Getting Started With Calligraphy
I thought I'd put together a post answering helping beginners (like me!) find their way with calligraphy. I need to preface this by saying that I am by no means a professional calligrapher. I refuse to do any calligraphy work for hire until I am comfortable with the technique and have found my own personal style. I am writing this to help others get into calligraphy by showing you how I got into it.
So, how do I get into it?
The first step is simply just to dive in! I bought a calligraphy set a few years ago but it was a year before I finally opened it up to play around. Once I did, I learned that the broad nibs included in my kit did not produce the style I like.
I quickly learned that "pointed-pen" calligraphy is the style I prefer. Goodbye kit! Smell you later.
Once you find the right tools, really the best advice I can give you is to just practice! I did the above freehand. I didn't follow the book that came with the kit.
Take a Course
Whether it's in person or online, taking a course on calligraphy can greatly help you get started. You'll learn the tools of the trade, how to hold the pen, how to achieve even strokes, etc. Online courses can help if you don't have time or money to travel anywhere and if you're more of a DIYer like me, however in person workshops can give you so much more knowledge as they are more in depth, the instructor can give you tips, you get hands on experience, and you have many other beginner calligraphy-enthusiasts around you.
So far I've only taken Molly Jacques' Introduction to Modern Calligraphy on Skillshare but here are some other awesome resources that I'm looking into.
- Molly Jacques' Introduction to Modern Calligraphy on Skillshare (save $10 with this link)
- I Still Love Calligraphy
- Digitizing Calligraphy on Skillshare (save $10 with this link)
In Person (Local to DC)
In Person (US)
Join a Community
Aside from perusing Pinterest for inspiration, one of the greatest resources I've found was to find a calligraphy community online. Yes, they exist! These are some awesome sites that I use to connect with other calligraphers.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
If you want a more formal approach, you can get letter guides from the online courses or do a google search. Having letters to trace helps you get a feel of writing a little differently, but also explore your own personal style. The Flourish Forum also provides free practice sheets if you join their forum.
And lasty, the best way for me to really work on my calligraphy is just to find inspiration everywhere. Whether it's a catalog of wedding invitations, YouTube videos, or just pinning beautiful calligraphy images for reference later, I love to look at different styles to help me find my own. I made an entire pinterest board of calligraphy inspiration, tips, and tricks if you'd like to check that out.
I hope these tips will help get you started! Down the road, once I'm more in my groove, I'll share info on what tools I like best. Feel free to share any tips in the comments below.