At the 2017 DC Pen Show, I had the honor of sitting down and interviewing Jake Weidmann, artist and Master Penman. He’s someone I’ve looked up to personally for several years, since I first discovered his TedX talk called Why Write? Penmanship for the 21st Century. His artistic talent is undeniable, he clearly has a gift for calligraphy, drawing, carving, sculpting, painting, and engraving. His signature is incorporating classic themes and lines from calligraphy into his art, especially animals and nature.
At age 26, Jake became the youngest certified Master Penman in history, a designation given to a very select few talented individuals across the world by the International Association of Master Penman, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting. To receive such a designation, you much go through years of rigorous practice and training, mentorship, and a final test of creating your own ornate certificate, which is then presented to the artist upon acceptance as a Master Penman. This whole process was completely foreign to me until I read up on Jake, and it’s inspired me to attempt to improve my own handwriting.
It would be quite accurate to say that I am a “fanboy” of Jake’s. I completely geeked out when I finally got to meet him in person, which was about 45 minutes before I sat down with him to do this interview! My Christmas gift this past year was a signed print of his “Craftsmanship” piece, which speaks to me as a craftsman, woodworker, and builder of things (including my business).
I was already well aware of his talents and some of his background, but what impressed me the most was his warmth and humility. Jake could very well be justified as an eccentric genius, as clearly his craftsmanship is at a level few could ever attain if they tried. But he’s not eccentric at all, he’s kind, curious, optimistic, and simply a pleasant person to know. To know that there’s not only an amazing talent here but that there’s a genuinely good person behind it all is refreshing and inspiring to me, and I hope to you, too.
Sitting down like this with Jake was a gift for me, an item crossed off my bucket list. I genuinely enjoyed chatting with him and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you. In an age where the future of handwriting is uncertain, Jake is an inspiration and a hope for this beautiful art to continue to flourish. I strongly encourage you to check out all of Jake’s work on his website
, Instagram account
, and Facebook