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I have a particular soft spot for hand lettering, particularly when it is used to adorn and beauty excerpts from the Baha’i Writings. Rosalind Ta’eed, known to her friends as Rozzi, creates cheerful, bright and joyful works of art. I was delighted to hear from her about her craft and what’s she’s been working on. Below is a small gallery of her work, as well as some words she shared with us.
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m an Australian mum of 2 girls. In my day to day work I’m an insurance lawyer (which sounds horribly boring but I actually really enjoy it), but at the moment the vast majority of my time is spent parenting our two littles. I grew up on the beautiful island of Tasmania, but after living in Australia my whole life our family this year relocated to another beautiful island – Fiji! We were very lucky to make the move just before coronavirus struck, and are grateful every day to be where we are!
Baha’i Blog: What form of arts or crafts do you make?
My main work is hand lettering, ie writing words or quotations in a fancy or decorative way. Most is done on paper, often with watercolour paints or simply good quality pens. I also sometimes work digitally on an iPad, but it is still all drawn by hand. Often my pieces will also involve paintings or drawings that complement the quotation. I have a particular fondness of creating galaxies in watercolour!
Baha’i Blog: What inspires you?
I never really intended to start hand lettering. I started because I saw a need – I was trying to find some nice hand lettered quotations from the Baha’i Writings that I could put on the wall of our eldest daughter’s bedroom. At the time I couldn’t find anything that was quite suitable. So I thought “I could do this”, and I set to work learning the skill. It started out more as a fun hobby (and a really useful creative outlet when I was at home with a baby) but as I got better I was able to start applying my work more and more the way I originally intended.
I get artistic inspiration mainly from the creative community on social media platforms. It’s a great way to see what other creatives are doing and get ideas and inspiration for different techniques.
My main inspiration, though, is simply the Word of God. If I hear or read quotations that really resonate with me then I always save them for later, so I have a bank of quotes to refer to when I have time to do some lettering. Sometimes as soon as I hear a quote I can immediately picture a design in my head, and will be itching to get it down on paper!
Baha’i Blog: What is your creative process like?
I always start with a quote (or perhaps just a few words) I want to letter. Sometimes it’s then as simple as sitting down at my desk and just seeing what happens! For more finished pieces it generally takes a bit more effort, and will often involve multiple iterations starting from pencil sketches, to various drafts tweaking the composition or colour. Sometimes I start something and then it never quite “gels”, so I’ll eventually start from scratch and the finished piece will look completely different to what I first started with!
Baha’i Blog: What projects are you currently working on?
I currently have a few things in the wings. I have a number of quotes I have either already started working on or have in mind to create into artworks in the near future. One is a beautiful prayer from Baha’u’llah specifically for dreams to gladden the heart, which my Dad requested. I am hoping to put together some more artworks designed for kids, which seems to be a particular area of need, as well as some pieces relevant to race unity. A friend also recently requested I do a children’s prayer book which I would love to do one day, if I ever have the time!
Baha’i Blog: Thank you! It’s been wonderful to hear from you and learn about your art!
You can see Rozzi’s work by following her on Instagram (@seekinglayli) and you can purchase her pieces here: https://society6.com/seekinglayli
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