Thursday, February 18, 2010
The Importance of Calligraphy
Recently, a friend of mine, Linda Schneider, was asked about the importance and relevance of Calligraphy in the modern world today. She was asked to write an article for her local Liberty Lake, Washington newspaper. She wanted to know my thoughts about this subject so I thought I would share here with a picture of some recent rough drafts of future posts.
Why Calligraphy is a modern and important art form.
We have been using letters and symbols practically since the beginning of time. People scratched symbols on rocks and told a story.
I think that Calligraphy is an important art form because, first of all, if it is done correctly and with a lot of practice, it is beautiful. It gives a form of beauty to the world.
Secondly I think calligraphy is an art form because we can use beautiful letterforms to interpret a favorite saying or quotation. And just as in the early cave man days, we add painting and drawing to embellish a favorite quote which adds meaning to the words.
Sometimes when people take a calligraphy class, they think that they will be an accomplished calligrapher in four weeks or six weeks time. But learning to make beautiful letters, proper spacing and interesting negative spaces does not happen overnight. Beautiful letters, even standing alone, tell a story of dedication, practice, passion and commitment to a wonderful art form that will never truly go out of style.
How to get started as a Calligrapher?
If one is interested in becoming a calligrapher, I always suggest starting with a very good teacher. A teacher is vital to instruct in the proper direction of letter strokes and a good way not to pick up bad habits. When I used to teach, I would always say, it is better to practice 10 minutes a day if that is all the time you have, rather than cramming in an hour before the next class. You are teaching your brain and your hand new skills. It takes a lot of daily practice. And then after that, keep taking more classes.
Join a Calligraphy guild in your area, you will see professional calligraphers and their work that will help you and inspire you.
Try to go to Calligraphy workshops or Conventions in your area where you can teach classes from all different kind and levels of calligraphers. All these things will improve your skills.
I took my first Calligraphy class for a whole semester in high school. I was 14 years old and I have been working at it ever since.