Flying the Manuscript flag in America – We’ve been to NAMTA

It doesn’t seem like five minutes since we landed back in the UK following a thoroughly successful Creativeworld that we were packing our suitcase again.

Our plane ticket this time was to the USA for NAMTA, a show that celebrates creativity and creative materials – both of which we’ve got in bucket loads!

During the show, we had Alexandra MacVean demonstrating with us, who you may have seen from her fantastic Inktober drawings with our Italic and Poster nibs. It’s the first time Alex has ever done a demonstration with us and we thought she was great!

We asked her a few questions about her experience at NAMTA!

How did you find your time at NAMTA?

I found it really enjoyable and probably one of the best creative experiences of my life! The show is really busy and it certainly keeps you on your toes!

My drawings were really well received, which is a really great feeling. I created a fair-few quick sketches that I’ll certainly keep!

I learned so much more about Manuscript in just the two days! I knew loads already but to learn more from Charlie and Ray was great. Besides, demonstrating some of the new products myself that were unveiled at the show was a wonderful moment for me!.


What was your favourite thing about meeting people and speaking to them about Manuscript product?

The fact that I was able to share my passion for Manuscript’s products with retailers and buyers was great. Hopefully they loved my passion for them!

I aimed to encourage those that came onto our stand to change their mindset about calligraphy instruments, many think that they’re just for those who do lettering but they’re not. As an illustrator, lettering is secondary to my work and I use Manuscript pens everyday! I hope I opened a window into my illustration world and I’m encouraging other fellow artists to do the same!









What inspired you to create the work you did during the show?

I live to inspire and encourage others around me on a daily basis. So, being at NAMTA was another opportunity to bring to life illustration and lettering!

I knew quick and fun sketches would bring smiles to those visiting the Manuscript booth, so I had fun creating Spring themed woodland animal and lettering illustrations.

But being at the show brought a whole new world of inspiration to me, knowing I could reach an entire new audience and also take inspiration from them walking round. It was such a joy not just sharing my passion with illustrating to those around me but how I feel Manuscript products bring my characters to life as well.

Did you find it difficult to work with people watching you?

Not at all. It was quite enjoyable sharing with the people around me how the Manuscript products worked and how I managed to create shapes and textures with them. Some even wanted to have a go themselves!

I love sharing with the some of my personal favourite materials, encouraging other to pick up a pen and give it a go!

Is this your first NAMTA show?

Yes and I absolutely LOVED every minute of it!  It was amazing working with Charlie and Ray.

It was also wonderful meeting retailers and buyers too, getting a small insight into their world and how they see calligraphy products.


Which is your favourite of the new Manuscript products?

It’s not an easy choice, that’s for certain! I loved both the Callicreative Flexi Markers and the Switch Tips – I actually carried them around with me for the whole weekend!

The Callicreative Flexi Markers have just enough flex to them to make them really versatile without being uncomfortable or awkward. They also flow really well too, creating clean and consistent marks.

The best thing about them is that they’re very true to the colour advertised, so you know exactly what shade you’re getting! That’s often difficult to find with other markers and puts Manuscript ahead of the field for me.

But I do just keep coming back to the Switch Tips – It’s the PERFECT set for traveling (Charlie – I actually took one with me on the plane!) It’s small, compact and so incredibly easy to use! The variety of styles you can get from one pen set is great – the fine, italic and brush tip are perfect for my illustration needs!


We loved working with Alex and can’t wait to see more of her work! You can find out more about Alexandra MacVean and her work on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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Date: 21.03.18
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