y goal for this year is to pursue a different creative focus each month. In January, I decided to take up calligraphy. If you missed those posts, you can read about how I got started with calligraphy (complete with a beginner supply list) as well as my mid-month reflections on learning the art.
We are already a week into February, so tomorrow I’m going to introduce the focus for THIS month – but first things first, let’s take a little look at lessons learned from calligraphy…
Here is the basic summary of my thoughts on this undertaking, reflected in the conversation my January calendar had with my calligraphy supplies at the end of the month:
To clarify, I never set out to master the art of calligraphy in one month. People dedicate their LIVES to learning the craft and I never expected to be whipping out different scripts with ease or copying the Bible in a Gothic script like a medieval monk. However, I did think that I would be able to confidently write the whole alphabet in at least one script in uppercase and lowercase letters.
This didn’t happen – I am currently still on the letter F and inching my way into G (my aim is to get REALLY good at G considering that it’s the first letter of my name. Basically a requirement.). As I learned with my January goals (some that happened, some left undone), chronoptimism makes fools of us all.
And you know what? I’m okay with that because, even though I am still going to launch into another area of focus for this month, there is NO WAY I’m dropping calligraphy. I’ve loved it and can’t wait to get better. This was the perfect push for me to gather all the base supplies, try it out, and get serious about it.
I think this will come as a relief to my graphic designing brother, Stephen, who has been learning calligraphy for awhile and realizes that it takes time and dedication. (Stephen has actually undertaken an impressive challenge for the year where he is lettering different phrases every day and documenting it via Instagram. So, yes, this kid appreciates the art of calligraphy.)
When I had talked to Stephen at the beginning of January, he seemed rather dismayed that I was planning to bop around to 12 different crafts throughout the year instead of staying settled with one or two. His Christmas gift to me this year included some great calligraphy supplies and resources along with this card:
Have no fear, Stephen! I’m going to stick with it! And I’ll continue to document my progress here.
Calligraphy. It’s a tough (but rewarding) gig. Appreciate that gorgeously scripted wedding invite the next time one appears in your mailbox. Maybe hang it on the fridge for a little while to give it the airtime it deserves.
Check in tomorrow to see my focus for February’s 12 Months of Making!
I know how hard it is to stick to something, and also how brave you are. I’m in my sixth week of daily (almost) bouts with Duolingo French online, and have been stuck on flipping ir and re verb endings and how they seem to randomly change spellings. But hey, think of how useful this knowledge will be in the back woods of the Berkshires! Gotta keep a groove on, right?
Aw, thank you, Adrienne! I’m so glad you can empathize and also super impressed with your commitment to online French lessons. C’est fantastique! (I remember an embarrassingly small amount of French from high school, ha.) Bobby’s proud of you, too, and says hi! :)
If you’re inching to G, you’re about 27% to an alphabet! That’s pretty amazing considering all the other projects, family visits, and daily life you’ve been taking care of too. And think how great it will be when you do have that alphabet stored in your calligraphic muscle memory. You can whip it out for any occasion! It’s going to be so rewarding!
I was reminded this weekend when I was learning to surf (a.k.a trying to keep lying flat on a board as small waves flooded over me) that the beginning stages of learning any skill are brutal! There’s just so much to learn, and a lot of that is going to come with experience, so you just have to keep running out into the ocean…You have to keep running out and hopping on your board even as your arms are burning from effort and your fingers and toes are frozen past feeling, and you’ve swallowed enough salt water to last a lifetime. And you do all that, knowing that the next wave is not going to be great, it’s not even going to be a good ride, but it’s going to teach you a little something, so that one day, you can take all those less-than-stellar times, and they’ll make the beginning of catching good waves that much more brilliant.
So bravo! :) I’m excited to hear you’ll stick with practicing calligraphy (especially as an occasional recipient of your words, I can assure you, I admire and appreciate it all)! Also, I can barely handle the suspense of knowing what your February dive will be!?!!!!
Wow, I didn’t expect to get such a kind shoutout, even despite the slight melodrama of my card. Thanks!
Proud of you for your dedicated practice and for making it to the letter G, and excited to see all the crafting you try this year.
Bahaha, I thought the melodrama was great. :) I’m so lucky to have a brother who is a few steps (miles and miles, really) down the road on this lettering path who can guide me. Thanks for the encouragement, Stephen!