So I have always had a thing for handwriting, a lifelong fascination with the way letters are formed and documented on paper. My parents once told me that at their parent-teacher conference with my kindergarten teacher, she had told them how beautiful my handwriting was. However, she expressed concern that I was spending an inordinate amount of time forming and writing these said letters. I guess my penchant for perfectionism was apparent even at such a young age.
In elementary school, I would arbitrarily decide on certain day, "Self, let's change your handwriting today". I would then obsess over the formation of any subsequent e's, a's, h's or c's. I would smile and be pleased when the letters were different enough, yet strangely familiar.
In middle school, there was this classmate of mine. He was the artiste of the class. He wrote in all caps. I loved the modern look to his penmanship and I would admire it from afar. Until one day, I decided I would start writing in all caps as well. That was for a season.
Fast forward and I have found myself on an exploration of calligraphy.
It all started a few months ago. My co-worker asked me to make escort cards for his son's wedding. I took a drive to our local A.C. Moore to pick up a few simple supplies and since then, it's been quite a journey.
It started with an affinity for handwriting but I've learned quite a number of things from calligraphy along the way.
- Calligraphy is often more like painting than writing.
- It's okay to copy others. Everyone starts somewhere! Plus, Pablo Picasso once said, "Good artists copy. Great artists steal."
- Words are powerful.
- Sometimes, you have to just dive in.
And one lesson that particularly resonates in my heart in this season:
- It's about progress, not perfection.