Let me start off with a disclaimer. I’m not a professional calligrapher. I don’t even practice on daily basis. I started lettering few months ago. I’m a beginner like you. The intention of this series of blog post is to share some basic tips for you to start lettering. An insight to modern calligraphy. You can find tons of similar posts on the internet. I would be happy to list down a few of my favourite for you later.
That’s that. Let’s get started.
Modern calligraphy lalalala. I wanted to write a sweet intro for modern calligraphy but I figured that is really unnecessary. The only thing you need to know about modern calligraphy is, there’s no rule for it. So do whatever you do best and have fun. There are 3 important aspects for calligraphy. 1) Supply, 2) Knowledge, 3) Practice. In that order. Trust me when I say you won’t be able to achieve what you want to write without any of the 3.
You don’t need a fancy supply to get started. However, once you become more familiar with calligraphy, you need to gradually switch out your beginner tools. Your supply will grow with you. There are must-have and nice-to-have.
- Ink – Sumi Ink or black indian ink. some prefer Higgins eternal
- Pen Holder – Universal straight pen holder (I always recommend holder with universal insert over plastic speedball holder, they last you much longer because it fits more nibs)
- Nibs – Nikko G / Zebra G
- Paper – Laser jet paper (60lb and above are good)
Nice to have
- Colour inks, walnut ink, white ink, gold inks/paints, imagine the possibilities!
- Oblique holder (good for lefties)
- More nibs assortment
There are a lot of free guide on the internet that you can learn from.
The Flourish forum is a good place to start with. I recommend this site to every single customer that write to me and ask for tips. They have a very supportive community. Once in a while, there will be mail exchange activity so you could actually write (in calligraphy!) to a friend and get a reply (in calligraphy too!) Isn’t that exciting? Flourish forum also provide a set of digital practice guide where you can print out and practice.
Other blogs I recommend are The Postmans Knock, Pieces Calligraphy and Julie Blanner. I almost exclusively only learn through thepostmansknock when I first started. Lindsey, the writer behind this blog is amazing. She also offer free printable and worksheets that you could practice with. So remember to check her blog out.
You can also opt for workshops. Melissa from istillovecalligraphy provide online workshop. If you are located in Kuala Lumpur, check out KLigraphy by Inez and Jil.
If you already started writing, and you felt like shit. That’s perfectly normal. I still feel that way every time I practice. Please don’t let that shitty feeling discourage you. When you just get started, it’s perfectly normal to make ugly letters, out of shape, out of proportion. We all been there.
Every single amazing piece that you saw on instagram and pinterest has hours of practice behind it. Practice make progress, it leads you closer to perfection. This is one of my favourite quote to live by. It applies to everything we do. Pick up your pen, write a page or two everyday, troubleshoot your problem and find solution.
I will be having a nibs set giveaway for Alcee next weekend. Stay tuned to alcee’s instagram if you are interested! Thanks for reading!