Simply Lettering Issue One - Blog Hop

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The Simply Lettering Blog Hop has jumped over to here! Simply Lettering is a new calligraphy and lettering magazine that officially launches on Thursday 18th July. It's jam packed with so many fab tutorials, there are also lettering practice sheets, plus you even get two free pens! 

Buy Simply Lettering here at CraftStash! 

I feel so honoured to be a contributor for this magazine (you can find me on page 32), and also to join along side some awesome calligraphers and brands on this blog hop. To celebrate the launch of Simply Lettering, there is a whole week of blog and social posts from some fantastic calligraphers and brands. On top of this you guys can WIN so many fabulous prizes worth over £400! HOORAY. Head down to the bottom of this blog post to find out what you could win and how to enter!

How did I learn calligraphy?

That's a question I get asked a lot. I thought this blog hop would be a fab place to chat to you guys about my calligraphy journey, as it seems Simply Lettering has introduced so many fresh faces to the lettering and calligraphy world!

Before Blink Lettering Began!

Just over 4 years ago, I discovered the wonderful world of calligraphy and lettering thinking WOOOWW this looks awesome! I then fell into a rabbit hole of Instagram posts, YouTube videos and blog posts, for hours and hours I would scroll, watch, read. I craved a creative outlet that was different from my graphic design job, where I spend 8 hours a day on the computer. And I had finally found it, I was hooked on calligraphy.

Recently, I stumbled down memory lane and found some of my calligraphy from the beginning. These aren't even on my Blink Lettering Instagram, it was before Blink was a thought and I was just posting on my personal account. 

At first, I was like GOD these are sooooo embarrassing, why on earth did I think it was a good idea to share these with my family and friends. But then I turned it around, and you know what? I am actually really PROUD of how much I have improved! It's great seeing old calligraphy work, as it's sometimes it's easy to forget where you started. I think it's fab for you guys to see where I started too, I promise you, I wasn't just some magical whizz with a pen from day one! How practicing everyday, even for just 10 or 15 minutes, massive helped. So what did I do to help me learn?

Self-taught through social media

Honestly, most of my learning is self-taught and practice, practice, practice. One thing that really kept me motivated to do it every day was daily lettering challenges which you can find on Instagram with a bit of searching. I especially loved @calligrabasics (sadly no longer going, put your hands up if you joined in with these fab challenges!) and @handletteredabcs. These challenges set me tasks every day, and gave me something to focus on. It also meant that I felt part of a community, a community of so many helpful and talented people. Some times my lettering even got shared by these accounts, which grew my confidence massively.

Drills!

When I first started I didn't think drills were important, I just wanted to crack on with creating beautiful words. However, I slowly realised that they are the BASIS for creating lowercase letters, and they are SO important! If you are feeling a bit stuck with the calligraphy drills or just aren't sure what they are, then I've got some good news for you. I've just opened up my Better Brush Drills 7 day challenge. The best part is... it's completely free! You'll get guide sheets each day, taking you through the basic brush strokes for calligraphy. Click here to find out more about Better Brush Drills and sign up!

Workshops

I am mainly self-taught when it comes to calligraphy and lettering, I just found it so relaxing that I could get absorbed in it for hours! However, I did attend two different modern calligraphy classes for pointed pen. I went to these as I felt the pointed pen was such a scary tool to use, and I could never seem to get the ink flowing! I learnt soooo much about how to prep the nib and position my hand. If you're struggling with any kind of calligraphy, I highly recommend going to an in-person workshop. I now teach Intro into brush pen calligraphy workshops regularly in Bournemouth and Newbury, and so many of my students have said that having someone physically there really helps!

Online Resources

During the beginning of my lettering journey I trawled the internet for resources to learn from, there are so many great courses out there, from free mini courses to really detailed Skillshare courses. I would spend hours watching YouTube videos and reading blog posts, so as well as physically doing calligraphy, I learnt a lot of the theory behind it too, which I helped me understand so much about what I was creating.

Advice for beginners

If you’re just starting out, I have two really important pieces of advice for you.

  1. Practice EVERY day. Even if that is just for 10 minutes while your dinner is cooking, or getting up a bit earlier in the morning to play with pens. Sadly there isn’t any spell to make you magically awesome at calligraphy.

  2. Be confident. Don’t be afraid to share your work online, your work could inspire so many other people. Even now I still have my bad days where I feel like I can’t create anything that looks pretty, and compared myself to so many talented people out there. If you are feeling like that, take a break, go for a walk or just focus on something else for a little while. It also means that you’ll get the opportunity to fall down memory lane and see how much you improve in the future. If social media isn’t your thing, then just keep a little folder of some of your calligraphy that you can look back on and be proud of what you achieve.Now for the exciting giveaway...

Simply Lettering Blog Hop Giveaway

You could win some amazing prizes worth over £400!! So what is up for grabs?

  • 3 Annual Subscriptions to Simply Lettering Magazine worth over £50 each

  • Luxury Calligraphy Kit from Kirsten Burke worth £35 (as shown above!)

  • 2 sets of TomBow pens from CraftStash worth over £40

  • 3 sets of Nuvo Aquaflow pens worth £11.99 each

  • 1 Subscription to Simply Cards & Papercraft worth over £60

  • A set of Karin Markers from Lou Collins worth over £20

  • 2 x small colour happy boxes rrp £25 each and 1 x colour happy big box rrp £79 from EDDING

  • A selection of Papercraft Magazines from Die-cutting Essentials, Papercraft Essentials and Creative Stamping – worth over £20

  • 2 packs of Double-ended Calligraphy Pens from STAEDTLER worth over £23

  • Lamy Safari and a 30ml bottle of Diamine ink from Leanne Cork worth over £20

  • A set of four Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens – For the Love of Letters from Sue Smith!

  • A set of 5 pens from Chameleon pens worth over £20!

How to enter

To enter to be in with a chance of winning one of these fabulous gifts, simply comment on THIS blog post, then head over to the Simply Lettering launch post and comment there too – find it here  www.simplylettering.co.uk Each day the wonderful bloggers and brands on the blog hop (details below) are sharing inspiring projects and advice as we countdown to the launch of Simply Lettering Magazine on Thursday 18th July.

Who's on the blog hop

Be sure to visit them all and add a comment on their blog, video or social post, and don't forget to add a comment here too!  You’ll find their posts on the following days, so you can enjoy a little bit of lettering inspo every day this week! A winner will be picked winner at random from all of the comments received! Thursday 11th July  www.simplylettering.co.uk Friday 12th July Leanne Cork Simply Cards & Papercraft Magazine  Saturday 13th July Papercraft Magazines A Journal by Annie Ada Dream Letters Sunday 14th July CraftStash Journal With Purpose – Helen Colebrook Monday 15th July Edding Lou Collins The Preposterous Pigeon  Tuesday 16th July Kirsten Burke Staedtler Wednesday 17th July Sue Smith Creative Design Blink Lettering Chameleon Pens LAUNCH DAY! Thursday 18th July Simply Lettering Magazine  Don't forget to get your hands on the issue 1 of Simply Lettering here.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small percentage if my make a purchase using these links. This extra little bit of money feeds my pen addiction, so I can continue bringing you awesome content and resources! It also doesn't cost you anything extra.