Get to know: Nyree Forster, Paint & Ink Studio


Nyree Forster is an ex-PR consultant who now teaches people how to paint and do calligraphy for a living under her business, Paint & Ink Studio. Always full of ideas, funny stories and creativity, we sat down with Nyree to find out more about her journey…

What were you doing before you launched your business?

I grew up in Hong Kong, went to University in Liverpool and have moved around the country a lot – it is lovely to finally call Guildford home and lived here for ten years.  

My last job was as a PR Manager at Hodder & Stoughton in London, it was a crazy job, exciting, terrifying at times but never dull. The move to Surrey and having the children meant working long hours wasn’t an option but I craved the variety and challenges of my PR job.

Paint & Ink Studio is my third venture but the one that feels like it has longevity and I am really excited about the possibilities it offers – so many opportunities have already come my way, it just feels like ‘me’ finally!

What inspires you to do what you do?

In my work I follow so many inspiring makers, calligraphers, chalk painters and doers, I love reading their stories and taking snippets of advice here and there.  

I’m inspired by the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint community and all the lovely people I teach – some of which never believed they could be creative.  

Delighting someone by either producing something bespoke for their event or passing on a skill is incredibly rewarding.  

What’s an ‘average’ day like for you?

This is a tricky one as no two days are the same.  I’m not a morning person, so start with strong coffee and usually eggs and bread of some sort.  I try to get admin done first thing morning replying to emails, prepping for any workshops that week and planning any jobs coming up.  

I live next to the North Downs so take my bike out for an hour when I get the chance, it breaks up the day and it helps me focus.  I have three children so I have to be quite disciplined to get work done but do like to sit down and complete any calligraphy projects later on after dinner when it’s quiet again!  

If I’m not working at home, I’m teaching at Packhouse, restocking my ‘Rug Corner’ there, try to get to networking events as they are brilliant and catch up with a friend.

The biggest creative risk you’ve ever taken? What did you learn?

I think not getting a ‘proper’ job but announcing to friends and family I was going to run a creative business plus teach without any experience, background or connections felt brave and risky.  

I learnt that you have to just stick at it, hone your skills and say yes even when you’re scared, it gets easier each time. What has been amazing is the support you get if you ask for it.

Toast - warm or cold? 🍞

Hot toast with cheese, or something savory.

Coffee or tea?

Always coffee, but am back to black with milk after a long love affair with a latte!

Worst advice you’ve ever received?

This one is easy!  I was told by so many people (when I left University) to just get a job, any job, that I could always change directions later.  I’m glad I stuck my heels in and decided to work in an industry I loved. I found PR hard but loved the industry, events and many of the authors.  Those things made the long hours worth it and despite many gruelling days, I have so many memories.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Not business related, but a great life lesson.  I went to a party aged 15 with a friend, we were nervous, about not knowing many people and what would we say to people.  My friends dad told us to ask people questions about themselves, there will be endless chat and we might find things in common.  Simple. I’ve used this in work, on trains, at school and it always works!!!

Favourite book?

I read all sorts but recently, All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria, couldn’t put it down.

Tool, service or skill you’ve recently learned or discovered that has significantly improved your working life?

Instagram has been amazing in so many ways.  It’s helped me to research, connect to people and figure out what I want my business to look like as well as deliver.

Favourite outdoor place to play/visit in Surrey?

Shere is my  favourite place in Surrey.  I’ve been a member of the little lido for years and it is delightful, tucked between the church and school.  I can’t leave out Newlands Corner as we can walk there from my house and the view and chips are fabulous!

Best meal you’ve ever eaten in Surrey?

Our favourite family meal out, every time, is the Sunday roast at the Percy Arms in Chilworth.  

Independent business in Surrey you ? Why?

This one is so hard as through The Inspiration Space I have met so many amazing incredible businesses of every kind.  I admire The Percy Arms in Chilworth because they recovered from a devastating fire and have incredible food and service.

What does The Inspiration Space mean to you?

Joining The Inspiration Space has not only given me the confidence to really dream my business could happen but the tools and network to get it off the ground.  

It’s also hugely rewarding to share in other peoples triumphs, meet like minded people and hear their stories. I’m extremely grateful to be a part of such a community.

Where can we find you? (social media handles, website, etc) , Instagram @paintandinkstudio, Pinterest @paintandinkstudio and Twitter @paint_inkstudio