For someone who’s had nice penmanship since elementary school, engaging in calligraphy seemed quite natural. So much so that when calligraphy boomed – with workshops left and right – I grabbed the chance to learn by signing up with one of the well-known crafter/calligraphers in the metro a couple of years ago.
Calligraphy, I realized, is rather challenging if you’re left-handed like me. If I position my hand in a way that I usually write, my calligraphy work smears like crazy. It did not help that the workshop I took was meh. The instructor was highly-regarded. However, it’s one thing to be very good at your craft and another thing to be just as good at teaching others your craft. Several months ago, I signed up for another workshop of hers and that second session with her solidified my stand to never take any of her classes again.
So anyway, bleeding from that workshop, I took Melissa Esplin’s online calligraphy program. It was more expensive but I took a leap of faith – to this day, I’m glad I did. The program begins with the basic strokes until you become comfortable doing letter forms. I worked at my own pace and uploaded my weekly output for feedback. I became more comfortable handling a nib and writing with it using my left hand. You don’t want to see the funny positions I resort to just to be able to write legibly as a leftie. When the program ended, I got myself these books with the intention of doing more self-study and drills.
As always, life happens and things get in the way even in the best of intentions. While I was happy starting a line of clothes and playthings, learning calligraphy had to take a backseat in the midst of it all.
Then again, it is true that when you really want something, you don’t find time for it; you MAKE time for it. I have decided to commit myself to learning calligraphy all over again with a self-imposed 100-Day Calligraphy Challenge. For a hundred days (and more probably until I become good), I shall engage in pointed pen drills and will be documenting everything in this blog – bad writing, bad strokes, warts and all. Let’s see if I can uncover the leftie advantage people always say about calligraphy and left-handers.
Today, I end this post with Day 1: The Full-Pressure Stroke.
Apparently, I'm still struggling with exerting just the right amount of pressure as I press the nib down. Hence, the uneven strokes. But hey, it's just the first day. I'm cutting myself some slack. :)