About Maria Helena

I was born and raised in a little country called Estonia in Europe, where I studied lettering and arts extensively in high school and college. I worked years as an event decorating artist, doing large scale calligraphy and various lettering commissions. Fifteen years ago my life changed when I met an American man working in Estonia, fell in love, got married, and moved halfway across the world to New Orleans. It did not take me long to find my art to be helpful to brides in my new adopted hometown. People in love are the same all over the world. Working with brides during their most special and also stressful time is a romantic journey and a real privilege.

During more recent years my business has grown national to include brides from New York to California. I work closely with many esteemed stationery stores and fine printers. I have designed over 150 invitations, and take on about 50 weddings a year. National magazines contact me to contribute to their pages. I am member of several professional lettering organizations, and I have been voted calligrapher of the year by local wedding professionals’ guild. My clients also include non-profit organizations, universities, and Mardi Gras Krewes.

I have studied extensively with some of the best known master scribes in the United States such as Sheila Waters and Michael Sull, among others. I continue my calligraphic education every year by participating in country-wide workshops to keep my lettering cutting edge. I am also giving back to the local lettering community by teaching at the New Orleans calligraphy guild.

Doing all this, my philosophy is to letter and design everything exclusively by hand, without a touch of computer involved. In my studio, all writing still gets done in the old fashioned way, by dipping pen into ink that has been prepared by me. I am keeping alive an ancient craft that becomes rarer by every passing year, adding my very personal flair. I deal directly and personally with each single client without delegating any tasks, assuring each commission gets the utmost attention.

Thanks for sharing in my story.

© Maria Helena Calligraphy

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