When I started calligraphy in January 2015, I relied on my ingrained knowledge of script to help me write out the letterforms. Remember those penmanship books we had to fill up in grade school? Yep, that’s what I’m talking about.
Fast forward to now, where I can say that my script has deviated from that traditional style. What happened? I found (and am continuously refining) my calligraphy style. And trust me, it’s as hard as it sounds.
The quest to adopt an “original” calligraphy style
Making a mark in the art world is intimidating. Just like in any other field, you have a lot of competition, and art seems to demand another clear cut requirement: originality. What makes you stand out? Why are you different from the others? We’re all talented, passionate artists here, so what makes you you?
Well folks, let that notion go. The secret for me is that art is always original. Of course, you can (and probably will) have similar styles with other artists, but there will also be unique quirks on your pieces that will make you proud and say, “I made this!” And I find so much beauty and comfort in that fact.
What’s your definition of beautiful?
Disclaimer: This isn’t a tips post, and I don’t have all the answers. Style is relative, and it really takes a while to find. The best advice I can give is for us to keep practicing and observing what we like and don’t like as we make art. Like what I said, I’m still refining my style, and when I work, I suddenly discover new ways to write letters or find some ways unsatisfying. It’s both fun and exhausting!
Don’t be discouraged, and don’t be afraid to look at other artists’ works. Your idols will inspire you and challenge you to think more creatively. Allow it to come naturally, and don’t force an aesthetic that doesn’t speak to you. Experimenting is always good, but familiarize yourself with your taste. You’ll be surprised at how easier ideas will seem to flow. Keep writing!