Why should you pay for a class when there are books, YouTube tutorials, and blogs for cheaper (or free)? I wondered the same thing myself.
When I first wanted to formally learn calligraphy, I thought it was easy enough to pick up a book and teach myself.
I don’t know about you, but I am very unsuccessful with self-taught stuff. If I’m not being graded or paid to learn something, best believe the book will sit and collect dust.
As you may have learned already, I took an online calligraphy class and greatly benefited from it. Due to my extremely positive and valuable experience from taking calligraphy classes, I have no choice but to encourage you to take a class yourself.
So, while I definitely will be sharing beginner tips in future posts, as well as great books and resources for learning more about the art, I want to first urge you to seriously consider taking a class for these five reasons.
- Individualized feedback: A book will not talk back to you. It won’t point out your bad habits or make suggestions to help you succeed. There is nothing like receiving the opinion and expertise of a professional, and the chance to “pick apart their brains.”
- Actual demonstrations: Similarly, a book cannot SHOW you how it’s done. Yes, there are pictures and descriptions, but if you are like me, a visual demonstration speaks volumes. When I see how an expect calligrapher puts ink on the nib and glides the pen across the page, I immediately get a sense for how I can then go and imitate those motions.
- Strategic agendas that work: While books, YouTube, and blogs are a valuable resources (I love them myself and will share more on this), they can be overwhelming! As a beginner, where do you start? What do you focus on? It’s tempting to skip around and not go in the proper order or allot the proper time to learning each important skill. Just like learning a sport or learning to cook, there are basics to master before moving on to more complex activities.
- Accountability: When no one is looking, how hard do you push yourself? Having a class with a set number of hours or days gives you a sense of completion and pushes you to pace yourself. You may still procrastinate on assignments (I sure did!), but at least there is motivation to finish and not slack off.
- Community support and networking opportunities: Through the two classes I took, I met some amazing people who I stayed in contact with well after the class. It is not only helpful, but very encouraging and fulfilling knowing there are others rooting for you and willing to help you succeed. Let me tell you, the calligraphy and lettering community is FABULOUS! Through Facebook groups and Instagram, I have literally never been turned down when asking for advice and the support I receive blows me away. It’s that whole “together we’re better” concept at its finest.
Well, that’s my little spiel on why I am a big advocate on taking a calligraphy class when you are first starting out.
And don’t stop at one class! Continue taking more classes with different instructors and in using different mediums.
*Special thank you to the I Still Love Calligraphy alumni Facebook group for their input on this post.
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It’s your turn!
Have you taken a calligraphy class before?
What hesitations or questions do you have about taking a calligraphy class?
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