We first met Skyler Chubak at IAMPETH 2013 in Albuquerque, NM, and were immediately impressed with his work. His vintage lettering and unique illustration work well together to create his distinct style. Enjoy his candid and honest answers to our questions as well as a sampling of his work!
McCaffery’s ink. I don’t use it for reproduction work, but it makes ornamental pen work more exciting than anything ever. Correspondence, practice, and original pieces would never look as good as they do or have the same feel if it wasn’t for that ink. The hairlines are way thinner than you can get with most other inks, and the ink is still super dense and dark in the shades. It’s awesome.
Why do you choose to shop at Paper and Ink Arts?
There aren’t too many choices for calligraphy supplies! Paper and Ink arts is awesome, the people are friendly, and they carry what I need!
I have no idea how I got started in calligraphy. I think it was a mix of a few things. In high school I had a Speedball book, and I would practice alphabets in it with a felt tip marker. I kind of thought I’d never be able to figure it out though,so I kind of gave it up for a year or so. I got really into graffiti, started collecting old children’s books and the strange mix of being influenced by the lettering in both of those worlds made me want to pick up lettering, so I picked it up again. I was really bad for a few years before I was still bad, but not quite as bad. I’m just starting to get to a point where things make sense even though I mostly feel like I don’t know what I’m doing.
I probably mostly do chalkboards around Salt Lake. It’s funny ’cause I’ve never sought them out, they just came to me ’cause people knew I did calligraphy. I had to learn things on my first couple jobs. Now it’s all word of mouth around Salt Lake. It’s pretty cool cause it takes less time than other lettering jobs, but I want to start to try to stray away from it. I just started getting jobs doing certificates and diplomas, and that’s the direction I’d like to head in. I really like that work.
This question is hard ’cause I don’t know if I went about learning in the beginning the right way! haha. But what I would say to do is gather as much information as you can. Books, videos, pamphlets, ads… there’s lettering everywhere. I get inspiration from everything and consequently collect way too much. I look at lettering on everything and try to figure out how people did it. I study it, read TONS of books on calligraphy, and ask tons of questions to everyone that knows better than me. I would practice daily, even if it’s just a little bit. Learn one thing at a time. Go to classes at guilds and conventions, and try to learn and take classes from the masters in the field. Even a couple of days with a good teacher can be more beneficial than months of practice ’cause you might be doing it wrong. (I still probably do most things wrong.) Also realize you can’t learn anything overnight, and neither did any of the people we look up to. It takes lots of time and messing up is fine.
I don’t have a website currently, I’m working on one. I have a Facebook page that’s debatably wildly unprofessional. It’s facebook.com/skyler.chubak and Instagram @skylerchubak. I also have a web store at skylerchubak.bigcartel.com. I’m going to update everything soon, but the best way to follow my work is probably Instagram right now.