Here is a little overview on the basic essentials: there are different kinds of nibs out there. I personally like the Brause Blue Pumpkin and Nikko G nibs because of their flexibility and how I did not need to repeatedly dip my pen while writing. I use a Straight Holder from The Craft Central because I find it easier to control, as if I'm just writing with a regular pen. There is an Oblique Pen Holder, which is used to achieve a better slant when writing. As for paper, I've learned the hard way that paper with a higher GSM (grams per square meter) would avoid the unwanted webs in my work. A regular bond paper has a gsm of 75. Apparently, the ideal weight is 190 gsm, similar to that of watercolor paper. For ink, there's india ink or walnut ink that is pretty easy to work around with.
Use the pencil and scratch paper to draw out your ideas before you map it out on the calligraphy paper itself. When you’re satisfied with how your draft looks like, start writing with the nib onto the actual paper. Now, you may not be instantly satisfied with how your work turns out, which is why the most important thing to remember is to keep practicing. A famous saying goes, "An expert was once a beginner." Don't ever let disappointment stop you from going on. I was cringing at every stroke I made because the ink did not flow as smooth as I had hoped, thus creating hard-edged letters and holed-up papers. Sometimes, I'd like to think I finally got the hang of it, but usually I'd end up wanting to improve. I still don't have the confidence to show off my work to people I know. (I created a calligraphy instagram and no one among my friends know what it is. So, if you find me, I will most likely give you a prize! Just kidding.)
Most of the things I've learned for calligraphy, I've learned by reading through blogs and watching video tutorials made by my favorite artists. I've only been to one lettering workshop (by the Googly Gooeys!) since I always run out of slots whenever the other artists open up sign ups for their workshops. Luckily, I was able to join Tippy Go's watercolor lettering workshop last July. Some of the workshops may be a little pricey for some, but it's a really great way to learn first-hand from the experts, plus you get to spend an afternoon with your favorite artists! I think one of the most imperative thing to remember is to use your own handwriting, so as to create your own style. Don't force your hand to copy someone else's.
Calligraphy isn't an expensive hobby as compared to photography (which I also love to do). Don't get intimidated or discouraged from trying this form of art. You'll be surprised how beautiful your handwriting can be with constant practice and patience.
- Daniela Regis (ʘ‿ʘ✿)