tips for discovering your calligraphy style
Once you get started with calligraphy, it can be so fun to experiment with styles and try to discover the one that is “yours.”
This process can take a long time… I feel like it took me years! But I slowly evolved the style of my calligraphy until I found the one that felt like the perfect fit for me. But the evolution never stops! I’ll likely be slowly changing my style over time for as long as I’m able to write.
To get you started on your own style discovery, here are a few tips and exercises for you to try out yourself!
Tips for Developing Your Own Calligraphy Style
1 - Browse styles you see on Pinterest + Instagram and try them out!
You’ll hear this from me and every other artist out there: It’s not okay to profit in any way by copying someone else’s work.
However, I think a really helpful way to begin developing your own style is by browsing Instagram or Pinterest and taking note of what you like about different calligrapher’s styles and incorporating those elements into your own practice. Maybe you like the way an artist does their Y’s, or maybe you like how spread out another artist makes their words. Maybe you like the flourishes one calligrapher does, but you like the brush style of another artist. Take note of what you like and practicing incorporating those styles into your own lettering!
As you practice out different things you see, you’ll start to feel out what feels good for your hand. That might sound like a weird sentence but I think it’s true - as we practice we discover a style that feels made for our hand. It is on us to discover our creative voice that’s already hiding within - and experimenting with different styles you see can be a way of drawing that out! Piece by piece, it will come together.
The key here is to never claim someone else’s work or style as your own. So if you ever share something you make that’s inspired by another artist’s work: credit them and never profit off of their style.
2 - Use key words to challenge your style
One of the practices that has really pushed and challenged by style expression has been the practices of brainstorming adjectives and then trying to write a word that feels like that adjective.
It can be easiest to show you by example, so let me show you!
It can be fun to combine words to and just see what happens! What does it look like if you try narrow + curvy? Or Wide and angular? Play around with words to see how it changes the way you write!
3 - Try creating your own alphabet with a consistent style!
A cool way to start using a consistent style that you’ve created is by making it into your own alphabet that looks like a consistent style. Then, use it as your guide for your own lettering to build up the consistency of your style!
Here’s are two examples, one is my calligraphy style and the other is my block lettering style (that I made into a font!).
Be your own inspiration and come with with a style that feels YOU!
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