Today we’d like to introduce you to Jake Weidmann.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Jake. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I received my certificate as Master Penman in July 2011. I am one of eleven existing Masters today and the youngest alive today by three decades and the youngest ever to attain the title. Calligraphy is the “special sauce” to everything I create as I incorporate traditional calligraphic flourishing into the context of my fine art. My career in this dying art form has led me to work with influential companies and individuals around the globe.
Ironically enough, among the surprising opportunities I’ve had throughout my career, I’ve collaborated with Apple Inc. on several of their black projects and helped hone their calligraphy features for the Apple Pencil within the ProCreate app.
I’m also a passionate storyteller and often speak to a wide range of audiences about the nature of my work ranging from small, intimate gatherings to speaking from stage in front of thousands. I’ve given two TEDx Talks here in the Mile High City. My first talk (2014) revolves around the idea of why handwriting is more important than ever in our technological age while my second talk (2018) speaks to the idea of creating a lasting legacy through art in a world of instant gratification.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I was never formally taught any of my artistic disciplines (wood carving, calligraphy, drawing, painting, engraving). I got my degree in psychology thinking I would counsel children using art therapy. While I applied to the art program at my alma mater, I was rejected all-together because my old-world approach was not favored at the time as the art program was heavily focused on creating modern works of art.
I graduated in 2008, the year of the massive recession, and nobody was hiring. Instead of going back to school to get my masters, art, surprisingly enough, was what paid the bills. I continued to get commission work through my college years and even afterward. What was once my side hobby quickly grew into my full-time job. I’m now blessed to be more than a decade into an established career as a professional artist.
Tell us about your work – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
As one of only eleven certified Master Penman in the world today, Alongside calligraphy, I am self-taught in woodworking, painting, sculpture, drawing, and more recently, hand engraving. I am most well known for incorporating traditional calligraphic flourishes into the context of my fine art.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I used to think that success looked like setting out with a plan and making sure that the plan played out in my life. I realize now that “having a plan” can oftentimes be delusional. If I had set out to do what I thought I was “supposed to be doing” (i.e., psychology) then I would have never allowed myself the faith and freedom to make art my career.
Now that I’m a decade into doing what I once thought to be impossible, I have more faith than ever in that I’m doing what I was always called to do. Success, for me, looks like loving my family and creating a lasting legacy through my art along the way.
- Website: JakeWeidmann.com
- Instagram: @JakeWeidmann
- Facebook: @JakeWeidmann
- Other: Academy.JakeWeidmann.com