Welcome to Kristina Virtue Designs,
a custom calligraphy design studio
Hello and thanks for stopping by! I’m Kristina Virtue, a wife, mom, animal lover, and calligrapher based in Southern California. I specialize in modern calligraphy and copperplate calligraphy, and am classically trained in Italic and Foundational hands. Recently I branched out into the world of teaching calligraphy and designing calligraphy for weddings. Needless to say, you stopped by at an exciting time! Please read on for more information about me…
Some Facts About Me
I was born and raised in Palos Verdes, California, a small coastal town just outside Los Angeles. I’ve also lived in Malibu, CA (while in college), Washington D.C. (summer internship while in college), Missoula, Montana (where I met my future husband), London, England (where I learned calligraphy), and St. Paul, Minnesota (where both of my daughters were born). So Cal is and always will be my true home!
I graduated from Pepperdine University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Art. I’ve also done a slew of post grad work at UCLA and Art Center College of Design. And, if you’re paying attention, I spent a whole year studying at Roehampton University in London where I learned calligraphy at the only university in the world to offer a program and degree in calligraphy. Doesn’t get much cooler than that! Click here for a video of one of my teachers in London showing her contributions as a scribe for the St John’s Bible.
I am horrible with money management but I make up for it with my unique sense of sarcasm and generosity toward others. I’m a deacon at our church, so I think the generosity part is stronger in my life, but once you meet me in person you can decide.
My favorite color is blue but a close second is plaid. (seriously, Carlton is one of my heroes when it comes to getting dressed each day!) check this out
I home school my two daughters and absolutely love that I get to spend more time with them when they are little. A typical day can include playing at the beach, attending a class at the CA Science Center, cooking, sewing, and playing legos, or wandering around the Getty-we are so spoiled to live in an area with so many recreational and educational opportunities at our fingertips. There ain’t no alarm clocks in this house!
I played ice hockey for years on an all women’s team and on a coed team while we lived in Minnesota. Playing ice hockey was what initially took us from the comforts of life in So Cal to Minnesota. (Carrying groceries down icy sidewalks and humid summers sent us back to where we are now, though).
One of my most favorite places in the world is Lake Como, Italy. Very close runners up (in no particular order) are Palm Springs, Hong Kong, anywhere in Maine, and pretty much all of Southern California.
I am a huge fan of public transportation, which pretty much contradicts being raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Traveling by train on my first trip to Europe converted me to a life outside the car. I’d argue any day that a morning commute by ferry across the harbor in Hong Kong is a better way to spend some time than sitting in a car. I’ll take the hassles of missed or late buses just for the sheer humor in people watching and the mostly satisfactory people you meet on a bus.
I am a huge type nerd and fan of graffiti. You could talk to me about serif vs sans all day and I’d be a happy camper. Likewise, I’ll never tire of watching a freight train decorated with graffiti pass by or of an afternoon spent wandering around cities with displays of graffiti.
We name all of our pets after characters from movies. Our first cat was named Lydia after Winona Ryder’s character in Beetlejuice (a classic in my book!). We’ve also had Buck, an orange cat who was too nice and always chose to watch mice but never catch them, named after the lead in Uncle Buck, and a cutie pie dog named Maisy, named after another character from that movie. Our current dog is Nicki, named after the female lead in the Bourne series. Had Nicki been a boy, it would have been named Jason. One day I’d like to have a Basset Hound named Wally.
Try as I might, I simply couldn’t come up with a favorite food. Among my faves would be tacquitos from Olvera Street, afternoon tea (the fancier the better), fish and chips while watching the dolphins play in the ocean in Malibu, and tons of Japanese food!
One of the best ways to spend a day is not having a plan and see where life takes you. I also love sitting in the coliseum watching USC football (I was raised a Trojan!), exploring tide pools, and driving north on PCH from the tunnel in Santa Monica at sunset.
I have found an amazing second family through our time spent at church. We participate in everything and anything at the church and it was there, through an ad looking for a chalkboard artist, that I refound my talent in lettering and calligraphy. Always warm and welcoming not just to me and my husband but to my daughters, they’ve enthusiastically embraced all the calligraphy I provide, never knowing how much joy it brings to me. Quite possibly one of the biggest compliments and accomplishments in my life to date, was being nominated (and accepting) for the role of deacon. The role could not have come at a better time in my life, and I especially appreciate that my daughters can see me being such a positive influence in the lives of others.
And finally, I have a dog and a husband to round out the picture. Nicki gets me outside each morning and evening for her walks, and helps teach the girls about so much. My husband understands my sarcasm (and can usually one up me), makes up for my horrible money management by working so hard, and has put up with me for more than 25 years. I guess I’m doing a few things right.