a bargain and cannot expect to hire you again two years
later for the same money nor can their friends do so. You may
want to set a certain limit of the number of clients you take
on at a cheap price and insist that after this limit, your prices
will go up to "full price." This will get you in the
door with references and will allow you to earn more later on.
Qualifications / Requirements
Bottom line you need to know how to do calligraphy.
If your local community college offers a course in calligraphy,
consider taking such a course. If you plan on doing this full
time as a business, be prepared to register with the city or
state so that you can collect sales tax on your income and expect
to pay income taxes as well.
Start by practicing your craft. If you dont know how
to do calligraphy, obviously the first step is to learn how to
do it. Learn several different styles. Then, prepare a portfolio
of samples of your work to show people what you are capable of
doing for them. Advertise with flyers and classified ads and
contact local churches and civic centers to find out if they
have awards ceremonies where they might want their certificates
to be prepared by hand.
The Calligraphy Alphabet: Start a Calligraphy Business
at Home This a web site devoted to the art of calligraphy
with some very helpful advice on starting a calligraphy business.
StudioArts: How to Start a Calligraphy Business
Similar to the site above, this site also offers some
great practical advice on getting started in this business.