Cape Town artist Andrew van der Merwe carves out beach calligraphy niche
Upbeat and cheerful, scholarly and artistic Van der Merwe is the world’s only beach calligrapher, writes Thelma Mort
Andrew van der Merwe earns a living as a calligrapher, but he has also taken his passion to the beach. He is suntanned and ruddy from working outdoors. He is upbeat and cheerful, scholarly and artistic. He has gone from gold stars for his grade 1 writing to international acclaim. Van der Merwe is the world’s only beach calligrapher. He works in Cape Town, has a large international Instagram following, has won several awards and is invited abroad frequently. Van der Merwe found himself "just intoxicated with writing" from his first writing lessons. He loved the sound and feel of pencil on paper. "I also had a beautiful teacher. She had long brown hair that used to fall on me as she leaned over the desk. She gave me gold stars for my writing," he says, laughing merrily. Van der Merwe grew up in Port Alfred and East London and became interested in mark making on excursions to the beach. "Most people will just scratch in the sand with a stick," he says. "But for me the quality of the ma...