I'd say I average about 8-10 "direct messages" on Instagram a day with questions. And as much as I want to answer them all, there really just isn't enough time in a day. So since there are multiple questions that come up every single day- I'm hoping this post can serve as many people as possible! Have a question I didn't get to here? Send me an e-mail.
1. "I'm thinking of getting into brush calligraphy. Do you have any tips on where to start?"
Why yes! Yes I do.
Get yourself a pencil. Yes, a pencil- not a brush pen. If you can, pick a pencil that has soft lead (so anything with a "B" after it- 2B, 3B, 4B). The softer lead will show you more of a difference between when you're applying a lot of pressure vs. just a little pressure. Then, memorize this one rule: LIGHT UP, HEAVY DOWN. Any time your pencil is moving in an upwards direction should be LIGHT PRESSURE (barely even visible on the page!), and any time your pencil is moving in a downwards direction should be HEAVY PRESSURE.
Now, with this one rule in mind- practice these 8 "strokes" with your pencil. Over, and over, and over, and over again. Slowly and steadily. Start at the red dot, and follow the directional arrows.
When you're done that? Try it with your brush pen (see question #2 for pen recommendations). And join the #ShowMeYourDrills challenge where you can get all my free worksheets and step-by-step videos!
2. "What pen is that?"
If it's small, black brush lettering, it's probably a Tombow Fudenosuke. Usually the 'hard' tip, but sometimes the softer version. Both are good.
If it's not a brush pen at all, but rather just a small black monoline pen, it's probably a Pigma Micron Pen, size 0.1, 0.3 or 0.5.
If it's none of the above, but looks like it's a piece of metal dipped in ink- it's a "pointed pen"- see question #3.
If it's none of the above, but definitely still a pen.... check out my previous blog post called "Which Pen Is This".
3. "I'm comfortable with brush pens but pointed pen scares me. What should I buy if I want to give it a shot?"
First of all, good for you. Pointed pen deserves way more attention.
This kit from Paper & Ink Arts literally has every single thing I'd recommend for beginners in it. If you don't want to buy the kit, though, or would rather shop in real life and not online, here's what you're looking for.
Book: "Modern Calligraphy" by Molly Suber Thorpe
Pen: Speedball 'straight' holder (some prefer an 'oblique' holder, but I say straight is easiest for beginners).
Nibs: 'Zebra G' or 'Nikko G' (either/or, they're almost the exact same), or a 'Hunt 512'.
Paper: Rhodia grid or dot pads. No question.
Ink: Kuretake Zig Sumi Ink, or Windsor & Newton India Ink, in BLACK. DO NOT try and use coloured inks as a beginner.
4. "What's the best way to get your name out there and get clients in your city?"
You need to network.
You know that girl you met once who is a wedding planner? Reach out to her. Take her for a coffee and ask her about her clients and their needs.
That guy who did the photography for your sisters wedding? Ask him if he wants to collaborate on a cool project. Get him to take some awesome photos of your work in exchange for (whatever he wants from you).
If your city has a local chapter of the Rising Tide Society, join it. NOW. (If you need convincing- check out my latest post on why the Riding Tide Society is the one group you need to join if you're in creative business).
Make yourself a website and put some (quality) photos of your work on it- even if it's for FAKE clients. Show examples of what you can do.
Print yourself some business cards, and ACTUALLY hand them out around town.
Overall, be friendly. Make connections. Be open to others about your passion- tell them what you love to do and be enthusiastic. People love working with people who genuinely care about their work.
5. "Can you write my name?"
Sure. For $20!
Happy Monday, friends!