Q&A with Stephanie Ko of Simply Steph Ko

Steph Ko

Q: What is the one stationery item you couldn’t live without?

A: A notebook! Any notebook, really. I have separate notebooks for my rough drafts, for calligraphy drills, for general notetaking, for sermon notes at church, for journaling travel experiences, … and the list goes on! I always carry a regular pen, a brush pen and a notebook with me everywhere I go.

Q: Who are some of your favourite Canadian designers/artists?

A: There are too many! I’m constantly discovering new makers on Instagram. My favourite is when I meet a fellow Canadian who is also a calligrapher. Some of my favourite calligraphers right now are Amanda Arneill (https://instagram.com/amandaarneill/), Sarah Kim (https://instagram.com/bysarahkim/), Paula Lee (https://instagram.com/paulaleecalligraphy/), and Melissa Chan (https://instagram.com/olivebranchandco/), to name a few!

Q: What do you do when you hit a creative roadblock?

A: Walk away. I’ll drop the project, and go do something else like go for a walk, read, pray, or even just go to bed. When I come back, it will be with fresh eyes, which really help in overcoming the roadblock.


Q:Name five spots you love to go in your city.

A: My time is split between both Ottawa and Kingston, as I’m finishing up my Master’s degree right now, so I’ll give you a couple spots from each!


  1. Dow’s Lake: especially during tulip festival season, but all summer long it’s a beautiful place to be!
  2. Rideau Canal: particularly skating on it in the winter, with a Beavertail and hot chocolate in hand, mmm..
  3. Remic Rapids along the Ottawa River: it’s a little known (but getting more popular) place to visit, where this one guy sets up little statues every summer. Over the years, it has become a fun art exhibit!


  1. The waterfront: there’s something peaceful about walking by the waterfront in Kingston – it’s always so quiet and calm.
  2. Market Square: there’s always something happening downtown, whether that is the farmer’s market, movies in the square, or a skating rink in the winter. It was extra cool to see the square transformed into a movie set once!

I’m a big fan of the outdoor spaces in both cities. I could never live someplace that neglected its outdoor spaces. I love when nature and city collide!

Q: Fill in the blank: Snail mail is…

A: Not dead! It may be less common, but that only makes snail mail more precious. It’s the best way to genuinely express love and encouragement.


Q: What does your creative space look like? Share a picture if you like!

A: I come home after school or work, and create out of my bedroom because it’s a quiet space where the rest of my family can’t disturb me. It’s nothing special, and I’m in dire need of a better storage system. But it’s my own space, and for that I am thankful.


Simply Steph Ko is a calligraphy and design studio owned by Stephanie Ko, a full time student by day, and lettering addict by night. She fell in love with lettering in university where she would illustrate class notes, and create cards for friends. Simply Steph Ko’s online shop launched on August 25th, 2015 in the hopes to provide encouragement and to share love through the written word. You can follow Stephanie on Instagram (@simplystephko), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/simplystephko/), Twitter (@stephkoanie) and Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/simplystephko/).