You know those pretty quotes you see on posters or postcards? Bible verses posted on artisan cafes or exhibits of handmade art? Yes those! You can be able to do that too in no time. Hand lettering and Calligraphy have been around for the longest time, but the art of it suddenly gained popularity late 2015. Since then, it has been constantly appearing in our facebook and instagram feeds in the form of quotes or “hugots” to makes us laugh or hits our hearts. It may seem like a complicated task but what’s great about it is you don’t need good penmanship to produce good lettering art. If you are interested in learning hand lettering and calligraphy as a hobby, or even more, here are the 5 steps to start it out:
- Search for inspiration
I’m pretty sure you opened this article because you are interested in Hand Lettering as an art form, so go on and take this time to search for inspiration through the work of others. There are pinterest boards and instagram accounts all dedicated to the art of hand lettering and typography which is free for your viewing. You may check the works of Abbey Sy (@abbeysy) and King Blotto III (@kingblottothethird) on instagram because they have produced a lot of exquisite lettering art.
2. Choose your style
There are lots of styles of hand lettering to choose from like modern calligraphy, or brush lettering. You can try them out to see which one you are able to do or which you like best. Traditional calligraphy tends to be more technical with precision while modern calligraphy gives you more freedom. Brush calligraphy on the other hand is more liberal and uses freehand. It usually more colorful and preppy-looking and these are the ones you see in bakery cafes and fashion stores.
3. Gather the materials
There are certain materials you need for each kind and style of hand lettering but for starters, you’re going to need just a pen/pencil and paper to scribble and doodle and try different things out. But when you start really getting into it, you will need more materials. Take traditional or modern calligraphy for example, studying this would require the nib holder, nibs, and some ink. For brush calligraphy, you can practice with a paintbrush or waterbrush and watercolor. The paper you use also varies with the materials you use. There is a special paper for calligraphy which does not have much fibers, and also for watercolor which requires a thicker paper. You can find these items in National Bookstore and in art stores.
4. Practice the art
Set a practice time for yourself because practice is required in order to develop a skill. You can use your spare time or schedule practice for every few days so that you are constantly developing the art. Some people advice practicing at least 3 times a week, just to keep training your hand. There are also drills available online that you can print out and do on your own. You can start off by mimicking art on the internet to see which one fits you best, or to practice when you’re having a creative block (but please don’t copy another person’s art and claim it as your own). As you practice, you get the hang of it and also discover your own personal style.
5. Make Projects
Set goals for yourself with regards to your art and use what you learn in simple projects. For example, you can use calligraphy to make birthday cards more special. You can also make hand lettering art for your friends favorite songs or quotes to give to them as a gift. Take on challenges from the internet and do exercises to be able to master the hand movement and to find your aesthetic. All big artists start out somewhere and who knows, you may be the next big thing in the hand lettering industry.
I hope that these steps will help you learn, and maybe even discover a talent and skill you never thought you had. So, go on and try calligraphy and hand lettering out!