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what people say

Liz Aviles

Vice President Market Intelligence

Upshot Agency

What a wonderful company event! Julie recently worked with us to create a customized calligraphy happy hour for our employees. She designed an event based on her Crazy Calligraphy workshop that encouraged everyone to explore the artistry of hand lettering with a variety of tools. She arranged for all the supplies and handled the set up with separate tables dedicated to different techniques and tools. Folks moved from station to station while enjoying drinks and snacks that we supplied. It was festive, creative, and we can’t wait to host another event with her again.

Sam Dyer
Former Manager
Sixteen Restaurant
Trump Tower & Hotel Chicago

Brilliant! Julie Wildman has all the professionalism anyone could ask for. She customized a four-day training class for hospitality professionals looking to provide an extra personal touch, executed the class with enthusiasm, and never failed to follow up with any request for help. (My letter “Is” are stunning now!) Most importantly, she shares an honest passion for her craft that doesn’t overwhelm, nor does it under deliver. Thank you, Julie! You gave me a skill that has helped me professionally and enriched me personally.

Karen Ness

Workshops Director
Chicago Calligraphy Collective

Students love Julie Wildman’s workshops. They describe her as a knowledgeable, creative, generous and insightful instructor. Each time Julie has taught for the Chicago Calligraphy Collective, I have received glowing emails, always asking to bring her back to teach.

Workshop participants also rave about Julie’s thorough and treasured handouts that are painstakingly prepared for each workshop.

It is a pleasure working with Julie Wildman!

Ginny Vanderhey

Workshops Director
Michiana Calligraphy Guild

From the first time I saw Julie’s work at a calligraphy exhibit in Chicago, I knew that I wanted her to come teach in South Bend for the Michiana Calligraphy Guild. Julie has now taught three workshops for us, and we always learn so much. She is very generous in her workshops and gives us as many tips on calligraphy that she can. Our workshop in May, 2019 was a one-day workshop, which means that the instructor must cram in as much as possible in one day that she might have done in two. But, no worries, we got as much as we could handle in that one day. Thank you, Julie, for all you teach us and how to experiment and be free with our letters! 

Francine S.

Client who commissioned a wedding journal for her niece

To say they were blown away doesn't capture it. [Jane] got emotional. That didn't even happen at the wedding. [Tom] slowly went through it page by page, taking it all in. We were explaining the different things [Julie] had done and all of the special talents that [she] brought to the project. It is a work of art! We are so appreciative of the love and effort that [she] put into it. Thank you seems to fall short but THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

(Names have been changed for privacy.)

Martha Anderson

Executive Director 

James Street Associates

For more than 20 years, James Street has chosen Wildman Designs for our customers’ branded promotional material. Julie’s layouts are refreshing and her execution meticulous. She has solid understanding of the industry we serve, and seems to have unlimited patience for James Street’s idiosyncrasies. I rely on her candor and her sense of humor and greatly appreciate her enthusiasm.

Angela M.

Student in 'Lively Letters' Workshop / Graphic Designer and Calligrapher

The Lively Letters two-day workshop was appropriately named. The workshop exceeded the stated goals of freeing up our lettering and the way we approach design. Julie’s presentations are informed by her design education, many lessons from master calligraphers and discoveries she has made through art and life. [Her] organized exercises…got us to think about lettering in new ways and to work with new tools. [The] lessons were fresh and vibrant; her command of craft was both gorgeous and inspirational; and her enthusiasm was contagious! I recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to expand their art and play with letterforms.

Dawn Kalies

Student in 'Variations on Akim' online Zoom workshop

Linda Kanamueller

Student in 'Variations on Akim' workshop

What is faster than a Speedball B nib? More powerful than a double ligature? Able to leap tall ascenders at a single bound? It’s super-calligrapher Julie Wildman taking Michiana Calligraphy Guild members and friends on a roller-coaster ride through the paces of Akim Cursive.


Julie has created a personal adaptation of Akim, connecting letters where Burgert would have let each individual letter stand alone. She feels that this quickens the “heartbeat” of a hand in which the letters aren’t difficult, but the connections are “interesting.”


[With this hand]...the possibilities are endless, especially in the fertile mind of Julie Wildman.

Julie Chambers

Student in online Zoom workshops and Newsletter Editor for the Calligraphy Society of Victoria, Australia

For some time I have admired the work of Chicago-based Julie Wildman, having seen various examples in magazines and on the net, so when I saw that she was running some online classes, I was keen to join in. I found Julie to be very professional in her approach, with well-presented handouts and excellent email communication before, during and after the courses. Her classes are low-stress, and she is generous both in sharing her knowledge and skills, and in her assessment of others’ work and comments.

You have no idea how pleased I am to have found an Akim teacher with variations. I found something I was looking for. Plus your variations are the perfect thing to loosen me up. 


I love gesture and splatters and want to do more after your classes. My own written phrase samples are so much better than what I was trying to do on my own. I can now go in the direction of my feeling. It is just the perfect alphabet to play with.

Arlen Herb
Returning student in online Zoom workshops

Looking over the pages of your workshops/classes, I feel the urge to write and repeat my praise. Your body of work is, without question, some of the most engaging, creative and skilled out there. The online classes you've developed are diverse AND designed for those of us who are not professional calligraphers/ lettering artists. All that you offer is "do-able," if you will, and includes practical uses along with strong artistry.


Having taken many of your classes...let me tell you that your methodology—the pace, the conversation, the suggestions, the ideas, the advice on tools and materials, handouts—is incomparable. Not only do you teach specific skills, you speak WITH us—your respect for the creative process for those of us at all skill levels is quite apparent. THIS kind of learning is most enjoyable, usable, and valuable!


Peter Fraterdeus

Calligrapher, type designer, and author of 'Sleight of Hand,' an article published in TYPE Magazine, Spring 2018

Julie Wildman chooses from a toolbox the size of her imagination. Her letterforms are powerful and authentic. There’s a nearly typographic feeling to some of her works, where the letters are carefully drawn or painted with watercolor, rather than written. Yet, the beautiful deliberate negative shapes burst with vitality. She has integrated lessons from many great teachers, but her work is not reminiscent of any other. To find one’s own voice, which grows from deep roots in oneself, is the journey. 

Linda E.

Student in 'Crazy Calligraphy' workshop

I was so pleased to attend Julie Wildman's 'Crazy Calligraphy' class. She is one of the most professional, organized, thorough, and helpful teachers I have had. We learned all the basics for all the letters and also a great deal of information about pens, inks, papers and many tips on making the process easier. She is patient and was able to spend individual time with each student as well as providing easily understood demonstrations for the entire class. I had lots of fun making alternative pens and laughing, in addition to spending quiet serious time making letters. I would attend another of Julie's classes anytime. She is a warmhearted person who is both a good teacher and an excellent artist.

Louise Fearnhead

Student in various online Zoom workshops. From S. Africa

Firstly, until recently, I would say my calligraphy was very formal—sticking to the rules. But after 20 years or so I started to look for something that was more creative. I was stuck in a rut and nothing was satisfying me anymore. But what and how? It is not easy for me to break out and get myself out of my comfort zone. But then I found you! Over the last few classes you have helped to free up my hand and to think out of the box. The experience has been most enjoyable.

Secondly...I never thought that I would be doing calligraphy classes via Zoom. The very thought filled me with trepidation. You and Karen have made the process very easy...My fear is gone. To think that I can do a calligraphy class in the comfort of my own home without having to travel long distances is amazing! And, the fact that I can view classes again and again together with your very comprehensive notes has helped me greatly.


I am very grateful to you and Karen for the opportunity and the experience.

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