Inside the artist’s studio with Stephanie Fishwick

Stephanie Fishwick sitting at her desk with a calligraphy pen in her hand.
Paperless Post BlogInterviews > Inside the artist’s studio with Stephanie Fishwick

Since her breathtaking collection of online invitations for Paperless Post first debuted in the spring of 2021, Stephanie Fishwick’s designs have been indisputable fan favorites. Incorporating elements of whimsy, fantasy, and the ornate botanical imagery found in her intricate illustrated collages with beautiful, hand-drawn calligraphy that feels custom-made, they’ve invited countless guests the world over to weddings, baby showers, and birthday celebrations. 

In anticipation of Stephanie’s newest offerings—which focus on both her delicate script style and the quirky characters and settings that have made her work so beloved—we spent time with the artist in her Charlottesville, Virginia studio. Between giving us a tour of the space (and pausing for some requisite work-in-progress photos), she spoke to us about her latest work, how she stays inspired, and her sentimental reason for learning calligraphy in the first place.

Three Stephanie Fishwick invitations with eclectic designs.
Frog in Flight, ”“Day’s Eye,” and “Written in Ink” by Stephanie Fishwick for Paperless Post.


Tell us about your latest invitations. Are they an extension of your previous designs, or have you branched off in some way?

For this collection, I worked with the Paperless Post Design team to add some print-like textures to my calligraphy, like gold foil and engraving. We also wanted to spotlight some of the funny characters and motif moments that are often tucked within my larger collages—the flying frog collage (“Frog in Flight”) is an example of that.

Meet the expert
Stephanie Fishwick creates one-of-a-kind collages and calligraphy styles, and she is a card design partner at Paperless Post.
Left: A close up of Stephanie Fishwick’s hand writing calligraphy on a piece of paper; Right: A surprise birthday invitation with calligraphy that reads “Don’t tell a soul.”
Inkling” by Stephanie Fishwick for Paperless Post.

How long have you been practicing calligraphy, and what drew you to it originally? 

Calligraphy, for me, was at first a learned skill but became a profound form of anxiety relief. I’ve been a professional calligrapher for 10 years. It’s a very satisfying way to work and bring beauty to events and special occasions. My interest in it began during childhood when I inherited my grandmother’s art bin. She was an artist, and from a very young age, it was evident that I was, too. So my dad and his brothers decided I would inherit her big bin of supplies. It was full of special writing instruments, pastels, brushes, inks, and more. I loved using the nibs and calligraphy pens, but I didn’t know how to use them properly until later. 

Calligraphy is very technical—but once you’ve learned the basics, your personal style can really shine. I was intrigued by the way it allowed me to merge my passion for drawing with pen and ink, with my love for beautiful, old-world handcrafted things. I worked with pens and inks during art school but didn’t learn the actual craft properly until after a trip to Paris. I bought supplies at a magical store called Melodies Graphiques. I did some workshops with Master Calligraphers and once I started to see that I was progressing, I was more and more addicted to it.

How would you describe your calligraphy style? 

My calligraphy is characterized by a blend of traditional and experimental elements. It’s like different styles of music: they range from classical to baroque, to goth and psychedelic. I hope that my work always showcases a deep appreciation for classical calligraphy techniques, with a respect for traditional styles. 

Do you have a favorite word to write in script? 

The word “Love” is fun to write. My favorite letters to calligraph in uppercase copperplate script are L, D, V, and R. 

Two Stephanie Fishwick invitations with eclectic designs.
Milestone Manuscript” and “Scripted” by Stephanie Fishwick for Paperless Post.


What’s one element of your studio that’s unique to you and your craft? 

I have a desk space dedicated to calligraphy with a lightbox, paper, pens, and all of my favorite inks. I use vintage nibs that I buy in bulk to achieve the narrowness of my letters. 

How do you stay inspired day to day? 

Making art every day and being open to ideas is just part of life for me, and I’ve never known anything different. It’s a necessity for staying sane. I get frustrated when I am trying to learn something new, and sometimes this thing will happen where I am not liking anything I’m working on. I’ve found that if I switch gears for a few hours and do something different, like make a box or a collage, it’s essentially a reset button, and I’ll feel a refreshed commitment to the harder task and excited to return to it.

How do you hope guests will feel when they receive one of your invitations? 

A sense that this will be an event not to miss—a really unique and special experience. 

Left: A Stephanie Fishwick wedding invitation with a floral wreath and two trees; Right: Several pieces of paper with drawings and calligraphy.
Topia” by Stephanie Fishwick for Paperless Post.

What three things can a host incorporate into their event to evoke the same vibe as your invitations?

Flowers, a bit of luxury, and a delightful surprise.

Thanks, Stephanie!

Looking for an unforgettable way to invite your loved ones to a party, wedding, or shower? Browse our entire collection of Stephanie Fishwick invitations.

Discover the collection

Unforgettable invitations by Stephanie Fishwick, only at Paperless Post.