8 Tips For Anyone Who Wants To Learn Calligraphy And Hand-Lettering
I took up calligraphy and hand-lettering in the fall of 2015, and it turned out to be a really wonderful hobby.
Calligraphy and hand-lettering are relatively easy, unfussy, and affordable (though there are plenty of fun things to buy and additional areas to explore if that’s your preference!). And turns out, writing letters is also incredibly relaxing and helpful for anxiety!
So if you’ve been thinking you’d really like to try hand-lettering and/or calligraphy…but you don’t know where to start…start here!
1. For the beginner who doesn’t want to invest a lot in calligraphy until they are sure they are going to like it: The Postman’s Knock Learn Calligraphy Worksheets
2. For anyone who wants to learn the basics of hand-lettering: Hand-Lettering Online Class from Brit.co
3. For anyone who wants to learn classic calligraphy and has a bit more cash to invest: Laura Hooper Calligraphy Online Video Tutorial
Laura Hooper is a well-known calligrapher (at least in the parts of Instagram I frequent), and her online video class and kit — which, full disclosure, I was able to try for free, but am not obligated to write about — is very good. This is where I began my ~calligraphy journey~, and it’s a good option if you want to learn classic calligraphy and have a little more money to spend. (It’s $125 for just the video, and $210 for the video + the supply kit.) The video is well-shot and easy to follow, and the practice books are excellent. (I really love the gridlines notepad.) I think having this as my foundation made the other tutorials I did even more effective. Also, at my recommendation, a co-worker and her friends got this as a group gift for their friend’s birthday and that friend really liked it too! Learn more here.
4. Your handwriting doesn’t have to be great to start with.
5. Take your time.
When I first started, I just assumed I’d be able to do fancy lettering as quickly as I write normally, which was…ridiculous. Writing slowly really does make a difference in the quality, and it taught me to be a bit more patient. (Plus, I promise you’ll be able to write faster once you get better at it.)
6. If you run out of words to write as you’re practicing, try writing song lyrics and quotes.
7. You can find a lot of great information and inspiration on Instagram.
When I first started with calligraphy, I quickly realized that nibs and ink are tricky little tools that take some getting used to; my first attempts looked shaky and scraggly and not at all consistent. Blargh. And though I found hand-lettering to be easier, it still didn’t come super naturally. If you have a similar experience, know that it does get better…if you practice.
In her video tutorial, Laura Hooper suggests practicing for 45 minutes two times a week, which initially seemed nuts to me, but actually turned out to be fine. (Once I’d get started, it was easy enough to keep going, and I’d usually practice for a full hour.) It seems so obvious, but I really did improve pretty quickly that way!