Based in Dallas, Andrea Howey recently transitioned from 13 years as a nonprofit meeting planner to a full-time hand-lettering artist and small business owner. She has partnered with organizations, ministries, authors, events and causes around the world. In her own words, here’s her inspiring story as well as practical suggestions of how to incorporate hand lettered artwork into events.
My interest in hand lettering began to take form in late 2012 when my dad had been diagnosed with Stage IV esophageal cancer. During the short season he fought for his health, my grandmother suffered a stroke. It was a difficult time because there were so many challenges and discouraging reports coming at us from all sides. I began handwriting various scriptures that encouraged my faith and reminded me of the promises of God and I began sharing those images on my Instagram account.
In early 2013, through a completely God-ordained moment, I received a book called “Girls With Swords” by Lisa Bevere. As I read it, I began sharing some of the quotes from the book on Instagram. After posting a few of them, Lisa began reposting those images on her Instagram account as well. After a few weeks, Lisa and her team reached out and asked if I would be willing to incorporate the art as a part of the study curriculum for this book.
The timing was significant. The same week I had that conversation with Lisa, watching God bring this amazing gift to a new level, was the same week my dad passed away. It is as if what was one of the darkest times of my life also became one of the most amazing. I watched God bring something beautiful to life out of a season of great personal loss.
I never thought of myself as an artist. I found such joy in being a meeting planner for the past thirteen years. But I’ve encountered this continual and growing demand from organizations that want their message put into hand lettering, and it’s my responsibility to steward [my gift] well.