online classes with creativebug


Well hello there! I realize that it has almost been one year since my last blog post, but if you follow me on Instagram,  you know that I try to post at least once a day. I like to think of it as my mini blog.  As you know I’ve been traveling quite a bit. In addition to my workshops in Hawaii, NYC and at Oh Happy Day,  I’ve traveled to Los Angeles, Australia and Japan twice  (yes, that’s twice in one year) and I am not sure how I did it! It’s a lot to juggle with the kids, deadlines for clients and an upcoming book or two (more on this later). In addition, the twins started kindergarten last September. I really enjoy volunteering as much as possible at their school, especially on the days that they concentrate on Penmanship. I am convinced that their school is one of the only public schools left in the United States that is still teaching Penmanship.

Last year I was  approached by a few companies inquiring if I would consider filming a video for my classes online.  I was really  on the fence about it. What I love about workshops is meeting and connecting with students in real life. I posted a question on Instagram about offering my classes online. There were a few people in a few cities, like Seattle, Memphis and Charleston that I would love to but have not yet taught a workshop. My friend Lisa Congdon immediately sent me an email and recommended Creativebug, the company that she worked with, and guess what- everything she said about how lovely it was to work with the Creativebug team was true! I enjoyed it immensely, which included designing my set to mimic my realy studio. Well, I can’t tell you how excited I am to let you know that the 4 part series premieres tomorrow, Feb 3, 2015 but you can really watch it any time, and follow along at your own pace.  If you already own calligraphy supplies, you are all set. But if you don’t, you can purchase my kit on Etsy by clicking here: and watch along with me by signing up and clicking here.


tokyo workshops

Do you have a special place that you like to go to when your creative batteries need a re-charge? My go to place is always Tokyo. I was lucky enough to plan a few workshops with the help of Yumiko from Fog Linen by way of my friend, ceramic artist Rae Dunn. We were just discussing it over yaki-tori and beer at our favorite Ippuku in Berkeley one evening, and before I knew it, there I was teaching calligraphy workshops. I am really grateful to Yumiko for being such a visionary and believing that something like this could work in one of my favorite cities in the world. If you take a look at the  lovely store that she has built in the Shimokitazawa neighborhood, you will see why I gravitate towards this kind of beauty.  To my surprise, my workshops were all sold out, with a waiting list for next time! If I wasn’t heading to Singapore for a few workshops after Tokyo I could have easily added a few more classes!

Oh Tokyo. If you follow me on instagram, you know that I was guilty of a little bit of  “over-gramming” my travels. I spent half a day just looking at packaging in every department store there was humanly possible. I spent a good two hours in the calligraphy section at Sekai-do which is an art supply store in Shinjuku. I could have done a lot more damage if it were not for the more than two carry on bags that I brought with me to Singapore.

The black and white photo that you see here were taken by my friend EnriqueBalducci who is living my fantasy with his young family as a designer in Tokyo. He shot these images on film with a Yashica camera given to him by his father, as captured in a behind the scenes photo here: I spent a beautiful afternoon with another friend Curtis Christophersen, who is also a designer  living in Tokyo. I like to experience my favorite city through a designer’s eye and thanks to Curtis, I am  I am currently obsessed with: Arts and Science and Higayshiya.

If you want to see a  few more beautiful photos from the point of view of one of my students at my workshop,  please visit Etsuko’s blog, Chiffonerie. She is a photographer, and also the mother of twins and lives in Kamakura, Japan and her instagram feed is just the cutest!

Sidenote: While I was traveling in Japan, I was interviewed and featured for an entire week on one of my favorite blogs!  Can you imagine what I was feeling on top of being in my favorite city? I am so honored and touched… In case you missed  the interview you can read it here on Besotted. Tristan is simply amazing at everything that she does, including her new baby! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, T!




Hello there!  I want to tell you about the best ever (and my first) giveaway on my Instagram feed. I am posting it tomorrow morning, but for you lucky ones, who are reading this on Sunday instead of Monday, aren’t you glad that you stopped by a day early?  My friend Jill Lauck happens to have the best taste in the whole wide world. Just have a look at her Pinterest board, and you will agree. We talked about this idea when she was in the Bay Area visiting last December, and decided that we should do a souvenir giveaway!!! In March, we will be traveling to opposite sides of the globe. I will be in Tokyo and Singapore to teach a few calligraphy workshops and she is heading to Paris. You would think we would plan better so that we could travel together. Our beautiful souvenir giveaway, is really just a fun project for us, and for you, we hope!  Of course, you can’t see a photo of the prize just yet! But we do  promise that  they will be a well-curated assortment of our favorite keepsakes.  No refrigerator magnets, not that there is anything wrong with that.  The items will be sent in a beautiful wooden box, complete with calligraphy on your mailing label by yours truly! Here’s how you can  enter: this image (above) with the hashtag #mbelleandjillsouvenir 2.Follow and tag us in the post @maybelleimasa @jilllauck 3. Three random winners { one per city} will be announced on  March 15  and parcels sent first week in April! It’s going to be fun selecting these items! You can share this on any social media platform if you like. We will post previews on our feed. Good luck everyone!