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Q: Will you teach me calligraphy?
A: Well, I can show you – and even cheer you on – but it’s one of those things you have to do for yourself.
Learning calligraphy seems to go in cycles. It comes back in fashion every 20 years or so, when everyone jumps on the bandwagon again. But it never totally goes out of style. Thank goodness. I was still a kid when I first learned calligraphy. I actually still have my beginner kit from way back when. It holds a special place in my heart since I used it for several weddings, including my own!
I didn’t take a class. And there were no videos back then. No google. No You Tube. Not even a computer – gasp!
So how in the world did I learn?
This will probably shock and astound you. But it’s what we had to do back in the dark ages before technology.
And you will be glad to know that this method still works!
Are you sitting down?
I read the instruction book.
Strike that. I studied the instruction book.
Then I practiced – and practiced – copying over and over what I read.
It didn’t come naturally at first. My regular hand-writing was nothing to write home about. But I had a desire to learn, so I kept at it, until – what d’ya know – it became enjoyable!
And there’s not a thing I could add to make that story more exciting (and have it remain true).
Just keep on keeping on – and before you know it you’ll end up wanting to do it because you love it.
But here’s a crucial tip about calligraphy – you have to keep practicing. When I quit doing it for a few years, boy was I rusty when I picked it back up. But thankfully, it wasn’t like starting all over. The pens had waited patiently for me. The strokes came back to me – once I buckled down to practicing regularly again.
I titled this post “A Parable.”
Did you track it?
Don’t feel bad. I didn’t either.
I wrote all of the above not sure if I would even use it. I let it sit overnight – like I sometimes do – and then the next morning the Lord turned on the light bulb over my head. It was more like one of those dimmer switches where the light gradually came on. Hey – it’s a parable about the Christian life!
Go back and read it again, this time substituting “Christianity” every time you see the word “calligraphy.”
I know, I know. It’s not the best parable you’ve ever read. Jesus has the corner on that. But I thought it was kinda cool since I wasn’t even trying to write a parable.
Fast forward to modern calligraphy today. (And keep tracking.)
These days there are SO many helpful resources out there to teach you. Honestly, probably too many.
Where to even start?
Well, for me, the key that made it click was the instruction book! And, yes, a little perseverance. But the instruction book fueled my perseverance because learning those precepts helped me “get it.”
Psalm 19:8: the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
So often we want to skip to the chase.
But there’s something about trudging through those basics that makes it click – and stick.
Psalm 119:105: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
If you truly want to learn calligraphy, be prepared to put in some time with the basics. I promise you won’t be sorry.
If you read all this way hoping for actual calligraphy instructions and not just a parable, never fear!
Here are some tutorials that I have used (see – always practicing) and recommend …
Brush Lettering With a Marker
Free tutorials by Sharisse at Pieces Calligraphy
Brush Lettering with a Paintbrush
Free video by Teela Cunningham
Basic Hand Lettering blog post by Amy at One Artsy Mama
Pointed Pen Calligraphy
How to Learn Calligraphy in Two Months – blog post by Lindsey Bugbee
Sign up for the next free practice challenge with Laura Hooper at LHCalligraphy.
And if you are still tracking with me on the parable, here are a few recommendations for the Christian instruction book (aka the Bible!) …
The hand-lettered print above?
All my email subscribers got it in their inbox for free! I send a printable every Thursday so they can either give it as a gift, make a greeting card, save it as a screensaver, put it in their planner or scrapbook, make index cards to memorize – you get the idea. If you want to join the fun too, you can subscribe right here.
If you missed the printable while it was free, you can find it right here in my SHOP.
And don’t forget to download your welcome gifts …
I am linking up with Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth and Lori at Moments of Hope and Jennifer at Tell His Story and Holley at Coffee For Your Heart and Heather at Writer Wednesday and Alisa at Salt & Light.
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