Interview with Klarissa Maria

Here with a series of interviews dedicated to the role that pens play in the daily lives of collectors, enthusiasts and users. The core of the interviews is how and to what extent pens have improved or even changed our lives.

scarica la versione italiana

The interviews are conducted by Letizia Iacopini.


Of Indonesian origin, Klarissa Maria came to the United States fulfilling her dream of going abroad for graduate school after finishing her undergraduate degree in Architecture Engineering. Here she obtained her MBA and Master of Science in Information Systems.
She never left the United States again; today Klarissa lives with her family in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains and fascinates the world of pens with her open and jovial smile and her lively creative imagination.

How did your relationship with pens begin?
Pens literally saved my life.
There is a story that I haven't told yet, which has to do with my private life. In 2018 I was in a car accident together with my daughter. In the accident I lost consciousness and was traumatized. After the accident, I had severe panic attacks and anxiety that prevented me to live my life as before. I thought I was going to be disabled for the rest of my life. I felt condemned to a life of isolation that I could not accept.

On Fountain Pen Day 2019, by pure chance, I bought my first fountain pen, a Pilot Metropolitan and a bottle of Jacques Herbin Lie de The.
I began to write, as if under a spell, recovering my adolescent habit of keeping a diary.
That day I wrote until late at night, without ever stopping.
Two days later I bought my second fountain pen… and from then on, my life gradually changed.
Journaling had become my therapy and my salvation.
When I started publishing my posts, I immediately felt part of the pen community, which welcomed me and helped me significantly.

Now all my fears are gone and I travel solo regularly to pen shows in the USA (to date, I attended 16 pen shows post COVID); I visited Europe, I participated in the PenFest in Istanbul with joy and enthusiasm. I also visited Salvatore and Mariafrancesca Matrone at their Leonardo factory in Naples.
When I say that pens and writing are a bit magical I don't say it by chance: this is my story and I am deeply grateful to have discovered this fantastic world and the people who are part of it.

Today your profile @thesnowystudio has almost 10,000 followers, how did you get there?
I think it was partly due to the fact that my posts have always had a "soul" and that I have never made them for purely commercial reasons. In my professional background there is a stable relationship with art, drawing, creative ability and I believe all of this is perceived.

Furthermore, I have always written; as a young girl I had a diary and I simply recovered that old habit with journaling, to which I dedicate myself with commitment.
In fact, I write whenever I can, at any time of the day. I need it to stay in balance, to understand myself better, to manifest parts of me that otherwise would remain unrevealed.

I have my "official" Art Journal, which I use for my posts and for my "Ink splattering", the decorative technique of ink stains that I developed using plastic bags and which I gladly share. Here there are no rules and I never know what the final result will be, because I move in complete freedom, letting myself be guided by an ink whose color speaks to me and fascinates me, by symmetries, by writing... whether it is transcribing a poem, an aphorism or the lyrics of a song.
Then there is my private Journal, which I use to reorganize my thoughts, express my gratitude for what life offers me and dedicate time to myself; finally I have my Midori 5 Year Diary, which I started in 2019 which helps me stay in touch with my life's path.

I believe that this is precisely what makes the difference: in my posts I am there, with all of myself, with my simplicity, my taste for colours and my desire to communicate.
What does your job consist of?
In 2019 I started posting photos of pens on Instagram... pens of all kinds.
I have always considered myself a beginner in the world of pens. I knew nothing about it, I was completely inexperienced, but I loved sharing photographs of what I wrote and the pens I used. I didn't want to teach anyone anything, on the contrary, I was thirsty for knowledge and becoming part of a community of people who were willing to share their experiences seemed to me to be a very fascinating and absolutely stimulating thing.

I put all my creativity and desire to communicate into my posts and gradually I found myself having more and more followers, many of whom are women.
This aspect made me think a lot because I have always perceived the world of fountain pens as a reality oriented towards the male universe.
In reality, however, on social media, the number of women is growing exponentially and I really like this. Women have a great ability to communicate and share.
I try to convey my soul in the posts I make and leave ample space for creativity and imagination. In this way I am able to activate a constant communication and relationship with the pen community, within which there is always something to learn, as in a continuous process of exchange and interaction.

In the past I used to work in a large company dealing with sales and communications, but that was an anonymous job, in which my personality could not express itself. With my @thesnowystudio I find myself in what I do and I feel fulfilled.
I collaborate with various brands in promoting their products and I can do so by expressing myself in complete harmony.

How does your collaboration with Leonardo develop?
Today I am the Brand Ambassador for Leonardo Officina Italiana.
I also collaborate with Salvatore in the search for new materials, innovative ideas suitable for the US market, and the development of exclusive and commissioned productions.
It's a job that I love very much; collaboration with Salvatore is very stimulating and I learn a lot in the process.

I also deal with relationships with the various nibmeisters for the creation of some of the exclusive nibs.
As part of this collaboration, the idea of ​​my Momento Zero Dragon Heart pen was born, a special edition that Salvatore is producing for me.
I have always wanted to have my own Leonardo pen as a result of the collaboration with Salvatore. The Dragon Heart pen is my dream come true: it is symbolic and powerful as it synthesises my story and my positive approach to life.

2024 in the Lunar year is the Year of the Dragon: the Dragon is a symbol of courage and good luck, it is strong and powerful but also the bringer of tranquility and prosperity.
With it I retrace the journey that led me to find the courage to overcome fear and regain confidence in myself.
This is the reason why I would like this pen to become an inspiration to remind everyone of the importance of courage and trust.
For the pen I chose red, the color of the Dragon, intense and powerful. There are notes of black and brilliant golden shades, which create a perfect chromatic combination, an expression of balance and stability.

Together with the Dragon Heart pen there are also two custom Chinese stone seals that I had commissioned from a professional seal carving artist in Toronto, Canada.
One of them has the word "Courage" written in Chinese calligraphy, the second has the word "Serenity".
In this way, for me, the Dragon Heart pen is complete. It not only reflects my life experience but also becomes a sort of companion on the journey of self-discovery.
For me it represents both a point of arrival and a new beginning: the hope that the Year of the Dragon will open a new era of balance, wisdom and serenity.

July 05, 2024 — Pepe Nero