Have you ever asked yourself, “How long until I’m good at calligraphy?
It’s certainly a fair question. I asked this question many times in the beginning when I longed to be more advanced. I compared myself to other calligraphers and thought I’d never measure up to them.
One thing that I have had to remind myself is this:
You and I are generally our own worst critic. I’ll even show you! After you leave a workshop or complete our Calligraphy for Beginners: Starter Kit + Video Tutorial if you were to show your friends the result of your calligraphy they would find it quite pretty! I can almost guarantee that 95% of people who you show your calligraphy to, even after just taking a beginner level calligraphy training, would be amazed.
So take a deep breath and remember calligraphy is an art. It’s not something ever perfected fully. You can completely redefine your success with calligraphy with a couple mind tricks.
Here’s what I mean…
Tell yourself that you won’t give up no matter what. Tomorrow will be better than today. Your journey is just yours alone and that’s worth celebrating!
When you feel like you have not progressed fast enough, reminding yourself how far you’ve come. This is a great time to leaf through old work you’ve done and prove to yourself that you have come so far! Celebrate your progress, friend. You deserve it.
The truth is each individual progresses at their own pace. Similar to any other artistic skill, the more frequently you practice, the more quickly you will improve. It’s not going to be the same progression as someone else’s but it will be your own progress and you must focus on that.
You didn’t think I would leave you without some practical steps best progress with the art, did you?
Let’s dive in…
Step 1) Focus on the right letters to practice
A common misconception is that once you learn how to use the tools you can start writing the alphabet over and over. That is not the case!
In our workshops, we teach the letters grouped according to their shape. It’s best to practice similar letterforms when you’re practicing at home as well. For example, practice letters like A,N,M, in combination; practice T andF in combination; & P,R,B, together. We detail this strategy intricately in our starter kit for you. If you aren’t sure how the alphabet breaks down, the starter kit will be very helpful for you
Step 2) Get consistent
Once your letters start to look uniform, then you can work on the other aspects of consistency which we cover in our Beyond Beginner Guide Workbook + Online Course. Try to spend 30-45 minutes practicing per session, and aim for 2-3 sessions per week. We recommend actually scheduling in the time for practice like you would any other appointment.
Step 3) Connect your letters
Once you have developed a consistency in the look of your letters then you can move on to connect letters, and form words. Try writing the same words over and over again. We cover this in our Beyond Beginner Guide Workbook + Online Course.
Step 4) As you practice , LOOK at what you are doing.
Don’t just look and think “that doesnt look right, or that’s not good” and keep doing it over and over again. Instead, really think about WHY the letters and words do not look like the exemplar you’re trying to match. Repetition is the key to muscle memory – the key to improvement. If you’re not getting the hang of a specific letter try to sleep on it and pick it up again at a later date. I often try this – rather than thinking I have “given up” it really just gives my brain time to process the movement or the letter. When I try it again it usually comes more naturally.
5) Don’t get discouraged if you’re not as good as you want to be immediately.
Remember, we all had to start somewhere & we are all continuously learning and growing…there is no definitive end goal. One of my favorite quotes is “don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle” and I truly believe that is so important to keep in mind for your calligraphy practice.
If you think you could use help developing a calligraphy practice routine be sure to join the waitlist for our 5-week Calligraphy Practice Plan.
Have you found tricks to help you continue successfully with your calligraphy practice? We’d love to hear from you and encourage you to keep with it. Connect with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so we can be friends!