Weston Artist Wins National Calligraphy Contest

Artist P.L. “Pat” Brooks has a unique way of looking at things. So, when she discovered that “Put Your Stamp On It” was the theme of the 2019 Graceful Envelope Contest she let her creative juices flow. Her artwork was selected as one of the winners.

The theme was chosen to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Graceful Envelope Contest and the 125th anniversary of the United States Postal Service’s commemorative stamps. Artists were challenged to incorporate those events in their design.

Brooks says that was not an easy task. “How do you make the scene on the envelope cohesive, but not so complicated that the message is lost? I thought that having a diverse cross-section of USPS postal workers holding banners and balloons, celebrating the anniversaries, would bring it all together.”

Winners were selected based on hand lettering, creative interpretation of the theme, and effective use of color and design, including incorporation of postage stamp(s). Brooks used actual stamps for the flag balloons on her envelope.

Although there is no prize for this contest, Brooks says she takes pride in knowing that her work was judged to be among the best in the world. “What you do get is basically a self-satisfaction that you could compete with professional calligraphers and artists from around the globe and your envelope made an impact.”

Brooks has entered the Graceful Envelope Contest for the last seven years. This was her second consecutive Winner award. She has also received four Honorable Mentions. She says she likes the challenge this contest offers.

“As an artist, I like to be challenged. This format has several rules that you need to follow, but then I am allowed to interpret how the final product will look,” she shares. “It’s a wonderful feeling to have it all come together successfully.”

Brooks says she also enjoys the calligraphy challenge. “Calligraphy is very precise lettering. While that is certainly challenging on its own, having to incorporate it into a theme and scene doubles the challenge because you also have to consider the size and placement of the lettering.”

This year’s contest was judged by retired White House Chief Calligrapher Pat Blair and two professional calligraphers. 

In addition to the Graceful Envelope Contest, Brooks has won many fine-arts awards. She is a charter member of the Weston Art Guild, as well as a member of the National League of American Pen Women and the Gold Coast Watercolor Society. She is known for her cartooning, hand lettering and Zentangle inspired artwork. 

  • To see more of her work, look at Instagram @plbrooks04.