Hi! I'm back with another post, this time on Calligraphy!
I haven't been doing calligraphy for long at all; it's slightly less than three months since I first picked up my first dip pen. I picked up the interest after Kristina Werner started doing brush lettering on her instagram (you can click the link and look at her lettering), and very soon found another Lindsey at ThePostman'sKnock (I have linked to her blog) who does amazing artworks as well as calligraphy and lettering. Nowadays, Instagram is where I look for inspiration as well as staying on top of new things/events that are happening. :)
So, I've decided to share 3 things I've learnt since I started calligraphy:
I've decided to share some things I've learnt since I picked up my dip pen. Although I do have interest in a varied number of hobbies, it fascinates me just how much I learned and how much I am able to achieve with each hobby that I pick up. A person never stops learning, and I intend to expand my knowledge even as I grow older. Stagnancy scares me a little, truthfully.
I've learnt more of the history of Calligraphy, that there are many different kinds of Calligraphy, how I can apply them in my daily life. I know more about inks and pigments and how they are made...
I won't talk about those in this post because I wanted to share my personal experiences with you- of things I've realised since I began on this journey. So if you are interested in trying out calligraphy, you may want to read on! :)
Quality Supplies do make a Difference
You may think that since it is only a hobby, that you are only testing the waters, so there is no need to invest in them. You may want to buy the cheapest supplies there are, in order to save your wallet just in case you decide that the hobby is not for you.
In truth, the quality of your supplies may affect the outcome, especially when it comes to calligraphy. Inks and papers used for calligraphy is much more sensitive, and will affect your writing. Find good quality paper (70lb and above, smooth) as well as proper calligraphy inks (try some non-waterproof ones first) to save yourself the trouble of watching the ink spread from your writing.
When it comes to pen holders, straight pen holders are easier to find than oblique pen holders. However, it is easier to write with a slant when using oblique. Personally, I haven't picked up my straight holders since I got my oblique! Everytime I use a straight holder I feel like I am spraining my wrist. Because there is a science to the angle and slant of the nib to the paper, it is generally advised to invest in a good quality oblique pen holder than the cheap speedball oblique that so many beginner calligraphers bought and could not writing well with it.
Buy quality materials, and if you decide you don't like calligraphy, pass your supplies on to someone else who wants to give it a try.
Calligraphy is not as easy as it looks
Nothing is actually as easy as it first looks. Those pretty paintings/cakes/calligraphy/craft shown on Instagram only show the final version after hours of practise. Those calligraphy videos are also (usually) sped up. Calligraphy is intended to be written slowly and with precision. It is art.
Practise, practise and practise some more. Have plenty of patience. Do your drills. Some calligraphers continue doing their drills even though they have been writing for years. I am currently participating in a Calligraphy Bootcamp on Instagram. It really helps me get my strokes right.
Just know that slow and steady is the way to go when it comes to calligraphy.
Most of all, have plenty of FUN!!
Sometimes my hand hurts after an hour or two of writing because holding a dip pen is not the same as holding a normal pen. Sometimes I spill ink all over and get my fingers stained. Sometimes no matter how hard I try, I just couldn't get my alphabets to look nice. Sometimes writing is just plain frustrating.
When that happens, I'd put my calligraphy aside. I tell myself that calligraphy is a hobby, and if I force myself to do it, it won't be my happy thing anymore.
I write for fun. I look for things I love that I can practise my writing with. I look up quotes, song lyrics, books, films and poetry. But most of all, I don't let it become a chore that I dread, something that I have to do because I had to. I have fun.
So here's 3 things I have learnt since I began my calligraphy journey. If you're just starting calligraphy or considering it as a hobby, I hope I gave you some food for thought. It really feels very different to be writing with a dip pen in an age dominated by keyboard and ballpoint pens. I feel connected to the past, that there is a window that allows me to look back into our history.
Share with me what lessons you've learnt since you began calligraphy, newbies or not! I'm always interested to hear about your experiences! :)
Have fun writing! And thanks for reading!