A s you may remember from this earlier post, I’m taking the month of January to start learning the skill of calligraphy. Since I had the vision of addressing our Christmas postcards with fancy lettering, I had to do the crash course in Calligraphy 101 back in December.

Like any session of cramming though, it didn’t build the most solid foundation. I was thrilled with how the cards turned out but knew I should go back to square one.

The first benchmark I’ve set for myself is to learn the entire uppercase alphabet. Of course, there are a million styles that I could learn for each letter – so I’ve been using my trusty calligraphy book that has a number of examples for all the letters. I try out a few that strike me, see how they flow from my hand, and then try to settle on one and try to do it over and over so that it eventually becomes muscle memory.

So far, I’m gravitating towards letters that I can do in one connected swoop. I think that’s why this ‘A’ is my favorite. I told Bobby that the name our firstborn child will probably need to start with the letter A – mostly as a favor to them when they get older and want to learn calligraphy. Imagine the joy when he or she discovers that their name begins with THE BEST UPPERCASE CALLIGRAPHY LETTER EVER.

Once I choose my letter from the examples, I put a little asterisk by it so that I can easily go back and remember if my memory gets rusty. Sometimes I’ll modify a letter and create one that’s a mixture of various examples, in which case I’ll handwrite it in the margins.

My goal is for all of the letters to look like they belong together. So I’m reminding myself that I can learn other fonts and flourishes down the road but that, for now, I want to get decent at just this set that I’m creating.

Currently, I’ve worked on the letters A-F. To be honest, all of those letters aren’t automatic for me yet. I’m trying to remember how I shape an F right now and can’t do it without referring to a picture. I’m in SUCH awe of professional calligraphers who can break out multiple scripts and do them flawlessly.

I’ll usually do a few lines with the letter I’m working on and then go back and attempt the whole alphabet from the top – it reminds me of when I would memorize lines for a play.

So there you have it! My calligraphy progress up to this point. If you’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy, why not start now and learn it with me?!?

If you go to my initial post about this, I’ve listed the supplies that I’ve found to be essential in getting started. Check out the comments, too, because my brother (who has been lettering far longer than I) had some good advice to add.

The 12 Months of Making continues!