What I’ve learnt: 30 days of Calligraphy

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Hey everyone! Today’s post is all about the wonderful art that is Calligraphy. For Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a nib, oblique holder and metallic watercolours (all from the Creative Kinds who sell gorgeous handmade watercolours) - thank you best boyfriend ever! I have dabbled with Calligraphy in the past, but to be honest, I never really took it seriously.

Part of my New Year’s resolution was to do more, show up more, ESPECIALLY when it comes to my art. I often let the day to day stresses take over, which leaves me burnt out and not really in the mood to do much at all. I thought the perfect way to kick start my new mindset for the year, would be to set myself a challenge, to do something arty every day. And what better way to start than by breaking in my new nib + holder!

I decided I’d do a piece of Calligraphy every day for 30 days and post each piece as a story on Instagram (still available as a highlight if anyone would like to flick through them - I’ve included a few of my favourites below too!)

Here’s what I learnt…

You need to be calm and relaxed.

You CANNOT do Calligraphy when you’re angry or stressed, you can’t make the words flow as well as you usually would nor can you create those smooth flourishes. Angry hand = angry nib and paper. I actually found even the days when I was angry/sad/stressed I ended up so much more relaxed by the end of my Calligraphy practice. It kind of forces you to calm down (which I need tbh haha). The days I went into it happy and relaxed, my final piece for the day was MUCH better than compared to the others.

Posture is KEY.

No slouching, no leaning over the paper. You need to be sitting up straight, and holding the pen correctly in order for things to go smoothly. PLUS it makes you sit up properly, better lettering, better posture, you can’t lose!

Get yourself a Rhodia dot pad for practice, and save the fancy stuff for when you’re feeling confident.

The Rhodia dot pads are fantastic for practicing your Calligraphy. The paper is smooth, and you can use the dots on the page as a guide. The ink doesn’t bleed through either! When you’re practicing, you’ll probably find you’ll make a good few mistakes and you’ll probably need to warm up by doing some standard exercises so it’s best to save the fancy inks/paper for when you’re warmed up and confident.

Always warm up!

And no, I don’t mean do some stretches! Before I start any lettering work, I always get out some scrap paper (I usually save paper with any gaps or if the other side is blank, just for warming up!) and practice a little before I move on to anything more serious. In this instance, I’d practice the standard Calligraphy exercises to get a feel for the pen, pressure and control. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Emma

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