Before you start learning calligraphy, it’s essential you remove some misbelieves about calligraphy and start with a clean slate. In this blog post, I will share with you 4 of the most common calligraphy myths. I hear them All. The. Time! I’m here to let you know the truth behind these calligraphy lies.
Let’s get to them…
Quick Links to Information in this Post
- 1 Calligraphy Myth #1: You NEED to have good handwriting to do calligraphy.
- 2 Calligraphy Myth #2. You need to know cursive writing before you learn calligraphy.
- 3 Calligraphy Myth #3: You need to be artistic or creative to do calligraphy
- 4 Calligraphy Myth #4. You need to spend a lot of money on supplies.
Calligraphy Myth #1: You NEED to have good handwriting to do calligraphy.
Please stop believing this right now. Seriously.
No, you don’t need to have nice handwriting AT ALL. You can have beautiful calligraphy, while in real life your notes are chicken scratch. That’s the truth!
Take it from me; I’ve always thought I have “nice” handwriting. I’ve been fascinated with letters and pay a little (okay, a lot) attention to how my writing looked on notebooks. In school, I’d rewrite a whole page just because it was too messy when I was taking notes. (Don’t judge me) I’m not even judging you on believing this myth. Mainly because I don’t like to judge people, but also because I was guilty of thinking it myself.
The first time I saw calligraphy, my exact thoughts were, “I have pretty handwriting, I’m going to have gorgeous calligraphy right away!”. *facepalm*.
Well, let me tell you this was not the case, AT ALL! I learned this the hard way. This false misconception led me to believe that I didn’t need to learn this skill from the ground up. I started walking before I learned how to crawl on my calligraphy journey– literally. Of course, this caused me a lot of frustration and even more self-doubt about my artistic abilities. I stopped doing calligraphy for a while thinking I was a lost cause. I don’t want this to be your case.
In the picture below, you can see the difference between the “Cordoba” done in 2015 and the one I re-did now (April 2018). Back in October 2015, I was planning my wedding. That’s how I discovered modern calligraphy. I fell in love with calligraphy as soon as I saw it. I thought that because I had nice handwriting, my calligraphy was going to look beautiful right away! While my calligraphy from 2015 was not super terrible, it looked nothing like the videos I saw. I had to learn the basics and then practice A LOT so that I could develop my calligraphy style.
*Side note: I altered the real address using photoshop. Don’t worry; I’m not exposing any personal info all over the internet 😉
So whether you have good penmanship or not, don’t let that be the deciding factor if you are thinking of learning calligraphy. Learning calligraphy is the same as acquiring a new skill. It requires you to learn the basics and then a lot of practice for you to get good at it.
Calligraphy Myth #2. You need to know cursive writing before you learn calligraphy.
Calligraphy and cursive may look the same, but they are NOT. What separates calligraphy from cursive writing is the marked variation in the width of the strokes of each letter and the writing speed.
When you are writing in cursive, you tend to do it fast. You don’t stop your pen between each stroke. When you are doing calligraphy, you do it slowly. The pause you have to make between each stroke is crucial so you can keep the width variation of the strokes. Pay close attention to each stroke as you are making it.
Yes, knowing how to write in cursive will give you an idea of how to do calligraphy and it could help you get started. But they are not the same and knowing cursive it’s not a requirement if you want to learn calligraphy.
Calligraphy Myth #3: You need to be artistic or creative to do calligraphy
This is another calligraphy myth you have to let go!
Believe me; you don’t need to be artistic to do calligraphy. Just like you didn’t need to be a genius to learn how to walk. You just needed to learn the skill from the ground up. First, figured out how to crawl, then to stand up and get your balance. After that, you became brave enough and took one step, then another, and then another step. After your first couple of steps, you were practically unstoppable. A whole new world of possibilities came about after you learn how to walk. Running, jumping, playing, and so many other things you could do because of this one new skill you were able to master, walking!
It didn’t happen right away. And it certainly didn’t happen overnight. I’m so thrilled with the learning process of walking because my toddler just learned how to do it. It took her about six months from the time she began crawling, to the time she took her first couple of steps! It was a cause for celebration.
The reason why I’m comparing learning how to walk and learning calligraphy is that learning a new skill is a process and it takes time. You don’t need to be artistic to learn how to walk, just like you don’t need to be artistic to learn calligraphy. The creative part will come over time.
Even if the most creative thing you’ve ever done is that homework in second grade that your mom helped you with, this can be your NEW creative outlet and give you a whole new sense of creativeness (is that a word?) you never thought you could have.
The one thing you WILL need and, unfortunately, is non-negotiable is the drive to PRACTICE. Without practice, you can start the learning process, but you won’t see much improvement. I wish I could tell you something different, but there is just no way around that!
Calligraphy Myth #4. You need to spend a lot of money on supplies.
All you need to start is a pen and a piece of paper. Yes, is that simple! I promise. In this blog post, I share how you can start doing calligraphy today! All you need is a writing utensil of your choice and a piece of paper. Or whatever works better for you and the surface you are planning to write on. Once you have mastered the basics, you just need the right tools to start and then you can build up from there.
You don’t need to break the bank to learn calligraphy. Honesty, having expensive tools won’t automatically make you a better calligrapher. You’ll be wasting money if you don’t know how to use the calligraphy tools you have. I don’t mean to be harsh; I’m just being real.
Of course, once you get started with learning calligraphy, there is a big chance you will want ALL THE THINGS! Getting calligraphy supplies can be addicting. Ahhh I LOVE the feeling of getting a new calligraphy tool. Consider this your fair warning!
To make the case better, you can let your loved ones know of this new hobby you want to start, and they can help you with it *hint: gift ideas* have a birthday coming up? Christmas? Special occasion? Or just because you are an amazing human! Give them the list of your calligraphy supplies, and they will never have to worry again about finding the perfect gift for you. In this blog post, I share with you the best calligraphy pens for beginners. You will now get gifts you WANT and will use.
You don’t need to have beautiful handwriting or be creative to do calligraphy, and you don’t need to spend a ton of money getting tools you need to get started. Likewise, don’t confuse calligraphy with cursive because they are not the same. The sooner you stop believing all these myths, the better and faster you will be on your road to learning calligraphy.
Thank you for reading today’s blog post. I hope you find it helpful and it encourages you to give calligraphy a try!
Have an amazing day! Xo,
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