The Happy Hour modern calligraphy workshops here in Singapore just had a makeover with a revamped calligraphy kit. Rebranding has been in my mind the past few months and it’s still ongoing as I try to update the tools here and there.
Last September, I launched a new modern calligraphy kit for the workshop which includes an all-new theme and additional tools and inks while retaining the ‘Make Your Own Happy Hour‘ workbook which is exclusive to the class.
A fun (yet useful) addition are the clay pen rests that I made specially for the class! During classes, the pen holders either roll off or drip ink on the table (or both) and these teeny pen rests keep those holders in place.
On top of that, I have significantly reduced the class size, making it even more beneficial to participants. Food and drinks will always be a mainstay in all Happy Hands Project workshops as I always say that writing with an empty stomach is definitely a no-no.
Have you always wanted to learn the art of modern calligraphy? You can subscribe to the workshop newsletter to get first dibs, follow Happy Hands Project on Instagram, or check out the workshops page to sign up for the next one.
I witnessed so much love during the Mother’s Day weekend workshops here in Singapore with Pentel and Tokyu Hands! This was the first time I’ve taught classes using my favourite Hybrid Dual Metallic pens. What I love about these pens is that the inks are rich and sparkly, and the colour turns out differently when one writes on either black or white paper.
For the workshops, I taught wreath illustrations to decorate envelopes. Participants got to choose from white, cream and black envelopes, but the black ones were a hit. The decorated envelopes were given to the amazing mothers along with a small note tucked inside.
There were so many kids! Everyone had a blast designing their envelopes with leaves and wreaths, and my heart was so full just from getting a peek at their love notes for their mothers.
After decorating the envelopes with the dual metallic pens, I taught a quick lesson on brush lettering using the Pentel brush sign pens. Here are photos from both Tokyu Hands in Jurong and Orchard. Enjoy!
We had all sorts of colour gradients during last month’s brush lettering workshop. This is a more relaxed class (compared to pointed pen calligraphy, in my opinion), and a more colourful one for sure.
The latest brush lettering class was all freehand, where the students learned to write thin and thick strokes with my favourite brush pens. After that, writing words with watercolours and a water brush came next. I love the part in class when I show them how to make the colours blend naturally using watercolours, creating the ombre effect… and they fell in love with it instantly!
Each one has her own unique style and colour preference, and you’ll see that on the photos of their artworks below. The next brush lettering class is still in the works. If you’d like to get the first dibs, you may subscribe to the email newsletter on the right sidebar (no spam, just calligraphy and lettering news!).
Tokyu Hands at Westgate Mall had its share of Pentel brush lettering workshops last August. Organised by my friends at Pentel Singapore, we had 2 afternoons of short classes for brush lettering beginners. Similar to the classes we’ve done at Tokyu Hands at Orchard Central, we used the ever-so-colourful Pentel Fude brush pens.
It was my first time visiting Tokyu Hands at Westgate Mall, and the shop is quite huge. This time around, we had a lot of families coming for the 40-minute crash courses. There were quite a lot of kids this time, which made the classes all the more fun. Kids love to experiment and are very eager to learn and they don’t overthink the process—we can always learn from them, don’t you think?
What I love about the Pentel fude brush pens is that it’s very easy to use. Kids had a lot of fun exploring the vast array of colours. It was also quite easy for the young ones to follow the alphabet guides provided—mostly because they get to choose what colour of pen to use. The more colourful it is, the more fun they have!
Here are more photos from the event—feel free to share online if you’re in them! We’ll be back for a third instalment of brush lettering workshops with Pentel, this time at Tokyu Hands at Suntec City Mall. See you guys on 11-12 November! Click here for the schedule and sign-up details.
More photos from the event can be found on Pentel’s Facebook page. All photos courtesy of Pentel Singapore.
Here’s what happened during the latest Modern Calligraphy workshop for beginners here in Singapore.
Last September, The Happy Hour: Beginners’ Modern Calligraphy workshop is back! I love teaching this class because almost 99% of the time, the participants have not tried their hand at pointed pen calligraphy. Why do I love this, you may ask? Because they leave the class truly inspired by what they learned, and are able to write the alphabet using the beginners’ tools.
The special ‘Make Your Own Happy Hour‘ booklet is a wonderful workbook to get started, printed in premium, super smooth paper. It has stroke-by-stroke instructions on how to write the letters of the alphabet. This is the pad that we use in class and will be used for further practice when at home.
I always tell the story of how I started out in class. When I started modern calligraphy in 2012, there were no classes here in Singapore at all. The struggle was real, my friends. When I finally got the hang of it (after 2 years!), my friends convinced me to try to teach this craft. Needless to say, I felt very unsure. I finally took a shaky step and taught my first class—and I’m still having a wonderful time teaching modern calligraphy after almost 4 years!
It’s the first modern calligraphy class hosted by the awesome people at Fika Swedish Cafe, who prepared this delectable canapé spread for all of us. We had the cozy second level all to ourselves, and on a sunny day, the natural light is just perfect for writing with pen and ink.
My advice to beginners is still the same. Practice makes pretty! Here are some photos of our most recent modern calligraphy class. Upcoming classes are posted here. Enjoy!
A couple of months ago, I introduced a new workshop—painting leaves and wreaths using watercolour. I’ve been teaching calligraphy and brush lettering classes for a few years now, and I use foliage to frame my lettering pieces. I was super excited to be able to share how I paint my green tea, fern, eucalyptus and olive leaves to make lettering prettier!
It was a beautiful bright morning at Fika Swedish Cafe. You’re gonna love the Nordic feel of this place—it’s cozy and well-lit—which makes it perfect for classes like this. They also serve us delicious Swedish canapés so nobody goes hungry.
What’s so special about this class is the instructional booklet that the participants get to take home (on top of all the tools and materials for painting). It contained instructions on how I paint different kinds of leaves and how to form them into a wreath.
Oh, there were a lot of familiar faces as well. A lot of those who come to the modern calligraphy classes come back for the intermediate classes I introduce, so it felt like seeing old friends once again. Looking at everyone’s works, the olive leaves were most popular. And the Swedish meatballs from the canapé boards were a hit, too. I was soooo proud of how these ladies began the class with no painting experience at all, and finished with a beautiful wreath to take home!
Here are some more photos from the Leaves & Wreaths Workshop’s ‘maiden voyage’. Let me know in the comments if you’d like to join the next one!
Two afternoons. Brush lettering with some of my favourite brush pens. Happy place. Happy people. Well, that’s the best description I can come up with as I recall the brush lettering weekend I had with my friends from Pentel Singapore at Tokyu Hands Orchard Road.
Saying it was a busy weekend would be an understatement. Pentel arranged 30-minute brush lettering workshops for free, and we had about 80 attendees in all workshops! I met 80 wonderful people who want to learn brush lettering! I think that makes the event so awesome.
During the classes, we used the Pentel Fude brush sign pen. This pen is one of my absolute favourites, and is perfect for beginners. It has a durable felt tip which gives good control, so the user can easily create thick and thin strokes that are essential in cursive brush lettering. At the end of each class, the attendees get one free pen in their choice of colour.
Way to go, Pentel! There were a lot of people asking about future events like this because the classes sold out so fast the first time. I’d love to have another go at this (it was that fun), so like the Pentel and HHP Facebook pages for future updates.
Thanks to Pentel Singapore, Tokyu Hands, and to everyone who dropped by to take the class or just say hi!
I had my first watercolour brush lettering workshop here in Singapore! There were new and familiar faces in the class, and I’m so happy to say I had a blast sharing freehand brush lettering with such a creative bunch. It was a morning filled with lots of colour and laughter (and cake and blueberry pie).
Let’s Letter Together: Freehand Brush Lettering is a class that celebrates individuality and personal style. There are no strict letter forms to be followed, as long as the words are legible, strokes and slants are consistent. Hey, freehand doesn’t mean indecipherable writing after all—it’s bold and artistic, but easy to read.
After practicing with the basics, we moved on to writing words, then composing a piece and finally, ombre lettering! I demonstrated 2 ways to create those beautifully-blended colours in brush lettering. Putting all the basic lessons together to create a final piece is always the best part of any HHP workshop.
Brush lettering sure wasn’t easy when I first started out. I was too familiar with modern calligraphy using the pointed pen, and shifting to a different writing tool threw me off kilter. Brush lettering takes time and lots of patience, and that’s the same word of advice I give to anyone who’s just starting out. I’m extremely happy to have been able to share in this class the tips and tricks I learned along the way. Seeing these awesome ladies and gents gain confidence with a brush made me feel like a proud mama.
So guys, I’m planning for the next workshops for the next few months. I’m thinking of having another brush lettering class. Who’s with me? Let me know in the comments below!
Last January marked my first modern calligraphy workshop in Manila, Philippines. It was a lovely Saturday with absolutely no traffic jam. It was sunny, and bright light was streaming down the floor-to-ceiling windows of The Picasso‘s function room. I’ve set up without a hitch, with fairy lights nicely hanging on the glass wall.
I brought all tools and workpads from Singapore, so the class in Manila was basically the same Happy Hour Workshop that we have in here. Thanks to my kids who have airline baggage allowance for themselves (even infants get 10kg!), I did not have to pay extra for more than 20 sets of workshop kits! Yay!
We were packed to the brim that day. These amazing ladies got to work, practicing their letter forms, as I went around to see how each of them were doing. It’s so satisfying to see them struggle during the first strokes of the drills, then start improving as they start filling the pages with more letters.
Of course, a workshop is not complete without coffee and pastries, so we stopped mid-way to refuel and mingle. It was great to get to know each and everyone of them, find out what they do for a living and how they stumbled upon this workshop (someone said Google, which was awesome).
Thanks to everyone who came to the Beginners’ Class — hopefully I’ll be back later this year for an intermediate one, or even brush lettering! We’ll never know. Hugs to the ladies who had to travel quite far just to get the workshop. Lastly, high fives to the amazing team at The Picasso Boutique & Serviced Residences for giving in to my requests and setting up so nicely. I can’t wait to be back! Now here are more photos of the class. To those who weren’t able to come, hope to see you guys next time!
The last Beginners’ workshop of the year is worthy of its own blog post, because it marks the beginning of another year of learning and teaching this lovely craft. If I’m not mistaken, I started with the Happy Hour Workshops in March of 2014 with only 8 participants. At present, due to the demand, we have doubled that number and each class is still always fun and interesting, thanks to the diverse group that I get to teach every time.
Last Saturday’s workshop was packed to the brim. We made good use of the ‘Make Your Own Happy Hour’ pads, and were treated to a lovely spread of pastries and artisan coffee. The Untitled Space studio was bathed in beautiful light at that time of the day, and I couldn’t be any happier! It makes for great photos, too.
One thing I learned about teaching modern calligraphy is that each student has a certain difficulty to overcome, and it is through experience that I am able to address the issue. It feels great when after some drills and practice strokes, I could see the progress that each student makes.
I will be back in January for a couple of Beginners’ classes, and Advanced classes will follow (crosses fingers). If you’re interested, leave your email address to subscribe to the newsletter. I cannot wait for a new round of workshops for the next year!
For artists and creatives looking for a venue for your workshops and exhibitions, I would highly recommend The Untitled Space. The photos speak for themselves, don’t you think?