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The story behind de Havilland Memories

I thought it might be interesting to have a blog post about the story behind de Havilland Memories. It all started at the end of 2019, when I had the idea to set up de Havilland Memories as a venture where I could combine both my love of painting and calligraphy in the form of wedding invitations. In the two years of me thinking about this prospect, mulling it over and fine tuning the details, I’m happy to say that de Havilland Memories is now a fully realised company!

Some modern calligraphy envelopes from the beginning of my calligraphy journey.
My first calligraphy envelopes

I had this idea when I had some time off from work. I'd taken up calligraphy in 2019 - something I’ve always been interested in, but I never quite made the proper jump into. After a lot of practice and taking short, online courses, I decided to specialise in Copperplate calligraphy.

Whilst I'd studied art in school up until I was 18, I hadn't had a chance to play with watercolours, and instead focussed on acrylic painting and charcoal drawings. I's always loved watercolour and how light and airy it can look, compared to the thick acrylic paintings I'd done in the past. At the beginning of 2020, I took the plunge and bought some watercolour paints, intent on studying until I was able to paint some half decent looking flowers.

What followed was an instant love. I went into watercolours with the idea that certain things looked bad and that I wouldn't paint like that (granulating colours were my enemy - this where the colours in the paint separate and form patches on the paper), but after some experimenting, I ended up painting in a style that I hadn't expected at all!

The next natural idea to me was to find a way to combine these two hobbies and make a full-time job out of it. I'd spent my life up until this point training and working as a mechanical engineer in the space sector, so this was a huge step!

Watercolour bridesmaids' proposals, complete with calligraphy
Some of my first watercolour cards

Although, as strange as this may sound, I’ve learnt most of what I know about the design process through engineering. We were taught different design processes and how to come to a creative, yet logical solution using a design brief set by a customer, which is exactly what I do when working with my couples. After a lot of hard work, and a lot of time creating connections, bettering my work and building a portfolio, in mid-2021 I did one, big, final push and registered de Havilland Memories. Since then, my dream has become a fully functioning company!

I now create custom wedding stationery, which includes Save the Dates, wedding invitations, on the day items, and much more, which is all personalised and tailor-made for each customer. Alongside the wedding stationery, I also create personalised gifts. These range from paintings of a wedding bouquet to beautiful calligraphy to celebrate the birth of a baby.

It’s been a very long road getting to this stage, and it’s mostly self-taught, but I’m so happy that I’ve decided to do this. It’s always been a dream of mine to sell my artwork, and now I can tick that off my bucket list as I’ve not only sold paintings, but also created wedding stationery for multiple clients! It’s an amazing feeling to know that others enjoy your work, and to see it displayed is something else! It’s seriously wonderful!

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