Are you left-handed and have always struggled with the way the world caters to right-handed people? Particularly with art supplies and pens in particular? I’m guessing your palm always gets smudged with ink no matter how hard you try.

When learning calligraphy, we frequently get asked “Do you have any tips for lefties?” or “Is it even possible for a leftie to learn calligraphy?”.

If you’ve been born a leftie and want to learn and succeed at calligraphy, don’t you fret. You can most definitely learn calligraphy and thrive at it.

I compiled my best tips for lefties getting started in calligraphy below:

1) Are you an over writer or an underwriter?
Left-handed writers fall into two general groups: over writers & underwriters. Over writers curl their hand around the pen while underwriters write with their wrist below the baseline. For pointed pen calligraphy, it is easiest to write from underneath the baseline, so if you are an over writer, you will want to try to retrain how you hold the pen for pointed-pen calligraphy. Otherwise, you can try for an adjusted modification and rotate your paper to the right as needed.

2) Make sure you are pointing your nib the right way
The tip of your nib should be pointing towards the top/top-right corner of your paper, so if it is too difficult for you to change the angle of how you write (which many left handed calligraphers have done, and I personally did as well as a right handed learner who didn’t know about oblique pens!),then you can rotate your paper instead.

3) Turn your paper
Some lefties turn their paper completely on its side – 90 degrees. You’ll want to adjust your paper as needed and see what works best for you.

4) Learn in person
One of the benefits of coming to our workshops is working with you individually to work through your natural angle of writing. It’s hard to know if you are doing it correctly, and we can make sure you are set up for success in your practice.

5) Determine which pen works best for you
A left-handed oblique pen or a straight pen. It will depend on the natural angle you are already writing with and where the tip ofthe nib is pointing (the lefthanded pen holder in our starter kitis convertible – you can use it with the flange or remove the flange to use it as a straight pen). In our workshops about half of the lefties go with the oblique pen and the other half prefer a straight pen. Ultimately you should try both out with your natural grip and see which best gets you to pointthe tip ofthe tip towards the top/top-right corner of your paper.

Don’t let being a leftie discourage you from learning calligraphy. Some of my favorite calligrapher friends are lefties and have learned to adjust their practice to fit their needs.

All of the pens in our shop come in both right & left handed, so if you are interested in a plastic pen holder head HERE or if you prefer to try with a wood pen holder head HERE.

We hope you are encouraged by these tips and let us know how it works for you and if you have any left-handed questions below in the comments!