October 9, 2013
Aside from connecting directly with my buyers, one of my favorite things about participating at street markets like this past weekend's Crafts in Chelsea Fall Festival is the opportunity to get some creative tasks done while I'm there. My days are usually fairly hectic with business and day job to-dos so I take the opportunity to squeeze in some work during the slow portions at these fairs. My latest obsession is calligraphy, a hobby I took up over the summer after taking Melissa Esplin's I Still Love Calligraphy online course. I've been hooked ever since I drew my first letter form with the nib and bonus: it draws in passersby who are mesmerized by the pretty writings on my paper.
Over the months I've gone on to search and collect a virtual calligraphy community and have found the super talented calligrapher Maybelle who teaches live classes around the country. You should also check out Holly Hollon, Meredith Bullock of Hazel Wonderland, Courtnie Johnson of Etsy shop Poppy Pedals, and Kelly Cummings' The Year of Lettering Tumblr blog. The hashtag #istilllovecalligraphy on Instagram will turn up images taken by students who've taken Melissa Esplin's class. You'll find mine on there, too!
Another online teacher of mine is also really into calligraphy. A browse through Miss Tristan B.'s Besotted blog yielded tips on great nibs, supply reviews, where to shop, and calligraphy fonts if you just want the pretty effect without the ink stains. As to where to buy, many recommend John Neal Bookseller and Paper & Ink Arts, which is were I bought my materials. The lovely thing about calligraphy is that it's incredibly affordable to take up. A nib holder and ink costs about $5 each and nibs cost less $2 apiece so you can easily play with a few to find out what lettering styles you like.
I've also just grabbed a copy of Molly Suber Thorpe's new book Modern Calligraphy, which I'm so excited to devour. The manual includes step-by-step instructions for beginners and intermediates as well as tips on how to up your hand-lettering game, DIY projects for weddings and home, and plenty of gorgeous writing to drool over.
Are any of you into hand-lettering, too? What resources and calligraphers do you turn to for inspiration?