I was brought up in a world of books and theatre in New York, Toronto, and Stratford, Ontario.

When I was young, my mother worked for Doubleday Publishers in New York. She showed me how books were edited, designed, typeset, printed and bound. When I got older, she worked as a book designer at University of Toronto Press. She invited me to take a calligraphy class with a group of designers and I fell in love with the shape of letters.

I grew up with books...

My grandmother owned a bookstore in Stratford, Ontario. I worked there in the summers, and during the days I talked to people about what books they were reading and plays they were seeing. At night I worked backstage at the theatre and fell in love with the language of Shakespeare.

In Stratford, I met Tim Wynne-Jones who loved books and theatre as much as I did. We spent all of our time together reading, writing, seeing plays, and making art. When we moved to Toronto together, he designed books and I went to theatre school. Our world was a constant exploration of ideas and how to express them.

So I guess it makes sense that I’ve grown up with a passion for words on the page and words on the stage.

As a calligrapher, I work with letters and words to create visual meaning. As a theatre director, I work with words and people to create life on the stage. As I writer, I work with words to create a world on the page, a world made of letters and imagined people. What runs through everything is a physical connection to the look and the sound of words. With these elegant 26 shapes, we can express everything that the human mind is capable of thinking and feeling.

My love for letters and words is at the heart of everything I do.

At Doubleday Books in New York. I was 7 years old.

At a "Great Gatsby" party with Tim Wynne-Jones, in Stratford Ontario. I was 19 years old.

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to be a writer, an actor, director, theatre producer, executive director of a theatre school, a calligrapher and a book artist. I have a passion for words on the stage and on the page.

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Amanda West Lewis 

Ottawa/Perth, Ontario, Canada