Learning Calligraphy – EcoFriendly?

This week in CEP 810 we begin our “self directed adventure in online learning.” For this project, we get to explore a topic or skill that we have always wanted to learn about – ANYTHING is fair game. Panic immediately ensued – being an instrumental music teacher, I have already dabbled around on most instruments imaginable. Cooking is not my forte – a card that I exploit regularly to make my partner cook for me. Growing up on a farm, I learned the basics of woodcraft, metal work, gardening, and so many other skills at a young age – so what is left. Thankfully the craziness called “the Awards Banquet” provided an answer.

To anyone who has had the privilege of creating and distributing hundreds of certificates of a daily basis knows the headache that visits me every May. Thanks to my favorite friend, the “mail merge” function in Microsoft Office, I have turned the process into an almost exclusively computer/printer based process. However, there area always the pesky blank certificates that are given to students for participation in events such as Solo & Ensemble Festivals, or general performing arts events. These require me to fill in students names with a flair for penmanship that I simply do not possess. Enter CALLIGRAPHY.

Have you attempted lately to find someone that knows how to write calligraphy? It is IMPOSSIBLE. While sitting at my desk, surrounded by multicolored certificate paper, medals, trophies, and excel printouts of student participation lists blotted with tears of exhaustion, it hit me. Calligraphy. I am going to learn calligraphy for my “self-directed adventure”. Typography has always fascinated me, and let’s face it, I take any chance I can get to channel my compulsive behaviors on something productive.

For the past few months, an aquainteance from college has been uploading #thedailyletter, a daily photo post illustrating her journey into the world of typography and hand lettering. It has been inspiring to view all the interesting pieces she has created such as the pieces below:

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Furthermore, the following video has gone viral in the past few weeks. How cool!

To begin my process, I will be heading to the local craft store to graph paper, a plain notebook, and pens appropriate for hand lettering. I will begin with basic calligraphy that I could use for certificates and signing student hall passes. Who says a bathroom pass has to be boring?!

While learning our new skills, we are only permitted to use YouTube and Help Forums. Thankfully YouTube has some fanastic, informative videos such as the video below.

There are so many things to learn before I ever set a pen on paper! Either way, I am very excited about learning to write calligraphy. Be sure to check back and see the progress – hopefully not too many trees are wasted in the process. Thank goodness for recycling…

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