There are so many resources online for fostering creativity and new skills (like this blog!), and it’s clearly something I’m passionate about. Sometimes, though, taking a real life, in-person class to learn something new is the way to go. That’s why I signed up for Suzy Lee‘s (of Dear Darling Calligraphy) lettering & calligraphy class.
I’ve practiced different lettering styles over the years, ever since I got into crafting. It definitely came in handy when I’d hand draw the signs that went out front of the gift shop I used to work in, and for every card or craft I’ve made. But something I’ve never properly tried, or learned, was calligraphy. I’ve been following Suzy’s work on Instagram for years, and have always admired her style. So when I caught wind of her class, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to get a better education on the art of lettering.
The class took place in a workshop space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There were 11 of us in total, drinking mimosas (yum) and taking pen to paper. For some, they’d taken several other classes before. For others, it was their first. It was pretty interesting, and kind of wonderful, to see the varying skill levels sitting around the table.
As you can see on my practice papers, I am definitely a newbie. And I definitely need to practice. So much of calligraphy and lettering relies on muscle memory, and getting into the rhythm of the strokes. Otherwise you press the nib to the paper too hard, or grab too much ink and it’s all over.
We tried calligraphy using the classic metal nib with acrylic dipping ink and metallic gouache, and also a felt tip pen. Seeing how different the consistency is across materials helped me understand what I needed to do to keep my lettering consistent.