Soul on Paper: The never-ending journey of calligraphy

For Victoria Kibildis, mastering the art of calligraphy is a never-ending journey, one she’s joyously pursued for the past 15 years.

Instructor Profile: Victoria Kibildis, Introduction to Calligraphy

“When I first picked up a pen,” said Kibildis, whose UC San Diego Extension course “Introduction to Calligraphy” starts Jan. 11, “I felt like I was putting my soul on paper.”

As the proprietor of Quills & Letters, a San Diego boutique hand-lettering studio for weddings and special events, Kibildis believes calligraphy enriches those who put pen to paper.

Her own start began modestly enough, when she designed an invitation for her son’s high school graduation. Her artistic spirit emerged.

“I just love the look of shiny black ink on paper,” said Kibildis, who’s taught calligraphy for 11 years. The upcoming class will be her first at UC San Diego Extension. “You combine that with the gestural flow of your hands with each brushstroke, and it’s like magic.”

Derived from Greek, the word calligraphy translates to “beautiful writing,” dating back to stone carvings in ancient Rome over 2,000 years ago, to the skills of contemporary calligraphers.

Unlike typography and fonts, calligraphers are always learning new “hands” in order to visually express emotions contained within the written word and symbol.

A retired book-keeper who recently returned to San Diego from South Florida, Kibildis says teaching calligraphy always inspires her.

“Something beautiful comes out of your spirit, an inner experience that’s hard to explain,” she said. “That’s why I’m always partial to my beginning students.”

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