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Learning (from) Calligraphy & Hand-lettering


Pretty things, useful things, everything I like.

Learning (from) Calligraphy & Hand-lettering

Debora Manusama-Sinaga

One of the very many things I really want to do this year is to explore the more artistic side of me. I know, I know, I am not that artistic. Haha, I am not a designer, I do not know how to draw, but I have always wanted to! Now going to a painting workshop would be an aggressive move, and so does going to a pottery painting or sculpturing class (I am not really interested in those two art forms anyways). But I would still like to learn something artsy like drawing!

Then I stumbled upon this Modern Calligraphy class hosted by Paper Source at North Park Mall, Dallas. Why calligraphy? Well, it combines my favorite thing, writing, and drawing!

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For $30, I got to sit in a 2-hour class (where did I leave J? With my parents of course, they're visiting for 3 weeks! Yeay!) taught by the accomplished calligraphy & hand-lettering professional, Lyndsay Wright.

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Yes, it's a beginner's class, so don't expect any fancy lettering. You gotta start from the basics! It might look simple, but it's not easy to do. The width (diameter) of the pen, the way you hold your pen, the way you stroke it on the paper, the ink, the paper, oh there are so many things that can affect your lettering!


Plus you gotta think about the legibility, meaning that your lettering has to be clear enough to read and it has to make sense to the readers. So first, you have to plan (or design) the height and width of the letters and the type of font you want to use (traditional, whimsical, modern, etc). Wow! I mean, I didn't expect this! I thought those quotes we see on pinterest were drawn by people who are naturally good at doodling and do not need any rules in producing beautiful works of art!

The truth is, you still need the guidelines and the planning -- I think they are parts of the whole designing process. They pump up your creativity too!


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Another thing I learned from this simply beautiful form of art is that consistency matters. Like in the picture above, I should've modified the "d" to look more like the "l", because they do not look like they belong to the same font type. The whole pic doesn't look ugly, but it lacks something. And that's consistency. No matter what you do, what kind of letter you want to work with, where do you want to place them, and what kind of pen you're using,  just be consistent.

There lays the beauty. There lays the strength and identity.

I hope you are trying some new things too this year :) Cheers!