Could calligraphy be an adventure? Do you need to be adventurous and courageous to practise calligraphy? Could it be an adventure, a relaxing and comforting activity? I used to think not, but not long ago, I changed my mind. Let me tell you why.
All you need to do calligraphy is indeed a nib, a pen holder, ink, and paper. However, the experience can be ten times better if you also have courage, curiosity and a sense of adventure. Don’t believe me? Think about this: you need courage because you need to confront your doubts and insecurities, curiosity because there is so much to learn, and a sense of adventure because you will find new paths to keep learning and exploring. Simply put, you will not fulfil your purpose if you stay in your comfort zone.
In my case, most of my time is spent writing or decorating with a flexible nib. Thanks to using it often, it is easier and more natural for me to reach for that pen, whereas my broad nibs are quite comfortably resting in their tin. If I had to choose, it would be Copperplate that I prefered. Fortunately, a new activity made me realise what I was missing for not keeping a varied practice, and I couldn’t be happier.
Now for the adventure!
For some months, I have been hosting the LiveOnline Courses for CLAS Certificate of Calligraphy, and I’ve rediscovered the pleasure of writing with a broad nib. Most of the traditional calligraphy hands are based on strokes done at different angles, offering a superior variety of marks with the same pen. The techniques to write with the flexible and the broad nib are different, making the transition from one to the other challenging. But don’t be afraid; I can assure you that it is great fun too. From historical styles to beautiful decorations and borders, you can achieve a lot with a broad pen.
My only advice is not to be discouraged by failure and to keep trying. Your perseverance will be well compensated by hours of fun and adventure!