Calligraphy has existed since 600 BC, and as such, it is an art that we need to protect at all costs. Dedicated letterers like Abbey Sy and Fozzy-Castro Dayrit have kept the flame going on our shores, but if you’re a beginner who also wants to learn the ropes, then consider this a warning: Once you start, you’ll be hooked for life. This creative hobby is absolutely addictive. Read on if you want to take the plunge.
1. Join a workshop.
Local calligraphy collectives like Ink Scribbler and Inks and Letters hold regular workshops for those who want to test the waters and learn a thing or two about lettering along the way. The workshops usually come with a basic kit, some practice sheets, and style guides for your reference. If anything, it’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon—and you’re bound to walk away with more than a few creative ideas. If you think you’re ready for a full commitment, then the next step is to...
2. Get yourself some equipment.
Many professional calligraphers swear by faux calligraphy—that is, using a regular pen to imitate the downstrokes that are commonplace in “real” calligraphy (in other words, when you’re using actual calligraphy equipment). It’s a great way to ease yourself into the art before making an investment. Once you’ve got faux calligraphy down to a tee, you’ll need the basics: some good paper, a guide sheet, a set of nibs, and some ink. Many local specialty bookstores are recognizing the demand for calligraphy supplies, but if you want a more extensive collection, The Craft Central is your best bet.
3. Practice, practice, practice!
This is the fun part! It’s time to put your basic skills to the test and practice until you find your groove. Some look to Pinterest or Tumblr for inspiration, while others purchase handy manuals like Abbey Sy’s The ABCs of Hand Lettering to guide them along their way. Practice worksheets and YouTube walkthroughs are in abundance on the Internet--the calligraphy community, both locally and worldwide, is welcoming and supportive, so you’re never going to feel left out.
4. Show off your work.
Once you’ve conjured up a few pieces you’re proud of, the next step is finding a place to display your art. Whether you resort to Instagram, the walls of your condo, or a full-blown blog, art isn’t art unless there are people to appreciate it! The great thing about calligraphy is that it’s a traditional skill that people can showcase digitally. You could also spread the word to your friends who might be needing a designer for event invitations, restaurant menus, accessories, etc. The world is yours.