Best of Both Worlds: How an Ex-Engineer is Bringing Fame to a Hidden Art

Switching over from one field to another isn’t always easy, especially when you’re doing engineering. Many people give up on what they like and settle for a job they can get, but some have the courage to fight and take a stand in front of the world for themselves. Hand lettering artist Vidya Kumaresan is one of the few who has the guts to follow their dreams despite opposition from their families and society.

Vidya’s forte is brush-lettering – which is a crossover between calligraphy and hand lettering. She had no art teachers to teach her this form while growing up and has taught herself everything she knows about brush lettering. Today, not only is she running her own company – The Wishing Ink – but is also conducting workshops on calligraphy and brush lettering with MadCap. Her art is not only restricted to the paper, and she can use a wide array of objects as a canvas, such as a chalkboard or coffee mugs.

Vidya was pursuing her BTech in Agricultural Technology when she rediscovered her passion for visual arts. Drawing and coloring gave her utmost happiness as a child, but she had to sacrifice all of it for her studies. Then, in her college, she came across Adobe. Her interest in drawing was reignited, and she wanted to pursue it further, but her dad was adamant that she complete her engineering before doing anything else. Once she had her degree, she finally confessed her intentions to her parents.

She found inspiration in almost everything because she believes that we are surrounded by design everywhere. Mainly, she visits Pinterest a lot, and also uses her Instagram, where she follows fellow artists and gets inspired by them on a daily basis. Her recent works revolve around the floral theme, and she has been drawing inspiration mainly from Rifle Paper Co. and Paper Raven Co. To jot down a few other artists, Alicia Souza, Stefan Kunz, Ian Barnard, Becca Clason, and Peggy Dean are some of her favorite artists.


After two years of working as a graphic designer, Vidya wanted to do something more than just designing logos and cards. She soon quit her job to start her own company, called The Wishing Ink. In this short break, one of her college senior noticed her work and gave her his first order to make a handmade greeting card for his fiancé. She had to letter her name, "Arina", and that's when Vidya was introduced to the concept of Hand Lettering.

She followed her bachelor’s degree with a course in graphic designing and instantly found herself at home. After completing her first art piece, she posted its picture on Instagram, and got a decent response from her audience and brought her more potential clients. This gave her the idea of having her own brand. She admits that it had a rough start, but over time she has won the satisfaction of the customers, and the approval of her father.

She doesn't have any particular favorite because she loves what she draws, but she really loves the watercolor world map that she painted out for a client, which read “Believe in Belief”. It was a commissioned piece filled with colors, and she got to use her favorite technique - Embossing. The reason why she loves this piece the most is related to the emotional connection that the client had towards it, and the way she beautifully put it out for Vidya. That one map showed Vidya how something so colorful and positive can bring cheerfulness in someone’s life, and how she was able to connect and achieve this through art.


Vidya is currently taking workshops to promote her art, which is a much newer form as compared to other contemporary art forms. She admits that she learned brush lettering the hard way, and so wants to make it easier for other people to catch up. Her advice to everyone is “Never give up on your dreams”. Looking at the path she has taken and the hurdles she has had to jump over, it is safe to say that Vidya lives by what she believes in.

She also has an online store where she sells postcards, worksheets and much more. You can check her work on Instagram.

She has an upcoming Water Color Brush Lettering Workshop in Chennai on the 25th November - click here to register for the same.

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