Queen Quills Calligraphy: 100 Creatives
Number 47: Emily J. Snyder, Queen Quills Calligraphy
City: Minneapolis, MN
Years spent living in MN: 24
In this era of emails and text messaging, good penmanship can be hard to find. That's one of many reasons why it is so easy to appreciate the work of Emily J. Snyder of Queen Quills Calligraphy. Where most folks scribble off barely legible hand-written jots, Snyder's calligraphy transcends the mere note, falling firmly into the category art. Her style shifts from project to project, and includes pieces that are playfully ornate, whimsically chaotic, and boldly confident. Each word flows with a personality as distinct as a character in a novel or an illustration in a children's book.
The artist studied at the Society of Scribes in New York City before launching her business Killer Quills Calligraphy. She relocated to Minneapolis a year later, and has been working as the hand behind Queen Quills (minus some time spent teaching in Paris) since.
Name three things that are inspiring your work right now:
1. Jewels jewels jewels jewels and shoes shoes shoes shoes shoes!!!!!!!! And just getting back from Paris and seeing so many beautiful jewels and shoes!
2. Clients who are open to using imaginative/wild-style calligraphy, instead of using conservative or standard calligraphy styles.
3. Combining illustrative image into text. Calligraphy and drawing unite!
Name three things that inspired and/or motivated you as a budding creative type:
1. Spending time working with established creative businesswomen (Rebecca Schmidt at Mr. Boddington's Studio, Brenda Langton at Spoonriver, Barbara McIlrath, Bastian + Skoog, Annie Larson at ALL Knitwear).
2. Wanting to support myself financially using my creative skills.
3. Living in New York City was highly inspirational and motivating!
What was your last big project?
Molly Sims's wedding invitations, and being a visiting artist at an elementary school in Paris.
What do you have going on now or coming up in the near future that should be on our radar?
I'm currently working on album calligraphy/text for musician Sam Mickens, and book calligraphy/text for author and comedian Moshe Kasher.
Creative/career high point (so far)?
It was receiving a note in the mail from Stephen Colbert in his "calligraphy." Also, doing my first interior mural for Phoebe Cates, and doing a calligraphy job for Philip Glass!
Emily Snyder with students in France
What has been your biggest challenge as a creative type?
Staying on top of the business side of things, and staying organized!
How has the Minnesota scene changed since you started working here?
It seems that there are many more professional and DIY spaces to share art with people than there were in 2003.
Do you have a favorite letter of the alphabet or word that you like to write out? If so, which one and why?
Capital S and capital A. These letterforms seem to have an exceptional amount of room for variation and experimentation.
If you could only have one flavor of ice cream for the rest of your life, which flavor would you choose and why?
Vanilla, because it is my favorite, and you could eternally add different kinds of toppings to make it new and exciting.
Do you have a suggestion for someone whose work we should be checking out? Feel free to leave your top picks in the comments.
Past creatives, so far:
81. Joseph Scrimshaw
80. Adam Turman
79. Raul Osorio
78. Kristin Berwald
77. Rudy Fig
76. Laura Fulk
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Minneapolis & St. Paul and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.