My sister had given me a calligraphy set when I was younger. I remember sitting in her apartment in Austin with the chiseled markers trying my best to write something that looked like calligraphy. Not long after that, I gave up my dream of having beautiful handwriting.
Anxiety has been at an all-time high. Despite taking medication for many mental illnesses, anxiety still manages to get the best of me. If my mind is given time to idle, anxiety creeps in and makes me miserable. This is why I go to school when I don’t have to. Pick up new hobbies when I don’t have to. An idle mind is the devil’s playground. Isn’t that the saying?
In late September, I signed up for a modern calligraphy class. I found the class through a Facebook advertisement. I was happy to accomplish a couple of “firsts.” First, I actually signed up for the class. Second, I signed up for the class alone. It was at a local coffee shop.
As the day neared, I grew more anxious and thought about getting a refund and not attending. However, my fighting attitude had different plans. I’m glad I didn’t quit. I had an absolute blast. I sat next to this very gregarious and outgoing lady that made the anxiety melt away. She was easy to talk to and very funny.
I had always thought calligraphy was one style. Broad edge. I never knew that calligraphy comes in many forms. I was never very good at broad-edge calligraphy. However, modern calligraphy is easier. It was the first time that I used an inkwell and a nib. That, in itself, was fun. I felt an increase in calm and happiness.
I have now added calligraphy to my many hobbies. I’m not good at it. The instructor said it took her six months before she was confident enough to show people her progress. I definitely can relate. There are days that my writing is better than others. Also, I don’t really have the ornate modern calligraphy strokes. I need to get a few workbooks to learn more styles.
I was gifted an oblique pen and nibs for more practice. They were a welcomed Christmas gift. I usually practice at night as we watch anime or YouTube videos. It’s relaxing. I feel like it is a perfect hobby for the aging person. I don’t know about you, but my handwriting is atrocious. We don’t really write anymore. We type everything nowadays. Having legible handwriting is not as important as it once was.
If you’re looking for a hobby to pick up, consider calligraphy.
Day One: I couldn’t figure out how to use the nib properly. There is absolutely no consistency whatsoever. Notice all of the letters are straight up and down. The letters should be slanted.
Day 60: This is after two months. There is a lot of improvement. However, there is still much improvement to be had. You can see that I am starting to naturally slant the text, but it is still not consistent. I should be practicing on some calligraphy paper, but I’m too lazy. There is not enough distinction between upstrokes and downstrokes. The upstrokes should be thin. The downstrokes should be thicker. Part of this is also finding the correct nib that works.