Art Stalking: Dana Tanamachi


I have a thing against bucket lists.

Call me crazy, but when I make lists I really like to cross the things off. More than actually accomplishing anything. If I could live in chaos, but have a crossed-off to-do list I would. Fortunately for the general sanity of everyone around me, that’s impossible.

HOWEVER, recently I’ve been thinking of making a 30 by 30 list. You know, 30 things I’d like to do before I’m 30.

My list wouldn’t include anything superfluous (like “Meet Justin Beiber – squeal!”) but more things I feel like I should have a handle on before I part with my twenties.

Things like…. Know how to cook a full turkey.

Learn how to blow dry my hair with the round brush like my hairdresser always does. And makes it look so darn easy. Does she have three arms?

Have better handwriting.

Ahh yes, handwriting. Which brings us to today’s topic. Handwriting. A lost art.

I despise my handwriting. I am a graphic designer. I work with and examine typography every day.

All this is to say, I recently stumbled upon chalk handlettering artist Dana Tanamachi. My new HERO!


It’s unbelievable. The precision. The shading. The composition.


I would love to spend more time practicing my own handwriting, and also learning handlettering like this.

Excuse me while I swoon over this typography. Normal, right?


Even Oprah is impressed. And that chick has seen everything.

Dana designed the February 2012 cover for O Magazine.

And she did the West Elm winter catalog too.


I’m trying to decide where in my house I could put a huge chalkboard to practice.

My little one in the kitchen will have to suffice for now.

And just because:



Consider me officially inspired.

I’m glad I have a few years before thirty because I have a lot of handwriting practice ahead of me.

Be sure to check out Dana Tanamachi and some of her time-elasped videos at her website.


6 thoughts on “Art Stalking: Dana Tanamachi

  1. Hey Katherine! I can’t remember how I found your blog (maybe fb or pinterest?) but I love your posts, so beautifully written and creative! I’ve been *trying* to do a 25 things to do while I’m 25 this year, from the specific (like learning to use my camera better) to more broad things (like discover a new place). It’s been fun trying to cross things off, so good luck with your list! And I know we haven’t talked in years, but hope all is well with you!

  2. Dana is SO inspirational. I think I’m starting to annoy the people around me by how frequently I reference her work…it doesn’t help that I’m a sign artist so I have many the opportunity to bring her up haha!

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