Modern Calligraphy: Finding Your Own Style

Find Your Own Calligraphy Style via Happy Hands Project

There are so many reasons why many would opt for modern calligraphy over the traditional styles. First reason would most probably be because there are ‘no rules’ in the modern style. Another reason would be its popularity all over the web and social media platforms. Modern calligraphy is everywhere nowadays, and a lot of people are doing it as a hobby. Third reason, and this is the reason I believe the most, is because the modern style can reflect the writer’s personality. It would display one’s individuality, and you can have a style you can call your very own.

Before I go on, I’d like to dispel the myth that modern calligraphy simply has no rules. It’s a myth. It’s false. Modern pointed pen calligraphy is based on traditional Copperplate, so we will still follow the basic rules that come with it — consistent slant, legibility, and uniform thicks and thins. I would prefer to write something that is actually readable.

Now, for the fun part. With so many calligraphers and enthusiasts out there, how can you make your work stand out? It took me 2 years to come up with my own style — and I’m still learning, everyday. For beginners who want to display your individuality, I’ve come up with a few pointers.

1. Learn your basic letter forms.

Once you have memorized how each letter would look like, your calligraphy will look more consistent. Try to write the same letter in that style every time. Once you’ve mastered it, make slight variations to make it a little more exciting. Which leads me to my next point.

2. Write your own exemplar.

To help you memorize your basic letter forms, why don’t you write the full alphabet in the same style? You can always refer to it whenever you’re writing. You can write your variations there, too.

3. Study calligraphy fonts.

Modern calligraphy fonts are different from each other, and observe why this is so. Some have thick downstrokes, some are very upright, while some are playful and carefree. While doing this, you can also gauge what style reflects your personality more.

4. Keep on practicing.

Even the expert calligraphers out there still practice and do their drills. Believe me, it helps! It builds muscle memory, so you’ll be able to do your letter forms right. Practicing also keeps your mojo going, and very relaxing, too. I can write drills for hours. Just remember to have your own exemplar around while practicing so you can be consistent with your slant and style.

Find Your Own Calligraphy Style via Happy Hands Project

Finally having a style you can call your own will take months, or even years of practice. I must admit I tend to jump from every style I can think of when I was starting out. It’s not bad, and it actually helped me come up with the style that I would actually stick to eventually. Good luck in finding your own pointed pen style! Remember — Practice Makes Pretty!

Some Thoughts on Enjoying Life

Slow Down Calligraphy via Happy Hands Project

Friends and family knew that I had a rough start this year, and we were lucky to have our darling girl up and about now. She had this terrible bug and had to stay in hospital for days, so much longer than we expected. Design and calligraphy work were piling up and the backlog was heavy on my shoulders. I couldn’t sleep, either at home or in the hospital.

During down times in the hospital, I had a few minutes to contemplate.

Ever since I became a mom, life has become even more fast-paced. I count minutes, work around a schedule and beat myself to stick to it. I get miserable over a few minutes wasted. I rush and try to cram everything in a day, trying to forget that there are only 24 hours and that includes sleep. I want to spend as much time as I can with my daughter that when I go out, I try to rush everything so I can get home right away. Sitting in the hospital while my girl sleeps made me realize that yes, I was wasting so much time in there doing nothing. And it’s perfectly fine. I’ll be able to manage my work schedule when we’re home and she’s better. I’ll be able to sort things out in time anyway, why rush everything?

I’m happy to say that while my little girl is still on house arrest, and we had to trim her beautiful hair because dread locks were starting to form, she’s so much better now and busy as a bee. And I keep reminding myself to slow down and enjoy what life has to offer. I should take a little stroll and enjoy the view instead of sprinting like a madman just to get home.

Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you. Hmmm. I’d like that.

Hope In A Card Christmas Postcards

Hope In A Card via Happy Hands Project

Here’s what I and eleven other talented artists in Singapore have been up to the past few weeks – ‘Hope In A Card‘, a set of 12 postcards originally designed by Filipinos here in Singapore to benefit the Typhoon Haiyan victims. I am truly amazed by how the designs all turned out. All of us tried to churn out original designs within a very tight time frame, and everyone delivered their best.

For my design, I wrote a quote in calligraphy that I found most suitable for the message we want to send out. Hope and Love for the strong survivors of the disaster. More details can be found in the Hope In A Card Facebook page, and a private message to the administrators will give you more details on how to purchase your own set. Each pack of 12 postcards is S$12.

Hope In A Card via Happy Hands Project

I have another artwork over at my Etsy shop which is an instant download wall art. 100% of all sales will also be sent to the Philippine Red Cross. Thanks to everyone who have helped so far!

Life is a Song. Are You Singing Along?

If the  quote below is true, I guess my current soundtrack would be a very fast-paced dance song. And yep, I’m ‘singing along’ but I’m getting a bit breathless from trying! For the Moms who read this – do you remember when the old-time parents used to tell us that we should be prepared when we have our own kids? Do everything you want to do, go where you want to go, because when you start having kids, it’s game over?

Life Is A Song Calligraphy via Happy Hands Project
I don’t agree with ‘game over’ (I love being a Mom and enjoy every minute of it) but my toddler who just turned two has been challenging my stamina lately. A few weeks ago, we were at a play gym for a complimentary class. It was a wonderful mommy-and-daughter bonding time. She was very enthusiastic and absolutely loved the place. All the kids and their moms were in place, seated together in a circle. Oh, we were seated quietly, too – for maybe two minutes max. She was up running around and exploring all the other equipment in the gym.

The best part was storytelling. She loves stories and is very fond of bedtime reading, but at the gym, music was blaring and she would rather dance around to the songs rather than listen to the story! All the kids were seated, as always, while she dances in the middle of the circle. She was dancing without a care in the world! I didn’t try to restrain her or anything. I just sat back and watched, and reveled in one of the happiest moments of my life.

What song is your life playing right now?

Happy Art: ‘Love Is Spoken Here’ Print

LoveIsSpokenHere-HappyHandsProject-1

Often times, I am amazed by the generosity of artists who share their works online. What’s more amazing is when these artists make such an effort to help someone in need.

I came across this print at P.S. I Adore You as a collective effort to give financial support to cancer patient Brielle. The site is not just your average ‘daily deals’ source – these Moms do showcase wonderful products for great prices everyday but it’s also their way to educate people about chidhood cancer. I purchased a digital file from Hillary Henslee of The Painted Arrow, and it’s now printed, framed and displayed in our living room.

LoveIsSpokenHere-HappyHandsProject-2

Don’t you just love how beautiful this painting is? I am swooning over the colors, and the message is such a joy to see. The fund-raising drive has long been over, but make sure you check out The Painted Arrow for DIY tutorials and free downloadable goodies. While waiting for her shop launch, you can reach Hillary through her blog’s contact page if you’d like to get your hands on the ‘Love Is Spoken Here’ print.

Creativity Is Contagious. Pass It On.

 

For some weird reason, I remembered a college professor of mine who blatantly told me that I was not ‘a true artist’. All because the pencil that she borrowed from me was not sharp enough. That classroom was packed with aspiring creative professionals, each with his own strength, his own goal, and hanging on to every word an accomplished Arts Professor said. And she just said it out loud for the entire class to hear –  ‘You are not a true artist’.

If I was such a weakling then, I would have run out the room, bawling. Worse, I might have pursued a different career path. Luckily, neither of those happened, and I’m still happily writing, designing and drawing. I’m still making art. I still have this creative mojo going on.

I guess what I’m just trying to say is, the sharpness of a pencil does not define an artist. I mean, seriously?

Creativity Is Contagious Wall Art {Happy Hands Project}

Anyhow, I have some digital wall art on my Etsy shop to share – an Albert Einstein quote that I’ve written last week: Creativity Is Contagious. Pass It On. Artistic ability may not be innate to every one of us, but creativity is. Every person can use her imagination to make things. To create. The best part? Being around creative, artistic people is extremely infectious. And you can just immerse yourself in all that creativity around you.

I hope this quote inspires you to make things and share that contagious creativity of yours. And don’t worry about your pencils not being deadly sharp. It doesn’t matter anyway. Spread the love!