• 2023 at TPK: Year in Review

    Read on to find out a summary of 2023 at TPK plus what you can expect from 2024!

    2023’s theme was “Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect”.

    Now that 2023 is over, I’ve put together this year in review article to discuss developments, creations, regrets, and what’s in store for 2024.

    What Was Different in 2023

    In late 2022, an editor at a well-known publishing company reached out to me about writing a pointed pen calligraphy book. I found a literary agent, and with their help, a contract agreement was reached in early summer of 2023. Since then, working on the book has engulfed most of my time. So, I struggled — and continue to struggle — with balancing the book, managing the TPK site and Supplies Shop orders, and family life. Writing a book is a marathon, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity! But, I’ll also be relieved when I’m finished.

    Pointed pen calligraphy quote bookmark featuring gold and silver filigree leaves on black cardstock
    This filigree bookmarks project is one of the project tutorials featured in my upcoming book about pointed pen calligraphy.

    2023 was also the year we started running ads on Facebook/Instagram/Pinterest. As I dove deep into writing my book, I realized that I simply don’t have the bandwidth to do a lot of organic social media posting and interaction. That’s never been my strong suit anyway, and with young kids, a blog, and a book in the mix, it’s nearly impossible. So, we hired a local (Boulder, CO) firm to help with social media ad development and management. It was a lot of work to get up and running, but I’ve been so happy that the ads are helping new people to discover the site!

    "Draw Attention by Drawing" written in white serif lettering, with "Attention" written below in flourished pink gouache
    This is a still from one of the ad videos. It’s been such a treat and a relief to have some marketing help, freeing me up to work on my book! After the book is finished this year, I look forward to having time to innovate on this website to make more video courses and develop content.

    2023 Highlights

    The first highlight of 2023 happened when I was scrolling through the New York Times daily morning newsletter. As I scrolled down, I saw a reference to an article I was pretty sure I’d see my name in. And there I was! That was fun and cool. (You can read the full article — What Killed Penmanship?here.)

    This year, I also had the pleasure of being a judge for the Graceful Envelope Contest. It was so amazing to get to see all of the entries, and I couldn’t help but share photos of my favorites. When my kids are older and I have a little more free time, I’m chomping at the bit to submit an entry to the contest myself!

    Two Graceful Envelope Contest Entries

    The main highlight of 2023, though, was getting to see TPK learners thrive. Ultimate Beginner’s Watercolor Online Course learner Christl M. worked up enough gumption to use her watercolor skills to illustrate a book. TPK reader/learner Lynne Kolze published Please Write: Finding Joy and Meaning in the Soulful Art of Handwritten Letters with Beaver’s Pond Press — and she included a couple of inspirational mail art photos from this site.

    Christl M. told me she wouldn’t have been able to work up the courage to create these illustrations without her Ultimate Beginner’s Watercolor Online Course knowledge.

    From illustrated maps to illuminated letters, readers kept busy and often took the time to share their work. There were some days last year where I felt totally overwhelmed and in over my head when, just in time, an email would arrive with kind words and a photo of a reader’s TPK-inspired work attached. Talk about motivation — thanks to everyone who fed my inspiration and creativity this year!

    Newcomer Products

    Lindsey Bugbee Holding a Botanical Letter "D"
    This is a screenshot from the Watercolor Botanical Letters 101 eCourse, which was released in April 2023.

    Before I started working on my book this year, I released several new resources that I’m proud to have here on the site. Here’s what’s new in the Digital Catalog as of 2023:

    This non-fibrous cotton cleaning cloth is great for keeping your nibs and/or brushes nice and dry.
    The Paris Map Cleaning Cloth was added to the Supplies Shop in April of 2023.

    The Supplies Shop also got a modest handful of new products last year:

    Biggest Regret

    My biggest regret for 2023 is not taking care of myself for the first few months of working on my book. I’ve always been someone who functions best when I’m active, but I felt guilty taking time out of my day to workout. So, for about four months, I let exercise slide off of my to-do list — and I was a grumpy mess. When I finally got back on the horse (or the Peloton, as it were), I felt so much better. Now, I make myself incorporate some sort of intentional movement into my everyday routine, and my mental health is soaring. I’m okay trading some productivity for that.

    Like most of us, I struggle with balance.

    Any mistakes I made in 2023 are helping me to achieve balance in 2024. That’s not to say that I’ve mastered juggling everything perfectly; there are times when emails remain unanswered or book deadlines aren’t met. But after having a nice, long holiday break over the past couple of weeks, I’m feeling optimistic about continuing to prioritize self-care.

    What’s in Store for 2024?

    I’m really excited for this year, mostly because I’ll be finishing my book in March or April. You can expect to see it on store shelves across the world, translated into several different languages, this upcoming holiday season. Once I finish the book, I’d love to home in on developing some fresh online workshops/worksheets and finally getting to teach a couple of in-person classes again.

    TPK Beginner Calligraphy Workshop | The Postman's Knock
    I haven’t taught an in-person workshop since before the pandemic. I’m so excited at the prospect of teaching in person again!

    To stay abreast of happenings, just stay subscribed to the TPK blog feed/newsletter. If you’re reading this article in your email inbox, you’re already subscribed. If you’re new to TPK and are reading these words on the website — hi, welcome! — and you can subscribe here.

    A Quick Word on Making Your Moment Perfect

    The translation for this quote is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect.” (You can learn how to flourish it in Flourish With Me: A Pointed Pen Calligraphy Online Course.)

    At the beginning of this year in review article, I mentioned the quote “Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect.” Often, we hesitate, waiting for ideal conditions to pursue our passions or start new projects — both big and small. However, embracing the present and making the most of it, regardless of its imperfections, often leads to success. Take that as it applies to you; maybe it’s something as small as seeing if you can sketchbook while your young kids play. Or, maybe it’s something big like deciding that this year is your year to illustrate a family tree or write a memoir. Whatever it is you want to accomplish, I’m here rooting for you. Here’s to a fabulous 2024!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock

    P.S. Did you enjoy this year in review? You can read 2022’s year in review here and 2021’s year in review here.