Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The One About the Leftie Calligrapher

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. :)