From chalkboard menus to wedding props and street art, the craze for hand lettering seems to have caught even Nagaland. There is a significant and prominent use of hand lettering art everywhere!
For the uninitiated, Lettering is the art of drawing where a certain word or phrase is presented as an artwork. Many Naga artists, both professionals and hobbyists are creating unique and personalized art using something as simple as letters. Lettering masters usually work by hands using various pencils, brushes, ink, or chalk while some may prefer applying graphic tablets and stylus. Hand lettering differs from calligraphy because the latter aims at the perfection of style while lettering is popular due to the freedom of the presentation.
“m.for.apples” an Instagram account has caught the interest of many people in Nagaland. This Instagram account belongs to talented artist Megosano Sakhrie. We are fortunate to interview her because this young budding artist is extremely private about her work. In fact, she is not very keen to label or sell her work commercially.
Discussing her passion for hand lettering, Mego tells us, “A lot of people are surprised when they find out that I’m the one behind the Instagram account. Although, I’ve possessed an artistic streak since a young age, hand lettering was something I picked up by chance. It was as simple as looking at a quote and wanting to write it beautifully that propelled me to learn the art. I started practicing and finally mastering the art on my own.”
Mego’s family owns a departmental store in Half Nagarjan, Dimapur called “Ki-Mart” and in a small space in this store, she has turned it into a small cafe where she has displayed some of her artwork. She has worked on boards for several weddings and other events. At present, she has been commissioned by newly launched “The Local Store” in Kohima for some decorative wall hangings.
She opined that more people are gravitating towards lettering and calligraphy. “I see people interested now more than before. This is a good sign.” She lists professional Calligrapher and Lettering Artist John Stevens as an artist she is inspired by.
As an artist, she said that she is never truly satisfied with her own artwork. She explained, “When I go back and look at my old work I always feel that I could do better. There are always mistakes I notice or parts where I feel I could have done better. But I guess that’s the indication that you are growing and getting better as an artist.”
Mego likes to maintain that she is still an amateur artist and hand lettering continues to be a hobby. “The process of selling my artwork in a shop does not excite me. Advertising and commercial projection of my artwork makes me uncomfortable,” she said.
She does add that materials used for hand lettering are expensive. When some people comment that it’s too expensive, I start feeling guilty for having to sell my art at a high price. This issue is something I’ve been genuinely trying to deal with. She does point out, “We should think not only of the materials used or the time spent on making a piece but the years of laborious learning and perfecting the art.”
For now, she wants to only take exclusive projects and hopefully publish a coffee table lettering book. And this she says is what she’s really looking forward to and what truly makes her happy. This talented artist remarked, “The more I work, the more I progress. And it is really the encouragement from friends and well-wishers that keeps me going and wanting to get better at this.”
You can find more of the amazing stuff Mego does by following her account m.for.apples on Instagram.