When Joanna Duka began planning her new calligraphy business in 2014, she was unsure of its future. At 21-years-old and as a first-time business owner, Joanna knew it would be difficult to start much less keep her business open. The late nights, long hours, and unexpected obstacles took their toll. She was afraid and needed help.
So, she turned to her church’s college and career group for prayer.
Joanna’s prayer request particularly resonated with 22-year-old Breanna Koski, who recently began visiting the church group. A few months later, Breanna mentioned to Joanna that she painted and admired Joanna for having the courage to pursue her artistic dreams. Over coffee in early 2015, Breanna and Joanna decided to work together to create and sell their art and then decided to start an art studio together. Brush & Nib Studio was born.
Looking back on the events that brought her dream to life, Joanna acknowledges God’s hand in bringing her and Breanna together.
Brush & Nib Studio is an upscale hand-painting, hand-lettering, and calligraphy company that creates and sells custom artwork—paintings, prints, business logos, wedding invitations, and more—for clients and their special events. Brush & Nib’s purpose is to create authentic artwork that echoes God’s perfect and true beauty.
It’s their mutual faith and love for beauty that makes their business what it is.
Soon after they launched Brush & Nib, Breanna and Joanna learned about a Phoenix, Arizona law that requires them to create artwork promoting events and messages that go against their faith, including same-sex marriages. The law even prohibits them from explaining that they can only create artwork consistent with their artistic and religious beliefs. And while Brush & Nib gladly serves anyone regardless of their sexual orientation and gladly creates art for countless occasions, they cannot, in good conscience, promote an event that contradicts their beliefs.
Today, with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom, Breanna and Joanna asked the court to invalidate the Phoenix law so that they are free to create art and run their artistic business according to their artistic and religious beliefs, without fear of government punishment.
“Artists shouldn’t be threatened with jail for disagreeing with the government,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco. “The government must allow artists the freedom to make personal decisions about what art they will create and what art they won’t create. Just because an artist creates expression that communicates one viewpoint doesn’t mean she is required to express all viewpoints. It’s unjust, unnecessary, and unlawful to force an artist to create against her will and intimidate her into silence.”
The joy and excitement that Breanna and Joanna express when they talk about their business makes it evident that they really pour themselves into their art.
But in order to do that, they must be free to create artwork that is consistent with their artistic beliefs and their faith—the faith that is at the very core of who they are and what they do.
Get to know more about Breanna and Joanna!
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