Read about ABOUT the Artist, Pete Barkelew Custom Calligraphy & Hand Lettering Services Read about Inspire21 ECARDS TOPICS of Ecard See and Send "Inspiring Stories" See what's in STORE at SEARCH Inspire21 & The Web See what's NEWS at Have some "Fun & Games" with Puzzles and such! Affiliate with See Inspire21's Favorite Sites Contact us at is a unique web site featuring a vast collection of inspirational ecards - available free to all subscribers - to email to anyone, anywhere in the world. Inspire21's artistic ecards feature famous quotations that have stood the test of time, Bible verses... the most inspiring words in history... plus poetry, sonnets, "special occasion" greetings and holiday ecards.
This page is about Pete Barkelew, the creator of Inspire21, and WHY he wanted to create an inspirational website.
Peter Van Orden Barkelew, II  (Pete)
Born:  November 17, 1949, Philadelphia, PA
Raised: W. Hollywood & Miramar, Florida 1952 - 1972
High School: McArthur, Hollywood, FL - Sr. Class Pres.
College Degree:
BFA - Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
Married: June 17, 1972 to Mary Catherine Heidenreich
Household: Loving Bride, 3 children, 2 cats and a dog.
Hobbies: Music, Movies, Traveling, Camping & Boating

I am who I am because
others gave of themselves
to help me.
My parents conceived
and raised me,
scholars wrote books
to educate me,
and soldiers died
to give me freedom.
It's only right, and
it's God’s will, that
I give back something
of what I have
to offer to others,
especially those
who are less fortunate
than I.

This is WHY I'm doing
what I'm doing.

I have been living with my family in Athens, GA - Home of the University of Georgia Bulldogs - since May, 1975.

I've been a full time, independent graphic artist since 1976, specializing in hand lettering and contemporary calligraphy since 1980. I am very happily married to my college sweetheart, Cathy, and we have 3 wonderful children, Bret (8/14/83), Matt (7/30/86), and Emily (2/25/89). Cathy is a kindergarten teacher, Bret is in college, Matt is in the U.S. Navy (9/13/04 thru 2008 or 2009), and Emily is just staring college. Click here or family photo for other pictures.

We enjoy traveling, especially from April to October each year when we spend a lot of our time at Carolina Landing, a campground resort on Lake Hartwell, located between Georgia and SC, 1/2 mile South of I-85. Since 1996 we've acquired a 34' travel trailer (preowned, set up year-round about 15 yards from the indoor, heated pool), a 19' ski boat (1988 Cheetah) and an old golf car to ride around camp. As a school teacher, my wife enjoys many summer vacation days with her family up at the lake.

Although I majored in music education, as a trumpet player, I minored in commercial art. After graduating, 1972, I got married and became an insurance agent (rather than become the Cooper City, Florida high school band director - I regret that decision today). Cathy and I moved to Atlanta, to be near her sister's home, in 1974. I began working with another insurance company which transfered us to Athens, Georgia. As we toured this college town laced with antebellum homes, in May of 1975, I whistled "Tara's Theme" from Gone With The Wind (my wife's favorite movie), and she said this is where we'll raise our family. We've been here ever since.

I've been doing calligraphy since high school. Over the years I used it for personal reasons (fund raisers, volunteer graphics, etc.), and then offered it with my graphic design services as more of my clients requested it. By 1983, I was lettering logos and slogans for numerous regional clients, so I started marketing this specialty work nationally in 1985 as "The Write Direction."

Armed with the full belief that uniquely and professionally lettered words stood out from most forms of commercial text, used everyday in print advertising, I set out to become one of the top names in the field of hand lettering. I felt pretty great when a New York Art Director told me my work was in the top 5 in the country (in fact, he suggested I do a line of greeting cards). But, after a few years, I was spending more money marketing my services than I was earning nationally, and after watching (type font) design after design resemble lettering and calligraphy, I began to give up hope that I could continue making a living with this specialty work. Until now!

Today, I can advertise and promote these services over the worldwide web. This website also features my custom lettering business, Wordart21... it displays most of my portfolio work, explains how to place a custom order, lists my current rates and more. In the past, all I could afford to do was place some examples on a black & white page in a few directories. I had to invest hours explaining everything, faxing more examples (also in B&W vs full color on the web), and taking detailed custom orders. Now the majority of these tasks are handled, and updated, instantly... digitally, by computer. That's COOL!

Please visit often, and email these free, artistic eCards to everyone you know. They're designed to open the mind and touch the heart, with the power of famous words... to create a mental vision, a new mindset, to learn, grow and strive for all we can be, do and have in life. By encouraging you to encourage others, I hope to have a very busy spot on the web someday, where I can work exclusively on new ecards. I've always known I had a calling, to be of help to others in some way, but I didn't know for sure what that was... until now. This has become my dream, my life's ambition, my destiny... I love doing this more than any kind of work.

As Pooh Bear's friend, Tigger, used to say, "Thanks for thinking about me." And thank you for visiting my website. May the best of your dreams be the least of your rewards... and may God bless us all and our endeavors to serve Him.

Blue skies and green lights everybody!

P.S. In honor of my late father, Robert B. Barkelew, my late mother, Margaret G. Barkelew, and my late mother-in-law, Lucy F. Heidenreich, I created this special ecard (right) from a story given to me by a Hospice nurse called, "Gone From My Sight."

Pete in 1967 -
Senior Class President
McArthur High School,
Hollywood, FL
Pete in 1985 -
Calligrapher at large
Pete and his loving mother, Peg, the source of his early inspiration