Practice{photo by Raya Carlisle}

Thanks to social media like Instagram, I’m able to share my art with thousands of people every day – which I love! It is a great venue to share information and of course beautiful pictures. I try to reply to many questions posed on there, but thought I would start sharing some information on here when I get a chance…

Q: I recently started calligraphy – what are your recommendations for beginners and when will my writing look like yours?

A: First of all, welcome! This is a lovely art form to partake in. With that said, it is an art form. Like any other talent it takes lots and lots of practice! I can’t stress this enough. I have been doing calligraphy for over 20 years (10 professionally), and if you look at my early writings, believe me, it did not look like how I write now {see below}! Like any other activity, your body learns muscle memory and you will get better over time.

I write nearly every single day, and have been doing so for the last decade. When I travel, I still do work. When I got married in Hawaii, I did calligraphy in Hawaii (granted it was for my own wedding – I likely wouldn’t take your order all the way to Hawaii 🙂 ) I’m sure some people think I work too much, but I really do love calligraphy, and when I’m not working, I miss it and feel like I could be getting something done (welcome to the world of self-employment!). It helps that my husband works long hours as well, allowing me to extend my “work hours” each day.

I’m not saying that you need to practice calligraphy every day, but you will definitely improve more quickly if you do it more often. If you practice one night, and don’t come back to it for 7 days, then another 5 days, etc, your hand won’t remember the technique in the beginning. If I go days without writing I am a little rusty, too.

Now, where to start. There is no single answer to this, but if you have time to do lots of research online you can find a lot of the supplies. Every person is different and will find different items useful. If you would like a one-stop shop to get started with the basics, I offer a starter kit that will get you on your way with instructions, pen, nibs, ink and other fun materials. I also hold calligraphy workshops around the US and you can find more details on those here. Either way, it will be a different journey for each individual and you will learn by trial and error.

I do provide more information on where I get my supplies in the kit and in my workshops, but it wouldn’t be fair to those who make the investment to share it with everyone who follows me online, so thank you in advance for respecting that! If you have a specific question, please feel free to email me at hello[at], and if it is not too proprietary I will try to reply.

Lastly, it is so flattering that my calligraphy inspires you. And for anyone to say that they want their writing to be like mine is the utmost compliment, but I sincerely encourage everyone starting out to focus on finding their own style and creating the best version of their own art!


p.s. In case you are skeptical…here are some pics circa 2004. I repeat, practice is key!!

photo 2

photo 3

photo 4


Skip to 2005 and improving already!