The Awesome Double Life of an Artist- Sailor

The Awesome Double Life of an Artist- Sailor

Sailing and calligraphy might seem very different from each other, but one thing that this week's Artist Spotlight featured artist, Margot Griffin, sees as a connection between the two is that both are considered art forms. We wanted to find out more about this amazing lady who has a passion for sailing the seas while working as a professional calligrapher and chalkboard artist.


Can you tell us 3 interesting facts about yourself?

  • I eat dessert for breakfast most days.
  • I have a three-legged dog named Fenway who is way more famous than I will ever be.
  • I have a secret double-life as a professional sailor, kayak/paddleboard guide, and wooden boat finisher.

Can you tell us more about how you became the artist you are today?

I've always loved being creative (I was an only child after all) and in fact got my bachelor's degree in art and architecture but had no interest in becoming a commercial artist right out of school. So I started sailing as a deckhand on Tall Ships, ended up back in school for yacht restoration, and continued to make art for myself in my spare time.

I started doing lettering on signs and one day decided to learn calligraphy. That got me comfortable with putting myself out there as an artist.

How did you start doing chalkboard art? What kind of chalkboard art do you specialize in? 

My friends organized a monthly local Artisan Market and asked me to make the welcome sign each month. At first, I just wrote words in neat capital letters and included silly little drawings but as I developed calligraphy skills I started making each chalkboard a little more elaborate.

I do a lot of menus, which is great because I love food! It's also fun to dance around on a narrow bar top while people are watching or in the middle of the night when nobody's there.

Aside from liquid chalk markers, what media do you use in making art?

I use calligraphy inks and all sorts of paints. I also love to play with embossing powder, foil, stained glass, and wood. My favorite projects are on unconventional surfaces.

What inspired you to make what you did with @versachalk?

Getting to draw a chalkboard combining my hometown and a really cool, gorgeous old boat was quite special to me! That's the latest piece. The others also include my interests in marine environments and appreciation.

What makes good art? How long did it take for you to get “good” at it?

That's a tough one... I think good art is intentional. Beauty happens naturally all the time but to recreate it somewhere else takes thought and planning. I'm still building my skills every day, several years in!

Words of advice for up-and-coming artists?

"Practice makes pretty" is a phrase I like to say in my lettering. Just try! Then you know what you need to work on.


Find more of Margot's work and connect with her at Inky Fingers Calligraphy


Are you an artist or entrepreneur who uses VersaChalk markers for your art or business? We would love to hear and share your story! Use #versachalk in your artwork created with VersaChalk markers for a chance to be featured!