Monthly Archives: July 2013

The First Post

I used to sell my calligraphy service online for wedding place cards, invitations and wedding vows. I didn’t really do this for very long – a couple of years or so… and I stopped offering this service because I felt I wanted to do more with my calligraphy skills. I found it sad that the great craft of calligraphy was now reduced to featuring on little bits of card… peripheral… only used to enhance something other. I wanted my calligraphy to be ‘in yer face’, so to speak… I wanted it to take centre stage. So I spent a lot of time thinking of ways to make this possible… actually I spent years thinking of ways to make this possible. I thought about what it was that initially attracted me to calligraphic forms – what was it that made me want to write calligraphy? I realised that I practice calligraphy because it panders to the perfectionist in me – the desire to write a perfect ‘S’; the dedication it takes to write an aesthetically perfect sentence; the obsession needed to write something over and over until it looks right. I like spending time on things; I like being very involved with my work.
Once I had pin pointed why I loved calligraphy, my issue became how to make traditional calligraphy look clean and contemporary, as I am not a fan of anything I regard as too twee, and calligraphy can often fall into the twee camp. To solve this problem I looked at the work of other calligraphers I admire – such as Denis Brown, John Stevens, Barbara Calzolari, Anne Elser – probably my biggest inspiration – and many, many others, and then I looked at what commercial lettering artists were doing… I find commercial lettering artists just as fascinating as calligraphers and I am amazed by the time and effort they put into their work i.e that they will spend so much time drawing words, when it takes me seconds to write them. I became interested in commercial lettering after selling words written in calligraphy to a design studio, the design studio then manipulated my words into advertising copy; I can’t show any of that here because I have signed a confidentiality agreement, but the process got me thinking…
My conclusion to all my thinking and research is the work that I am doing now, work which I will be sharing on this blog. All my current work is a combination of calligraphy skills and hand lettering techniques. Not strictly calligraphy… not strictly hand lettering, but a hybrid of them both… basically I am making paintings of my original calligraphy!
None of my work is photo shopped – not that I disapprove at all – it’s just that I want my work to be on paper or on a surface… [to be real?]…to exist in its own right and not just be an image reliant on a digital process. I see working on paper as a challenge, and I like a challenge.

william blake calligraphy quotation

A truth that’s told….
A quote by William Blake

calligraphy experiments

First draft and final piece together!!!