tutorials, custom art & calligraphy

How to Develop Your Own Style

Tutorials, ReflectionJessie Chen2 Comments

Hello Readers!

I think it's been quite a long while since I've written my last blog entry (and I'm not counting video blogs), so hola!

I thought I'd deviate from the usual weekly video and offer something different! I've gotten a lot of questions regarding calligraphy style and how someone might start to develop his/her own style of writing. Modern calligraphy is great because it's so free and there are many differences in everyone's style of writing from whimsical to elegant to delicate--there are little nuances that really make a calligraphy lettering style unique!

Everyone develops their style in different ways, and I'm just here to share how it happened for me. So here are a few tips on how I've learned how to write like ME.

Recreation of a quote from the book Think Happy, Be Happy

Get the Basics Down

The first thing that I would have to suggest before even thinking about lettering style is getting comfortable and well-acquainted with writing with a pointed pen. This means doing calligraphy drill work, practicing thin and thick strokes, working on individual letters, transitioning between letters, spacing between words, you name it! 

It may not be fun all the time (well for me, it was most of the time hehe), but building a strong foundation in the act of writing with a pointed pen is so crucial in being able to write with ease. You don't want to have to pour all of your mental focus on the fundamentals of writing while you're crafting your calligraphy style. So practice, practice, practice!

Watch the above video and other videos of me doing letter drills on Instagram! My handle is @Inkerellcards or you can search for #inkerellaabcs for the videos of calligraphy letters I did for the #handletteredabcs challenge!

Have At Least a Few Models

I'll admit, when I first started, all I wanted was to have my writing look "JUST LIKE _____'S" I wasn't even thinking of developing my own style because I was sure that I wouldn't be satisfied with a style that I created on my own. 

I started off really wanting to write like Molly Suber Thorpe because she's amazing and her writing is gorgeous. Plus, her book was the first one that I had bought and read to learn about modern calligraphy! So when I first started writing, I used the examples in her book as a model for how to write my letters. The words that I wrote looked really different from hers even though I used her letters as models for what I wanted mine to look like. Eventually, I started to tweak elements of my writing to fit in other elements. Some of the elements were things that came about from playing around with different styles and other elements were from other calligraphers on IG (e.g., "I love the way he writes his s", "her e's look so stylish").

Over time, I realized that there was a gradual shift from wanting it to look like someone else's writing, to wanting it to look unique to my writing style.

Continue to Evolve

My calligraphy style now is actually different from what it was a few months ago! It's important to keep learning and growing and shifting. I fully expect my writing style to change again--it might not be as dramatic as it was when I first started but as I'm learning and being inspired by fellow calligraphers, I don't expect to stay where I am stylistically. 

Isn't that crazy?

I hope that this was helpful to anyone who might be looking to define their own calligraphy style! Good luck :)