Author Topic: Then and Now  (Read 37378 times)

Offline schin

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Then and Now
« on: August 21, 2014, 11:03:12 PM »
For this thread I welcome everyone who wants to to post their first calligraphy attempts and the recent ones.. hopefully this will inspire people and point out that the journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step!

I had lots of spare rigid mailers.. and thought I could practice on them. And then I wondered why I couldn't get nice lines on the glossy surface.. geez!

Then I realized I should use better paper.. and I used to call this 'spencerian.' Nope I did not get the hang of thicks and thins LOL

This was made using a guide paper that I had no idea how to use using higgins and a fountain pen ink. Bleeding galore!!! Taught me a big lesson about using the right materials..


Ok I think I've improved a little..

Ok I showed you mine now let's see yours!!! You did keep your first work right? :)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2014, 10:53:55 PM by schin »
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Offline Meredith S

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 11:32:41 PM »
Ohh, I LOVE this thread! I don't have an after yet, ha! But I'm going to thoroughly enjoy seeing everyone else's before and afters.  :D

Offline Linda Y.

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 11:38:26 PM »
We'll always be learning! Never stop! ;D

I probably would've progressed much faster if I didn't put Copperplate on hold to learn a bunch of broad pen scripts - but no regrets! I love learning broad pen scripts!

Offline joi

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 12:23:46 AM »
I LOVE THIS THREAD!!! awesome idea. saving my spot and i will come back to it tomorrow after i dig up my before!

oh man this is soooo cringe worthy!  but i am proud to say that i put so much work into practicing and i am very happy with where i am at now...and looking forward to where i will be in the future! 

top left:  very first page EVER, this was sometime during the week between xmas and nye last year.
top right:  letters still a mess and attempting to make words.
middle right: i was in the midst of a Downton Abby marathon and loved using the character's names to practice Majuscules.  clearly i needed to practice them a lot. Majuscules were sooo hard for me!!!
bottom right:  getting brave with some ascender and descender flourishes.  i remember being sooo proud that i had gotten that far in my ability.
bottom left:  this was a few months ago.  finally i can see my "style" in this.  this was my first pad of Rhodia and it was heaven...and i am spoiled for nice paper forever!

and last pic, this was just before IAMPETH.  very happy with this.  i study from a French exemplar and to me, this was getting closer to how i want my lettering to eventually look. 

still practicing, still learning, still loving it all!!!

edit: that last pic was early august 2014, and i kinda don't recognize it as my style anymore, which is weird.  i am adding an updated pic from feb 16 2015.  at this point i have started to study Spencerian and have taken instruction from one MP and 2 master calligraphers.  i really like how this least for now.  always improving!

another edit: i love coming back to look at this thread...and add an update...
this is an envelope order I did June 2015...sumi on Stardream Quartz...loved it!  still working on those entry ovals! any my version of Spencerplate...

« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 01:45:52 PM by joi »

Offline Moya

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 12:26:33 AM »
I was going through old photos yesterday and found some atrocious stuff!  I'm saving my spot too :D :D :D I want in on this fun!

- - OKAY, here we go!

Early 2012, before I'd ever met another Real Live Calligrapher and had never taken a class:

I thought I was so good.  HAH.

Not much later, obviously before I'd heard of an oblique holder. White gouache on black Canson Mi-Teintes:

Late 2012, after my very first copperplate workshop (maybe done in my very first copperplate workshop):

Two months ago:

And last night:

*** edited 25 Feb 2015 ***

here is one from January 2015:

I am definitely still improving!
« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 06:18:34 AM by Moya »

Offline Briana

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2014, 12:36:18 AM »
Schin, I love that one of your practice words is "wizards"!
Briana, aka Pickles 'N Vodka-- landscape designer, aspiring calligrapher, top-notch goofball
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Offline patweecia

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2014, 01:55:49 AM »
i love this thread!! although i feel like cringing because i'm too shy to share my progress in this forum (sharing in this forum sounds very legit to me, unlike ig haha)

anyway, here goes...  this is my before and after :) waahhh!! i need to practice more!

schin, linda...your photos are inspiring  :)
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Offline tintenfuchs

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2014, 03:17:37 AM »
This thread is so awesome <3 <3 <3
I find it EXTREMELY inspiring to see people's progress and it makes me extremely hopeful for the future!

So here's my progress!

#1: November 2013: The first time I tried pointed pen (straight speedball holder and some nib I just happened to find) by copying random alphabets off the internet. Guidelines? What's that?
#2: Feb 3rd, 2014: A lot happened in January: I had a workshop with Barbara Calzolari and held an oblique holder for the first time. I got a Copperplate book for my birthday. I joined the forum. The journey starts for real.
#3: April 2014: I'm experimenting with flourishes and the like.
#4: August 2014: I'm slowly starting to like what I'm doing xD though I've got a long, long way to go. I'm looking forward to every step of it! :) :)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 12:15:48 PM by sisterofdream »
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Offline bluestockingpen

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2014, 08:44:52 AM »
This is so inspiring! I still feel like I don't have any "afters" that are worthy of sharing, but this thread is giving me a lot of hope, that progress IS possible and achievable. Thanks, everyone, for sharing.
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Offline thistledesignstudio

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2014, 01:05:09 PM »
Wow!  Your journeys are all so inspiring!  I feel like I'm still on mine but definitely see progress which is a good thing!  Thanks for sharing everyone!  :D
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Offline disillusion

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2014, 01:29:01 PM »
Great thread! But I must say you all started with wonderful "before" pics, and mine looks like a real monstrosity in comparison! I still have a long way to go, but I am posting this as proof that if I can do this, anybody else can.

February 2014, with a Noodler's Ahab (my first flex nib that got me hooked)

May 2014, the first time I finished a whole page with a pointed nib (before this one I had terrible issues with ink and paper!)

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Offline Nickkih

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2014, 02:04:06 PM »
I'm in on this thread. I love this. I will pull up some before and now photos and post this afternoon.
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2014, 04:43:39 PM »

You want cringe-worthy? Okay. Proceed at your own risk.

The very first word I practised, supposedly in Spencerian, was my wife's first name. I give and send her all sorts of cards. The cards I give her by hand have just her name--Kate--on the front of the envelope.
Here's part of the very first practice sheet:

and here is the envelope for her birthday card last month:

Here is an excerpt from the first card I sent through the mail using my "Spencerian". Old PR was whirling in his grave at the injustice I did his script, his screams of pain so loud they startled birds from Boston to Miami and briefly reversed the flow of the Mississippi River.


Here's the writing on the summer exchange card in June:

At least there is improvement. Long way to go, though.


« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 06:17:31 PM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline Starlee

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2014, 09:34:01 PM »
This post is inspiring, wonderful and humbling. We are all making so much progress. I laugh at how we all seem to have gone through similar stages and feelings as we have progressed. What I am about to post, at each time I wrote these pieces, I felt so happy with how they turned out. Now, it's funny how you look back and see your progress and cringe at the old. But each step was essential to get where I am now. So even though I cringe, I still think that, for at that particular time, it was not too bad. That said, I know there is always room for improvement. Even with the last image I am posting, I look at it and even though I am quite pleased, I can still nitpick it to death. I hope that a year from now, I will look at this image and cringe because it will mean I have progressed that much further.

The first image was from Christmas last year. I hadn't even picked up a pointed pen yet, I just wanted my homemade Christmas cards to look unique....well, they were different alright! (Supercringe). The second image is from one of my first practice sheets. The pages had the wrong slant; I used a Hunt 99 and 101 nibs and some ink from my local craft shop. I had joined the forum by this point though and had started to teach myself the basics. The third image was an attempt at a flourished layout for a presentation I had to do at work (extra big cringe for exposing colleagues to this and thinking I did great!). The last two were from just two nights ago: a practice sheet (I went back to the basic strokes. They were done with whole arm movement, which is really hard) and a spontaneous flourish lyrics of a song I was listening to at the time. The last one is from last practice word was my pet name for my favourite cousin....I know, not supposed to have favourites....I know you guys won't tell! :)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 09:37:08 PM by Starlee »

Offline Lori M

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Re: Before and Afters
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2014, 10:58:52 PM »
Mike, you crack me up!  ;D  I'm going to spare you permanent eye damage and not show either before or after, as they still look about the same -- not good!

Those last two are just beautiful, Starlee -- it that what using full arm movement did?

Thanks, for sharing, everyone. I've been getting a little discouraged lately and this gives me new hope!