I hope you were inspired by my first post about learning Modern Calligraphy : everything you need to know. If you didn’t read it, click here to get started.
There are many ways to learn calligraphy. You can learn calligraphy online, in-person, using tracing sheets or referring to tutorials!
Today I’ll help you with HOW you can get started with your Modern Calligraphy practice.
Where to start
How do you want to learn?
Decide how you want to learn modern calligraphy. Do you want to learn in-person? The benefits of learning in-person are; you get to enjoy personal guidance and have an instructor adjust and fine tune your pen holding, posture and stroke? They are able to help instantly correct any issues you may have at the very beginning as you learn. The cons are; they may be in your local area, they may be pricey and in my case, they sell out quick!
Maybe you prefer to learn from an online source! The pros to learning online are; you can learn at your own pace, rewatch videos over and over again, they are not as pricey as an in-person workshop. The cons; you don't get tools with an online class. Perhaps reading a book and follow along with prompts and instructions?
Perhaps reading a book and follow along with prompts and instructions? This is a good option if you want very little investment and a taste for how to form letters and be introduced to calligraphy. The cons; you don't have visual instruction as a video or instruction to guide you.
Or maybe it’s a combination of a few of the options I outlined for you. I suggest you make a choice based on your goal for learning, how much you can comfortably afford to spend and how much time you can dedicate to practicing.
If you are interested in an in-person workshop. I recommend googling (I find it funny that “googling” is an adjective now!) workshops in your area and find someone who you are inspired by to learn from. If you are in the Toronto area, have a look at the workshops that I offer and see if there’s a fit for you.
If you are looking for an online class, again, google is your best friend. Decide on a class that speaks to you and offers a style of lettering that you are looking for. I find that I need to be inspired by the lettering artist’s style to want to learn from them. I just published my very first (of many to come) modern calligraphy online classes on Skillshare. You can click here to get a few months free access to the very same platform that I use to continue to learn and grow!
Practice is key
How ever you choose to get started learning what's most important is that you practice! Calligraphy is a learned skill and one that becomes easier as you develop muscle memory. It's the same as doing yoga, or learning how to play a musical instrument. The more time you dedicate, the better you become! I recommend when you get started, begin practicing by tracing strokes and the alphabet. Doing so will help you with learning how to create consistent strokes, lines and shape forms.
Once you develop the ability to draw consistent strokes and lines, you can begin adding your own personality and style to your calligraphy letters. Speaking of “drawing” strokes and letters - when you write using calligraphy, you are actually using a learned form of drawing shapes and lines to write letters. You are controlling everything about the letter shapes and style and it is very unlike “writing” a word. If you can change the way you look at lettering and think about how you are “drawing” the letters, it will help you create your own calligraphy style.
I hear this all the time... "I can't do calligraphy, my handwriting is messy". Believe it or not, my everyday handwriting is extremely messy!! When I write using calligraphy lettering, I have taught myself how to form each and every stroke and you can very easily too!
So pick your personal entry point to learning Modern Calligraphy. Perhaps use a mix of how you will learn so that you can be exposed to more lettering styles and teachers. Practice often and practice drawing your letters and forms.
Next up, I’ll share how you can grow your practice and advance your Modern Calligraphy skills!