How to Get Started in Calligraphy

calligraphy, thoughts

You’ve seen a bunch of lovely lettering feed on Instagram… and wondering how do they do that? It’s the beginning of a New Year and what better time to start something new! Is ‘learn calligraphy’ in one of your resolutions this year? This post is for you.

Along with the boom of modern calligraphy, options to learn become more accessible than ever. Starter kits, classes and workshops (online and in person), printable guides and worksheets – blog posts – where to start indeed?

The important thing, really, is just to get started. It doesn’t really matter what your entry point is. As long as you resolve to capture and keep your curiosity alive, you can begin however you like. But I would insist that you begin. You want to know how to create those beautiful letters? Create those beautiful letters. Just pick up the nearest pen and paper and write. Of course they might not come out exactly how you want the first time, but now you have questions. Google those questions. If you like a particular instagram post, see if the letterer teaches in some way. If you know a friend who’s into calligraphy, ask her. Just do anything to quench your curiosity and see where it leads you. At first everything might seem like a blur, but it will get clearer as you go along.

If, however, you would like to cherry pick how you learn, there are some considerations you could ponder.

  • Price

There are a bunch of ‘Starter Kit’s out there, some are priced, some are free. If it comes to money at all, check the reviews and decide whether what you’ll get matches your money’s worth before buying. Many starter kits offer pen, nib, ink, guided workpad, and an exemplar, then let you try your own hand, so to speak. If you’re only buying instructions, remember you’ll still have to buy your supplies.

  • Lettering style

There are countless variations of letters. If possible, you should find a resource that teaches the hand you want to be able to write. Maybe you’re attracted to ‘Copperplate’ or simply ‘brush lettering’? Often times people teach their own personal style. If you’re unsure of what it’s called, just save the image and keep looking around until you find out more.

  • Format

How do you think you’ll learn better, by reading a book? Watching a video? If you think you’ll learn faster by an in-person workshop, I do hope they have a guild in your town. Like learning anything, it’s different for everyone.

Now that you’ve begun it’s up to you where you go next. If you’re satisfied with the one hand and would like to do it really well, that’s cool. Maybe you want to go deeper and explore other possibilities – or not. It’s really up to you! Welcome to the lovely world of letters.



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