If you spend as much time on Instagram and Pinterest as much as I do, you’ve probably already come across a few beautiful watercolor art or calligraphy here and there. I’ve always admired people who can turn words into visual art so, the jack of all trades that I am, I told myself, “Maybe I can do that, too!”
And here are some of the tips I can give you guys if you want to try it, too.
1.,It’s okay to be economical.
There are two kinds of people: a) Those who are naturally gifted with artsy hands and making art comes naturally to them, and b) Those who have to put in extra effort to get there.
I’m part of the latter. If you’re one of the lucky ones, I guess it’s okay to splurge on the materials you need since it most probably won’t go to waste. If you’re like me, let me tell you right now, that it’s okay to be cheap at first.
You don’t have to buy the whole art section of your local bookstore and trick yourself into thinking that good materials = good art. While that may be true, it’s still best to try out the medium first and see if you like the feel and wish to go through with it.
The first watercolor set I used just cost me under Php200.00 and I played around with it for weeks to see if watercolor worked for me.
When I got the hang of it, I then went on a spree. I now use Prang and Koi watercolors, Zig’s H2O brush, and Sakura’s 555 brush. Most artists who are already very good at this, recommend Winsor & Newton, though.
As for my brush calligraphy, I started out with Zig’s Scroll & Brush pen. I fell inlove with it in an instant and proceeded to collect brush pens one at a time. I now have two pencil cases worth of brush pens. I did say be economical at first.
Zig pens are available at National Book Stores or Scribe Writing Essentials if you wanna buy at the malls, other Zig pens like Fude or Krink pens aren’t so common. You may want to head over to Craft Carrot or The Craft Central for wider selections.
2. YouTube is your friend.
There is a YouTube tutorial for literally everything. How to ride a bike, how to fix your phone’s WiFi, how to get the perfect wingliner–EVERYTHING. So you better bet there are watercolor and calligraphy tutorials in there.
Just be patient in finding the good ones. Another tip, it’d be good to find tutorials that are specific to the tool you are using, that way, you can make the most of it.
3. Workshops are very helpful.
Sometimes, YouTube just won’t cut it and you would need to learn from the pros~.
Everything I know about the basics of calligraphy, I learned from @johnjeneress and @avabeabernabe. They regularly hold Basic Modern Calligraphy workshops and you will learn everything you need to know about calligraphy, the nib, and the ink.
Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy using the nib that much so I tried the brush. I recently attended a workshop held by the great, my inspiration, #CalligraphyGoals, Miss Anina Rubio as well. It was so fun! And again, getting little tips from the pro was very helpful.
Nerds of the world, unite! Don’t ever get tired of browsing other people’s work or different fonts. Find the ones you like and learn how to do them!
It’s good to mix up 2-3 fonts for your type so you should learn how to do different kinds. What I do is I go on a font downloading spree and practice doing them by hand. Again, Instagram and Pinterest are good sources of inspiration.
Do enough of this and you’d eventually develop your own style and brand of calligraphy.
5. Lastly, practice. Practice. PRACTICE!
Talent is a pursued interest, you guys. You may have all the potential in the world but if you don’t tap it, all that skill will go away. You may find that you have gotten really good at doing something today, you get overconfident and stop practicing, and when you do it again, you already suck.
Same goes for this hobby. When I started out, I was really bad at this.
But with practice, I like to think that I’ve improved.
Just keep on going, if you really want to do it. Always bring your favorite materials with you–you never know when you’d have the free time or that stroke of inspiration for your type.
Also, it’s okay to be frustrated at first. Like today, I wanted to try making watercolor galaxies and I’m not very pleased with the results. And that’s okay. I just have to keep on practicing until I get it right. 🙂
And just some parting words of wisdom: If Mulan can go from lampa to hero of China, you can do this, too!