Inspiring Designer: Kaity Thornton of Lilly & Co Calligraphy

October 25, 2016 by Erin Behan

Kaity Thornton admits that the creative life can look a bit messy from the outside. Wherever she decides to set up her artistic endeavors for the day, the supplies can pile up.

nspiring Designere: Kaity Thornton of Lilly & Co Calligraphy
"I'll have palettes all over the place, and watercolors and paper everywhere," says the artistic mind behind Lilly & Co Calligraphy on Etsy and frequent Instagrammer under the @lillyandcocalligraphy handle.

She got into modern calligraphy after watching it trend on Instagram and then talking her husband into buying her a set of calligraphy markers for Valentine's Day. From there, she honed her style and branched into putting artfully scripted phrases like "Rock on" and "I can't adult today" on cards, wooden signs, mugs, and more.

nspiring Designere: Kaity Thornton of Lilly & Co Calligraphy
Her style is an outgrowth of always having neat handwriting in school — "everyone always liked me to write their notes for them" she says — and a brush with an "amazing" art teacher who taught her how to do classic calligraphy with nibs and ink. She also dabbles in painting, watercolors and crocheting.

The community of crafters and modern calligraphers on Instagram has sustained her, she says, offering "ideas for a different letter shape or a way to flourish, or a different angle to hold the pen, so that helps a lot. It's a really friendly community. If you have a question, you can ask whoever."

Influences in her work can come from anywhere, whether it's the old-timey town square of Covington, Tenn., where she lives, or from some Russian and Scandinavian folk art pieces that catch her eye at the craft store. It might be something her stepkids say, a line from a movie or song, or "whatever pops up in life."

nspiring Designere: Kaity Thornton of Lilly & Co Calligraphy
How much does she love paper? Well, her favorite TV show is The Office, and while working in Atlanta as an accountant for the film industry (on movies including Endless Love and The Hunger Games), she took full advantage of her unlimited office supply budget, buying "really fancy pens, notepads and tape."

Although Thornton admits that her arts and craft goods do sometimes migrate to other parts of her house (she's got a whole crafting corner set up in the TV room), her favorite place to work is in a dedicated art room on the second floor of her home. With two balconies, tons of natural light and room enough for all her supplies, it's the perfect place to dream up her next big thing, which, she says, is "for my Etsy shop to take the world by storm," and to lead conferences and classes on calligraphy and other crafts.

SHOP AT to buy cardstock for your next calligraphy project.

Erin Behan

Written by Erin Behan

Erin Behan is an L.A.-based writer and editor who considers fine paper one of life's little pleasures.


Visit Distinct Papers to buy high-quality paper or card stock for your next project or to find the right copy paper, correspondence stationery and envelopes.


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