If you’ve been tracking my movements lately, you’ve probably see plenty of my frantic script on various pictures across blog posts and the Instagram feed. Since being more in tune with the art of hand-lettering, I’ve found plenty of people doing great work. One of the pioneers of this expressive new world is Kal Barteski, a polar bear loving Canadian who is as handy with a Sumi brush as surgeon a scalpel.

Originally I anticipated my conversation with Kal to be about lettering and Instagram, but when I hit her with a couple of heavy philosophical questions right out of the gate, it turned into a deep conversation about the soul of expressive art and typography. We bonded over mutual respect for icons like David Carson and Basquiat, and she indulged my curiosity on her fascination of polar bears.

It’s a great conversation that inspired us to promise another one in the future. I think you’ll agree.

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