Let’s face it. We hardly write anymore, as in actually hold a physical pen and write down something legible.

Rather, we type using our laptops, tablets or smartphones on a daily basis, for work or to “chat” with friends and family.

However, the art of lettering is actually a good creative outlet and a relaxing hobby.

Ask Filipina Jil Sta. Ana, a software engineer in Malaysia with a strong passion in calligraphy.

A self-taught calligrapher, Jil’s love for craftwork and hand lettering started at an early age, influenced by her mother.

“I grew up in a pretty ‘crafty’ home. My mother was a stay-at-home mum and she was always into DIY stuff and decorations,” said Sta. Ana, 26, who came to Malaysia three years ago.

However, her fascination with calligraphy happened quite by chance.

“I had always been interested in lettering but my passion in calligraphy started just two years ago.

“I had a friend who was getting married and she asked me to do her wedding invitations. I had no idea how to do calligraphy but I went ahead and did it anyway,” she said.

With the S Pen, there are options to change brush styles and pen tips.

With the S Pen, there are options to change brush styles and pen tips.

Jil Sta. Ana, a software engineer with a strong passion in calligraphy, showing how the Samsung Galaxy Note5 S Pen is a great tool for pursuing the art of calligraphy — Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

Jil Sta. Ana, a software engineer with a strong passion in calligraphy, showing how the Samsung Galaxy Note5 S Pen is a great tool for pursuing the art of calligraphy.

From then on, there was no curbing her enthusiasm.

“I am lucky I found calligraphy as a way to express my creativity,” enthused Sta. Ana, who spends an average of four hours a day practising.

To share her passion, she co-founded KLigraphy with friend Inez Tan to conduct calligraphy classes in KL.

“She was the only one I knew in KL who was into calligraphy and we wanted to spread the calligraphy bug. We held workshops just to let everyone know that you shouldn’t be intimidated by the art, especially with the digital tools we have right now,” said Jil, who also loves to paint and travel.

The workshops are open to both children and adults and aim to help participants develop their creative pursuits. Classes include Pointed Pen Calligraphy, Brush x Watercolour Calligraphy, Hand Lettering and Basic Watercolour.

Sta. Ana was invited as a guest calligraphy artist by Samsung at its Pink Is Now event to demonstrate the art of modern calligraphy using traditional tools as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note5’s S Pen function. The mini workshop was held in conjunction with the launch of the Galaxy Note5 Pink Gold edition in Malaysia.

Exclusive to the Note series, the S Pen allows users to write, draw and design a variety of artistic creations.

“Calligraphy is an ancient writing technique using flat edged pens to create artistic lettering using thick and thin lines, depending on the direction of the stroke.

“Penning your thoughts using calligraphy style of writing does not only add beauty to the text but also inspires creativity. It is a beautiful form of art and with innovative tools such as the S Pen, the sky really is the limit with what you can write, draw and design using calligraphy,” said Sta. Ana, who is originally a Samsung Note user.

With the S Pen, there are options to change brush styles, pen tips and colours when writing and drawing.

Users can also personalise their photos.

Users can also personalise their photos.

What is the difference between using the S Pen and traditional brush pens?

“The brush pen gives us the traditional feel of writing on paper but it’s not a very different experience using the Note as the precision is great and the pressure sensitivity is awesome. So I think the Note is an even easier way to express our creativity.

“Technology is evolving and it’s the perfect time to jump on something creative especially when we have this kind of device to back us up,” said Sta. Ana.

Julian Thean, product marketing manager (IT and mobile business) of Samsung Malaysia Electronics added, “The Samsung Galaxy Note Series S Pen is a very good differentiator and powerful tool that allows us to both work and play.

“These days, people are sharing a lot of photos so we want to make it fun, vibrant and very interactive, hence we thought why not (add in) calligraphy. Backed by powerful imaging, it really changes the scope of how we share precious moments with people around us.”


Samsung Galaxy Note5 Pink Gold is priced at RM2,699. It is also available in Gold Platinum, Silver Titanium, White Pearl and Black Sapphire.