So let’s talk about lettering now. Gosh, I have so much to say…but I’m going to try to dish up a couple of good nuggets and lots of inspiration in each entry of this series of posts. So be sure and subscribe via Blog Lovin’ if you want to stay in the loop.
My favorite lettering is elegant pointed pen modern calligraphy and brush calligraphy.
So for the record, I promise I was doodling and lettering before the hype and recent movement of handlettered became a thing but also before I really even knew what the word typography came into my vocabulary…so I’ve come a long way in these 15 years. My first gig was designing and doodling printables in around 2000 for a website called gracefulbee.com – things got legit when I got the opportunity to design scrapbook things (paper, stickers, embellishments) later in like 2005…and I’ve never left my love of lettering. Here I am now – still going. These are some projects from a few years ago (2007 and 2009) – I love incorporating my own lettering and doodles, a fun way to make my crafts and scrapbooks unique and personal.
I picked up a calligraphy pen as a teenager, but it was a broad tip, fountain pen and more suited to gothic or blackletter lettering…I appreciate it but not a fan. I love beautiful, flowing, contrasting lines. I started with pointed pen calligraphy and am mostly self-taught, though I’ve gleaned a lot of nuggets from many talented calligraphers and artists out there. Instragram is my favorite source of inspiration.
Though it was just practice, here’s a favorite piece I’ve done…
It’s simple, true to my style and it was just practice, but i love it. And I hang on to almost all of my practice work and have kept my first pages done with the pointed pen from about 3 years ago.
To get started, you really don’t have to invest a lot of money, but you do have to invest wisely and purchase quality supplies and there are only a handful of places to order from. I highly recommend:
They have everything – all quality supplies, quick shipping and great customer service. Shipping is a bit high (especially if you’re like me and spoiled to Amazon Prime) but you can earn points with purchases and it’s great if you like to support independent stores (they have a brick and mortar in Nashville).
Nice selection and free shipping sometimes. Great prices ank bulk pricing.
So what would I recommend as the first thing you purchase if you want to be successful as a calligrapher?
This book… Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy by Eleanor Winters. Read it…before you ever pick up a pen. Soak it up. It’s a fundamental primer for getting a handle on how to create beautiful Copperplate calligraphy – which is basically the inspiration behind more modern, looser styles of calligraphy you’re seeing. Just as I tell folks in my workshops, as any artist knows, you need to know the rules before you can break them. You will find much more success as a calligraphy if you start with a good foundation, correct technique and understanding of the fundamental approach. I know this because I started with none of this knowledge – became a little frustrated because I wasn’t making fast enough progress, but when I went to this book and began studying the roots of modern calligraphy, then I saw a lot of progress and improvement. Do yourself a favor – start smart.
If you want to pick it up from Paper Ink Arts – use this link and I’ll earn reward points and I’ll give you a hug for that.
Stay tuned next time I’ll be talking about calligraphy pens, brush pens and brushes! I can’t wait!
I teach workshops locally in Fayetteville, Arkansas at Shindig Paperie. You can also contact me about hosting a private workshop – check out the details here. Email me to get on the mailing list for upcoming classes.