Debunking common beginner calligraphy myths

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

It's funny the things we tell ourselves or the myths we believe before we start something new. Here I unpack the three I hear the most and initially stop clients from starting modern calligraphy for the first time.

"I won't be any good at calligraphy because I have rubbish handwriting"

Handwriting does not equal good or bad calligraphy.

If I and many other calligraphers showed you their handwriting you'd probably be disappointed. Calligraphy - thank goodness, is not handwriting. Yes they both use your hand and some sort of writing tool and yes you are writing words and phrases - but thats where the comparison ends. The act in itself is very different to hand writing and uses extremely different tools, technique and hand positioning.

Even if your hand writing is rubbish - you may be an awesome calligrapher - so don't let it put you off!

"I learnt calligraphy at school and I hated it/was rubbish"

It's time to re-write that childhood calligraphy trauma. Sadly for many school calligraphy classes or cursive handwriting with a fountain pen (often taught in schools) brings up negative connotations. However thankfully modern calligraphy is wildly different the lessons taught in schools! Alot of school classes were very rules based and any creative expression often frowned apon. Often taught in an intense, uninspiring way. It was also based solely on memorisation and replication only. It's created alot of negative calligraphy associations.

Thankfully modern calligraphy is quite the opposite. It's taught to be fun and mindful. I encourage my classes to enjoy creating and expressing rather than being over structured and rule based. It's taught in an inspiring and informal way- allowing you to relax and take your time. Modern calligraphy should be freeing and not rigid. So nows the time to throw off those bad calligraphy memories and make fresh positive ones!

"I'm left handed so I won't be able to learn calligraphy"

This is one of the biggest myths - that left handers can't join in! And it couldn't be further from the truth. Many left handers who have taken my classes have felt total liberation and joy at being able to create beautiful letters and words - WITHOUT SMUDGING ! The reason being is the technique and hand position of calligraphy means your hand should never be at an angle where you are at risk of smudging the ink. So whether you're left handed or right handed the principles remain the same. Lettering liberation for everyone!!