Author Topic: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?  (Read 4386 times)

Offline hmc

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how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« on: May 08, 2015, 02:00:12 PM »
(I am not sure if this is the correct place for this post, but I am assuming it is!)

I have been learning Copperplate for several months now and I am really really glad that I started with a more traditional style. It really helps me to see the importance of things such as spacing, continuity, consistency, angles, etc.

However, I would love to start developing my own style of writing! I suppose you would call it "contemporary" calligraphy or maybe just fancy writing, because I don't call myself a calligrapher. But how have others (you) come to develop their (your) own styles? Did it come naturally or did you go through each letter to figure out what you liked? Curious to see what the process has been like for others!


Offline aliceedang

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2015, 02:09:49 PM »
For me, you just sort of play around with the letters. Erica actually posted a tutorial on contemporary calligraphy that would be good to check out. Jut make sure you don't compromise the shape of the letters when playing around with them. I observe different styles on Instagram and kind of adapt them to mine as I go

Offline Judy G

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2015, 02:19:49 PM »
Hi Hannah! You may want to check out this thread: http://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=165.0

Erica made some handouts on how you can create your own style :)
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Offline elsa.d

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2015, 11:55:17 PM »
I work in lots of different contemporary styles. Some of the styles just came to me, a few are variations of my natural handwriting, but I found an interesting way of coming up with new hands. This will sound terrible at first but stick with me. Find a style you like and copy it. Before anyone burns me at the stake, I promise I'm not in favor of stealing from other artists. What I have found is that when I attempt to copy someone's style, my own tendencies shine through very prominently, thus making a very different script than the one I'm referencing. This way I can draw on a similar qualitiy or feeling from the inspiration script (ex: whimsical)  while still creating something unique. This may not work out so well for you if you are an excellent reproductionist.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 11:58:05 PM by elsa.d »

Offline Sarah Foutz

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2015, 03:30:15 PM »
I like to use instagram for inspiration, many times just one letter will pop out at me and I'll think, I want to incorporate that! So little by little you get a compilation of letters from all different artists, and then like Elsa said earlier, they morph into your own hand. Good luck!
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Offline hmc

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2015, 05:00:56 PM »
For me, you just sort of play around with the letters. Erica actually posted a tutorial on contemporary calligraphy that would be good to check out. Jut make sure you don't compromise the shape of the letters when playing around with them. I observe different styles on Instagram and kind of adapt them to mine as I go

man this forum seriously has EVERYTHING! Thanks Alice :D

Offline hmc

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2015, 05:01:25 PM »
Hi Hannah! You may want to check out this thread: http://theflourishforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=165.0

Erica made some handouts on how you can create your own style :)

Thanks Judy! This forum is seriously the best, I can't believe I missed that!

Offline hmc

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2015, 05:04:23 PM »
I work in lots of different contemporary styles. Some of the styles just came to me, a few are variations of my natural handwriting, but I found an interesting way of coming up with new hands. This will sound terrible at first but stick with me. Find a style you like and copy it. Before anyone burns me at the stake, I promise I'm not in favor of stealing from other artists. What I have found is that when I attempt to copy someone's style, my own tendencies shine through very prominently, thus making a very different script than the one I'm referencing. This way I can draw on a similar qualitiy or feeling from the inspiration script (ex: whimsical)  while still creating something unique. This may not work out so well for you if you are an excellent reproductionist.

Oh my goodness, I love you Elsa. "Before anyone burns me at the stake..." LOL

I think that's great advice! I definitely feel like I'm drawn towards certain styles, but really had no idea where to even begin developing a style close to that. However, I can already predict my issues: I'll probably want THEIR style and resist having my own style coming through...especially since I feel like everything I do is rubbish right now (not feeling down about myself, just the reality of a newbie!).

BUT I think you're onto something though - studying letters and figuring out WHY I'm drawn to some forms rather than others may help me gauge and discover what I like!

Offline hmc

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2015, 05:05:43 PM »
I like to use instagram for inspiration, many times just one letter will pop out at me and I'll think, I want to incorporate that! So little by little you get a compilation of letters from all different artists, and then like Elsa said earlier, they morph into your own hand. Good luck!

Thanks Sarah! I definitely feel like Instagram is an amazing place for inspiration. I guess it'll just take patience and over time I'll come to develop a style that is all my own. Patience is truly NOT something I am good at though >< Haha, I'm learning more than just calligraphy I suppose :)

Offline Liz z

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2015, 12:38:35 PM »
Find a style you like and copy it. Before anyone burns me at the stake, I promise I'm not in favor of stealing from other artists. What I have found is that when I attempt to copy someone's style, my own tendencies shine through very prominently, thus making a very different script than the one I'm referencing. This way I can draw on a similar qualitiy or feeling from the inspiration script (ex: whimsical) 

I agree! It's not so much about copying their style but finding inspiration . If you write out someone else's style and analyze it, it'll help you discover what you like or don't like about their letterforms, helping you to be better discover your own. It's tough and takes practice :)

Offline hmc

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2015, 04:12:59 PM »
Find a style you like and copy it. Before anyone burns me at the stake, I promise I'm not in favor of stealing from other artists. What I have found is that when I attempt to copy someone's style, my own tendencies shine through very prominently, thus making a very different script than the one I'm referencing. This way I can draw on a similar qualitiy or feeling from the inspiration script (ex: whimsical) 

I agree! It's not so much about copying their style but finding inspiration . If you write out someone else's style and analyze it, it'll help you discover what you like or don't like about their letterforms, helping you to be better discover your own. It's tough and takes practice :)

Thanks and I have been taking your guys' advice! I think that is definitely the way to go for me - I've been having fun copying and finding what flows more naturally from my hand. Hopefully I'll have something more solidified as my own style in the upcoming months :)

Offline joi

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2015, 06:39:13 AM »
Personally, I study from old exemplars from past Masters, there are hundreds and hundreds of gems to be found and swoon over. I usually modify a majuscule to fit my skill level and ability or give it a fresh intrepretation. I'm pretty obsessed with proper form and technique, so learning from a gorgeous exemplar thats dated 1883 is the way to go for me, and I really enjoy it.

Offline Katrina Alana

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Re: how to begin to develop your own style of "calligraphy"?
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 12:33:33 AM »
This is what I use for my own creative process. Hope it helps.

You may also wish to create a mood board. You can pin several calligraphy styles you like and then do a review. What do you like about each photo? Do all the photos you've pinned have something in common? Is it the mood or the flourish? Do an intensive review on why you like those sets of photos.

From your review notes try to come up with an alphabet that evokes that look that you're looking for. It's always best to merge your own penmanship with elements that you like so that you create your own look.