Author Topic: Is there a correlation between calligraphy skills and everyday handwriting?  (Read 6161 times)

Offline Carina_I

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So. I was wondering. If you are really good at calligraphy, would your everyday handwriting naturally improve? Or is there absolutely no correlation because of the type of writing tool you're using. Like you know how you can write a letter with one pen and you feel as though you can frame it on a wall, but you write the exact same thing in a different pen and it looks like chicken scratch?

I would guess that if you're good at calligraphy, your everyday handwriting would probably be pretty good, but that may not be the case. I don't know about the general calligraphy populace, but when I'm writing an essay, I don't hold my pen the way I would if I was practicing calligraphy.

So because of the difference in the way the pen is held, as well as the type of pen used, is there always a huge difference between calligraphy and everyday handwriting, or does that huge difference slowly become a not-so-huge difference?

Offline Jamie

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Calligraphy dos not improve my handwriting but not for the reasons you mention- it has nothing to do with the tool. Instead I find that I just have a different 'thought process' around doing calligraphy vs handwriting. So that calligraphy comes somewhere between writing and drawing, because I focus so much on each letter as I put it down on the paper.

Offline Erica McPhee

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My regular handwriting is horrible. And if I try to do say Spencerian with a ball point pen - blech! Like moif said, for me, it's a different thought process.
Truly, Erica
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Offline Erica McPhee

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What's interesting though ... drills and line exercises improve both my calligraphy and handwriting.  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline Carina_I

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Calligraphy dos not improve my handwriting but not for the reasons you mention- it has nothing to do with the tool. Instead I find that I just have a different 'thought process' around doing calligraphy vs handwriting. So that calligraphy comes somewhere between writing and drawing, because I focus so much on each letter as I put it down on the paper.

Hmm. Interesting. So . . . what if you decided to think about writing the way you think about calligraphy? Would that make any difference?

Offline Carina_I

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What's interesting though ... drills and line exercises improve both my calligraphy and handwriting.  ;D

Huh. That's interesting. Do you know why?

Offline Ergative

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Calligraphy dos not improve my handwriting but not for the reasons you mention- it has nothing to do with the tool. Instead I find that I just have a different 'thought process' around doing calligraphy vs handwriting. So that calligraphy comes somewhere between writing and drawing, because I focus so much on each letter as I put it down on the paper.

Hmm. Interesting. So . . . what if you decided to think about writing the way you think about calligraphy? Would that make any difference?

I don't think I would ever think about writing the way I do about calligraphy. What you gain in beauty you lose in speed. No matter how quickly you can write calligraphy, it will never be as speedy as it would be if you weren't thinking about form and regularity, and when I use regular writing, I want to get words down quickly, so I can keep up with whatever I'm taking notes on, or so I can just keep up with my own thoughts.
Clara

Offline Erica McPhee

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I think because it strengthens the muscle memory and it is about line quality/strength versus writing. I have tried to write calligraphy with a regular pen and it's embarrassing. [shrugs]
Truly, Erica
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Offline jeanwilson

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I have a notebook filled with examples of regular handwriting from well known scribes as well as talented scribes who are not so well knows. I even have examples from people like Sheila Waters that show how how they write a personal thank you note as well as how they jot a quick note without thinking about their penmanship.

From all my examples, it is apparent that there is a very broad range of possibilities. Some scribes have beautiful penmanship all the time. Others have very ordinary and unattractive everyday penmanship.

IMHO it is a reflection of what the individual wants. If they want to improve their everyday penmanship, they do. If they try, and it does not come easily, and they don't want to devote any time to it because it is not important, then their everyday penmanship does not change. Poor everyday penmanship does not hinder your calligraphic studies.

Personally, I have been very happy to improve my skills so that I can write beautifully with any tool I pick up. It's really fun to *wow* people using everyday tools. I also make a much higher dollar-per-hour figure when I can address using regular pens. Spencerian with a G-Tec is just about my favorite style. I can do 50 envelopes per hour - at $2 per envelope. Plus, I can get more clients when I am charging $2 per envelope. I can even get some very subtle thicks and thins with gel pens just by using speed and pressure - so they are slightly better than a normal monoline.

Offline dancingfish

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I agree with the sentiment that "it depends".  In my case, my cursive handwriting was pretty good, though has gotten "sloppy" over time as I have been trending toward writing more and more quickly (hurried).  I've recently been learning Spencerian, and from the start it has felt very natural to me as a writing hand.  I think this is because I was taught Zaner-Bloser method as a child, and there are a lot of similarities to my original normal hand.  As I progress with practice, I'm noticing that my handwriting is improving, and looking much more like Spencerian or the simplified Zaner-Bloser hand that I originally learned.  Note that currently I'm spending much more time practicing Spencerian forms than I am writing in my normal hand.  I only realized the influence on my handwriting when I went to make some written notes for other purposes, and I noticed the difference after writing them.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 03:19:15 PM by dancingfish »

Offline Brad franklin

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Re: Is there a correlation between calligraphy skills and everyday handwriting?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2016, 11:50:05 AM »
My personal handwriting is awful. However when I am at work and jotting down notes, sometimes I try to write English round hand mixed into cursive with a pencil. I have had several people say that I have nice handwriting. I just say thank you, it has improves since studying calligraphy.

Offline Dries

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Re: Is there a correlation between calligraphy skills and everyday handwriting?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2016, 03:12:21 AM »
I have noticed definite improvements in my everyday handwriting greater consistency in letter shapes and slant. But it deteriorates rapidly the faster I write.

Offline AAAndrew

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Re: Is there a correlation between calligraphy skills and everyday handwriting?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2016, 10:51:31 AM »
For me, yes. I was improving my cursive when I began to try and learn copperplate. What I picked up from that experience was how to hold my hand still and move more of my arm. I also learned some better letter forms, especially for when I'm writing with a dip pen. But for regular writing, I connect most every letter, and keep up a free flow rather than stopping to make this stroke down then connect it to that one with another stroke, kind of writing.

If anything, my practiced penmanship that evolved out of calligraphy, has gone back and affected how I write calligraphy. I tend to write with more of a flow rather than drawing each letter. I'm sure that's why I'll never be that good at calligraphy, but my hand writing has definitely improved.

Maybe it  helped that I was re-learning cursive when I began copperplate. I didn't have a well-established cursive hand before copperplate, so it could more easily influence my everyday writing.
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Offline dancingfish

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Re: Is there a correlation between calligraphy skills and everyday handwriting?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2016, 09:10:32 PM »
Good points.  I actually found that copperplate did not much influence my handwriting, because it is drawn, rather than written, and has all those pen lifts.  Spencerian is a written, not drawn, hand, and a handwriting system, so it is intended to flow, and I think is more natural to influence one's handwriting, as it has had an effect on mine.

I also found that years ago when I was studying a lot of foundational and italic, that those had a definite influence on my handwriting when printing, especially the italic, as it was closest to my normal printing.  On the other hand, study of uncial had no effect at all, that I could tell.

Andrew, I would think you would enjoy learning Spencerian, at least the business hand.  And you can choose to "decorate" it as much or as little as you like!  I'm not giving up copperplate/engrosser's entirely (it's just on hiatus at the moment), but I am really having fun with Spencerian.

Offline SunnyMoni

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Re: Is there a correlation between calligraphy skills and everyday handwriting?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2016, 11:08:45 PM »
So my reply is partly a response to you and partly to some comments. I'm talking mainly about the comparison of my everyday handwriting to Copperplate. I'm sure this may vary with type of calligraphy.

My handwriting really suffered for a while after learning Copperplate. My everyday writing was a mix of print and cursive. After learning Copperplate it was a mess. I suddenly couldn't remember how to form letters normally. After some time I stopped confusing the two and now they are entirely separate. Tools don't make a huge difference on my everyday writing except with one except. I normally hold a pen pretty hard but if I'm using a fountain pen I try to write very lightly. This has a direct effect on my writing because I have to change what I'm doing. With a fountain pen I tend to write in either full cursive (not so often) or in italic print letters (more often).

There was a question about if you thought about handwriting as if it were calligraphy and what would happen. I kind of touched on that with my confusing forms at the beginning. I don't think it's easy to form letters in the same way because Copperplate specifically is drawn in a way that appears flowing and connected but has strategic lifts. Everyday handwriting may or may not be this way.

Another aspect that comes to mind is the difference between writing the letters and drawing them. I don't draw my everyday handwriting but I do draw the letters for calligraphy.

Monica