Put down the iPad and pick up a pen and piece of paper to learn calligraphy and hand lettering

When I first picked up a brush pen 3 years ago and started to write with it, a calm came over me. That is what I love about hand lettering above all else…I feel centred and present.

Put down the iPad and pick up a pen and piece of paper to learn calligraphy and hand lettering

It’s just me and the tools I need to create on the table in front of me, and my practice becomes a meditative exercise. I have left technology behind. I am not looking at a screen.

I feel tremendous joy and satisfaction watching the ink flow on the paper in a myriad of colours. Even the simple black pen on white paper is incredibly satisfying and beautiful.

Put down the iPad and pick up a pen and piece of paper to learn calligraphy and hand lettering

That is what all art does for us, as well as crafts. When I scrapbook or make cards, or paint with watercolours, I am ‘in the moment’ feeling focused and peaceful, leaving physical evidence of my artistic expression and making my mark on the world. I cannot do this with an iPad, ProCreate or digital lettering. Calligraphy isn’t about perfection and smooth lines. It’s a creative process and artistic journey that cannot be replicated by technology.

Put down the iPad and pick up a pen and piece of paper to learn calligraphy and hand lettering

There are numerous scientific studies about how handwriting tremendously benefits our brains, our neurological systems and ultimately our mental health and well-being. Psychology Today states that

Brain imaging studies reveal that multiple areas of brain become co-activated during the learning of cursive writing of pseudo-letters, as opposed to typing or just visual practice.

Every time I teach a workshop, I witness the deep satisfaction everyone feels while learning calligraphy. They are focused and absorbed in the art of using a brush pen and paper, and I love watching their confidence and joy grow as the hours fall away.

Put down the iPad and pick up a pen and piece of paper to learn calligraphy and hand lettering

Try it. Unplug. Turn off all the devices. Sit quietly with pens and paper and see what happens.   Embrace the imperfections, make mistakes and learn from rough drafts. We look at screens all day: mobile phones, TV, lap tops, Kindles. Like my mother used to say, “Rest your eyes” … and let the beauty of calligraphy touch your artistic, creative soul.

3 Comments on Why I Love Pens & Paper

  1. Christina Arnold
    June 3, 2018 at 5:40 pm (6 months ago)

    I love this! I started this passion because of how relaxing and satisfying it feels to create something with pens and paper. I love every part of it. But I have to admit that the procreate users often have me feeling insecure and inadequate (though I know those feelings are my own!). I’ve delayed posting things or participating in challenges because my “plain old brush lettering” just seems awful compared to the amazing graphics and colors and presentation of all that digital stuff. Thank you for making your group a place where we can do it old school.

    Reply
  2. Pam
    June 3, 2018 at 7:27 pm (6 months ago)

    I love this post! Exactly how I feel!

    Reply
  3. Katie
    June 7, 2018 at 12:27 am (5 months ago)

    Thank you so much for this inspiration, Kelly. I have been brush lettering for about 3 months, but before that I was using the faux calligraphy technique since November. This is shortly after I began bullet journaling in October. They go very well together! Michaels is having a huge sale on all of your brand products and I bought a bunch yesterday. I’m going back tomorrow for some more!! Lol

    Reply

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