As I am fairly new to the professional calligraphy world, I thought it might be best to share a little about my journey getting started. I have been doing calligraphy on a personal basis for a little over a year now, and boy was it a journey! I had several moments where I questioned my skills, always comparing my work to others, and always doubting whether this was something I should pursue. It wasn't until recently that I discovered, WHO CARES?! The etsy world is one where all creators can exist, and all have equal opportunity for success.
I personally love calligraphy, and although my style may not yet be fully established, and my work may not be as flawless as I'd like it to be, people truly enjoy my work, and I truly enjoy doing it.
For anyone else who might be considering getting started on their calligraphy journey, I thought to share some of the tools I found super helpful in the beginning of my education, and the best ways to practice your skills.
PRACTICE TOOLS AND MATERIALS
FIRSTLY, I'D HIGHLY RECOMMEND INVESTING IN THE RIGHT PENS.
There are a number of pens that I enjoy using, and most of them are in fact not quills/nibs. Learning modern calligraphy allows for you to utilize regular pens and markers to get started, leaving you with little financial investment right off the bat. Crayola markers are in fact one of my favorite things to practice with. They are cheap, easy to use, bleed very little, and are transportable. Here are my top pens that I use for practicing calligraphy.
1. Muji Gel Ink Ballpoint Pens (0.5 and 0.38 tips) - these are not only great every day pens, but they are very easy to use for illustration and calligraphy and provide a very precise and fine line
2. Tombow Dual Tip Brushes: These are very popular for many reasons. These are great for "brush" lettering looks and come in so many fun colors.
3. Tombow Fudenosuke Markers: I always buy the two pack which comes with a hard and soft tip. These are the best for a more traditional calligraphy look, and about as close to a quill look as I can get with a felt tip.
4. Sharpie Fine Point Pens: Great price point and offer such smooth writing.
Aside from pens, one of my favorite things to practice on is a children's handwriting book. You all know what they are. I actually picked mine up randomly at the dollar store one day and have used it every day since. It's super cheap so it's perfect to practice on without feeling like you're wasting valuable cardstock. I also love that it offers you guides to work on the proportion and symmetry of your lettering.
In addition to that of course you will need to invest in some good cardstock. I've found that using brush markers on cheaper paper will leave a lot of bleed off of the letters and look sloppy.
These materials should be more than enough to get you started learning the art of calligraphy! As you get more comfortable with using pressure on your strokes you can work your way up to using calligraphy nibs and quills. My personal favorite nib to use is the HUNT 513 which you can pick up at pretty much any craft store!
Hope these tips help you get started. There are so many free tutorials and videos online to follow along and learn this incredible art! Good luck and happy calligraphy-ing!