Today we’d like to introduce you to Charlotte Rosales-Noordzij.
Charlotte, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My story begins in The Netherlands – I am Dutch by origin and was always very creative growing up. My grandmother was an artist – she did watercolor, pottery, sculptures: you name it, and she has probably dabbled in it. She also was a seamstress for a long time, and our favorite activity to do together was sew. Even though my grandmother has passed away, she still to me is one of my biggest examples – both as an artist and as a person.
I had a passion for music, and in my teens, I sang in church bands. I even studied in Australia at a bible and music school for a few years – which is where I met my husband. Fast forward to early 2016. I am in my final year of a Bachelor’s in Music back in The Netherlands, with the focus on contemporary music. A friend of mine invited me out to join her in a Modern Calligraphy workshop, as she has a spare ticket. I instantly fall in love with the calming effect it has on me, and from there on, I start practicing whenever I have time. While working on my graduation, I am also planning our wedding, and I design my first wedding invitation – my own. Together with the same friend, we write the calligraphy on the envelopes, and my passion is born.
Later that year, I visit my husband here in the States, as he is Texan, and I decide to stay. While waiting for my visa to come through I find myself with a lot of time on my hands, and I decide to teach myself another, more formal calligraphy script, and I teach myself Photoshop and Illustrator. This is where the idea of CalliRosa is first born, and with the encouragement from my husband and friends, I decided to start a calligraphy and custom invitation studio. This is about two years ago now, and from there, I developed my craft and style more and more, and this is where we are today. CalliRosa is a combination of the word “calligraphy,” and my married last name, “Rosales.”
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
CalliRosa is the pairing of modern, minimalistic, and sleek design, with the artisanal touch of handmade details. Personally, I am a sucker for really modern and industrial furniture pieces, and I gravitate to that in my design work as well. At the same time, I love the artisanal side of creating: wax seals, organic chiffon, and handmade papers are some of my favorite things to work with. In CalliRosa, I hope to create a healthy balance between the two. As I do a lot of commissioned work for clients, I first and foremost tell my clients’ story – their personalities, their quirks, the things that are important to them.
My favorite things to create are invitations and envelopes – there is just so much detail that goes into a single envelope! It is the thing that lands in between someone’s bills and fliers, and therefore, in my opinion, it must stand out. From the color of the envelope to the style of the calligraphy, to the color of ink I use, it is the first impression people see of the (usually) invitation that is inside. It should match the vision for the event has created, and I take a lot of pride in making sure it complements the rest of the paper – even if I have not created that myself. I offer calligraphy services separate from design as well, so this does happen on occasion.
And then invitations: when I looked for my own invitations, I couldn’t find anything I liked, that felt like “us.” It is why I decided to design my own – I hilariously designed them in Word – and it honestly was such a headache looking back on it – the entire process. Now, I try to take that big item off my clients’ plates, so that it is one less thing for them to worry about, and can enjoy that time leading up to the wedding a little more.
I walk my clients through the entire process: from the initial mood board and design sketch, paper choices, proofs and finally, production. There is so much that goes into creating a single invitation, and sometimes I work with clients for 9+ months (from Save The Date to day-of stationery), so I make sure that I am a good fit with my client by taking them out on a coffee date. We discuss the wedding, how they met, what makes them “them,” and their vision for their invitation. From there, I usually have a pretty good idea of what they want, and we get into the design process. I try to always pick out a few details unique to them, and translate them in the design, so it really is them on paper. I don’t actually own a copy of my own wedding invitation, as I didn’t account for it in my total. I now always make sure they get an heirloom copy for them to treasure and look back on, as well as a copy for the photographer for wedding day detail shots. One of the few things you tangibly have left after a wedding day is your invitation, so I to me it is one of the details a couple has to get right!
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
I cash-strapped the business, I never spent money I didn’t have for it. I know people regularly go into debt when starting their business, but I just don’t believe that personally. I didn’t have a fortune starting out, but I slowly but surely was able to secure better tools and expand my services. I regularly invest in education, and I truly believe starting out, educating yourself in whatever way you can is super important! It honestly is the best investment you can make in your business.
I was lucky enough to land in a financial situation from where I could start my business working on it full time – I know this isn’t the case for most people. I do believe in financial security, and the image of the struggling artist ought to be a thing of the past. Be smart with your craft, do it next to your regular 9-to-5, in the evenings, mornings, whenever you can, and once the side hustle brings sufficient funds for you to be able to quit your day job, then make that jump.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Every once in a while, I get to leave a lasting impression on the city in the form of a mural or a sign that gets used over and over again. There is a mural of mine visible Organically Bath and Beauty (11854 Wurzbach Rd, San Antonio, TX 78230) and I did a permanent chalkboard illustration for the Alamodome recently.
My favorite way to connect with people is on Instagram (@callirosa) – feel free to shoot me a PM or comment along :)! I love hearing from people that follow along, have conversations, and follow along right back :). It is also where I show behind the scenes of the studio, and where my most recent work lives. For the more streamlined photos of my work, more information and to get in touch, you can always visit my website: www.callirosa.com.
- Address: Based in San Antonio, but serving couples all over the Texas Hill Country and Texas!
- Website: www.callirosa.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/callirosa
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/callirosa
Headshot: Melissa Raelynn Photography
Other photos: Splendored Photography, Ema Reide Photography, Under The Sun Photography, Cupcake Photography