my love of pen and inks…

My love of pens, inks, “Mr. Smelly” markers, Crayola crayons and pemanship in general began at a young age. As a kindergartener, I vividly remember using a big, fat, red pencil with a pink eraser to make “round circles and straight sticks” as my teacher instructed. I hated using the eraser, so I would take my time forming each letter, careful not to make a mistake. I loved taking art classes throughout school, and dreamed of working for the Walt Disney Company. Not thinking that my love of calligraphy and art could provide a “real” career, I majored in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Grand Valley State University – pursuing my second passion: serving others and traveling! While a student at GVSU, I participated in the Walt Disney World College Program, completing several hospitality internships at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. My lettering experience came in use when I learned the Disney Character Hand so I could “autograph” photos of the characters. Once, I was even asked to write an inscription on a small clay horse for a visiting Princess! Needless to say, I always carry a pen with me. After graduating from GVSU in 1999 with my Bachelors of Science degree, I started my career in West Michigan, working in the non-profit/arts field for four years and in the Hospitality field for nine years. In September 2011, I decided to take a leap of faith and become a working-from-home mommy and pursue my calligraphy full-time.

In early 2004, I underwent inpatient treatment out-of-state for an Eating Disorder, and during the recovery process participated in “art therapy” in which I realized how much I truly enjoyed and missed doing calligraphy – and how much it was a part of me. I started “Graceful Expressions” and displayed some of my work at a local bridal show in the Fall of 2004. One client led to another, and another – and thousands of envelopes and many projects and clients later, I am still loving every minute! This is a true hobby and passion, as well as an important part of my recovery from Anorexia… and I praise God for my talent. I hope that I can encourge others to heal/recover through the use of art as well as bring awareness to Eating Disorders.

On May 5, 2007 my sweetheart of five years, Kevin, and I were married. Planning our own wedding was an incredible experience, and that knowledge is a huge benefit when I work with engaged couples. I am a part-time wedding coordinator and an active member in our church, Cornerstone United Methodist and also volunteer with a local non-profit, the Michigan Eating Disorders Alliance. (MiEDA) I love to travel, spend time with our rescued Cocker Spaniel puppy – Koda, and spoil my eight nieces and nephews! My husband and I were thrilled to welcome our first child, Tyler David, born in September 2009. Ty is my little helper and loves to “practice” writing and saying his ABC’s with his crayolas while I am lettering for clients!

media coverage

Inframe Bride
“Inspired Dining”
pgs. 37-38

Signature Styles
as seen in: Brides Michigan – From the Publishers of BRIDE’S I ModernBride
Fall/Winter 2008 : page 114

Graceful Expressions Calligraphy was featured in the Fall 2008/Winter 2009 edition of Brides Michigan magazine in acolumn titled “Signature Styles” on page 114. Sample work of the design I submitted was printed. “Every calligrapher will have his or her own artistic interpretation of a particular wedding style. So we asked three area pros to show us how they might letter the envelopes for a formal, romantic affair at The Inn at St. John’s, near Detroit. Here’s what they created.”

Caledonia calligrapher puts it in writing, beautifully
as seen in: The Grand Rapids Press, July 6, 2008

Caledonia calligrapher puts it in writing, beautifully
Posted by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood | The Grand Rapids Press July 06, 2008

We’re both 31 and share the same first name. But when it comes to our handwriting, I can’t hold a handle to Jennifer Buck. She totally rocks the writing tablet. A self-taught, calligrapher with a day job, Buck’s script is so fantastic that people pay her to write marriage proposals and address wedding invitations.

Click here for the rest article featured in the Grand Rapids Press.

Press photo/Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood Jennifer Buck, 31, of Caledonia, does custom calligraphy through her home business, Graceful Expressions. Since she started in 2004, she has penned marriage proposals and addressed hundreds of wedding invitations.