Putting Pen to Paper

Though I haven’t had a chance to work on much lately, I used to be an avid scrapbooker and I still have all the supplies to prove it. I first started in middle school and a big part of my layouts was the journaling. My OCD tendencies made it such that each event (because an event could be made up of multiple layouts, obviously) had to have a journaling entry and during this time, my handwriting and lettering techniques were on point.

Fast forward to somewhere around 10 years ago (probably about the same time I began relying on a computer and didn’t have to write with a pen as much anymore) and the journaling was sparse and the fancy lettering I did for page titles went by the wayside.

“Handwriting is a spiritual designing, even though it appears by means of a material instrument.”
― Euclid

So when the opportunity to take a handwriting and lettering class at a local art studio came up, I was all about it. And that’s how I spent my Saturday afternoon— practicing the “thin up, thick down” technique and trying to get my lettering groove back with a brush pen as well as with pen & ink. And you know what? It’s hard. I see all those pretty Instagram signs that people have hand-lettered and I swear, those must have taken hours. I took me about 20 minutes to write my name and it still wasn’t how I would have liked. I’m used to scribbling things down quickly— the grocery list, a to-do list, a reminder. Taking the time to really focus on the letters is half the battle. I need to remember that I can’t just grab a pen, flick it around and expect pretty letters with some fancy flourishes.

So I’ll keep practicing.

It was an incredibly fun afternoon dedicated to doodling and penmanship, which are some of those things that really do need practice in order to stay sharp (muscle memory, people!), but usually get pushed down the to-do list.

With the start of 2018, I am hoping to dedicate more time to handwriting and such. It’s even one of my resolutions for the year and I got a ‘One Line a Day’ five-year journal to help me along, but as someone who has always loved office supplies and colored pens/pencils, I’m excited to crack open my sketch book again and doodle away in the name of practice!

Wish me luck!

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