I’ve gotten a few requests recently to post about how to improve your handwriting, so that’s what I’m going to do!
*I’m going to apologize in advance for my pictures…I don’t know that I have the right lens to take photos of writing close up…
I have a sketchpad that I use right now to practice my calligraphy, but in the past I've kept my fair share of journals and notebooks that I use exclusively for practicing my handwriting. It's important that you keep it all in one place, so you can see your progress and have one place to reference the different styles and techniques that work for you.
The type of pens that work for you might be different than what I use, or what other people use. Definitely buy a few different types to find out what works best. I prefer to use the Sakura Micron pen number 5 with a 1/2 millimeter width for my fake calligraphy, and a Pilot G2 Fine Point Gel pen for everything else.
I really think that it's perfectly acceptable to find pictures of handwriting you like, and try to emulate it. I think you'll find that some types will work for you, but with your own modifications based on your writing style. Just because you find a style of writing that you like doesn't mean that it's going to be the best style for you. Don't be afraid to adjust letters and flourishes based on your own style and skill level.
So this is kind of obvious, but the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to practice. Try different ways of holding your pen and forming your letters. Relax. Take your time. I might have nice handwriting, but it takes me a very long time to write anything.
This might sound strange, but I literally have about twelve different handwriting styles that I rotate through on a regular basis. Your current handwriting just might not be the best base to work from. Like I said above, don't be afraid to find inspiration and try a completely different style. You might be surprised.
So, I want to know, what have you done to try and improve your handwriting?I feel the need to add a disclaimer to this post...
I know that I have nice handwriting. I'm not writing this to showcase my talent, but I know it's only a matter of time before I get comments about how people want my handwriting and how they'll never have handwriting as nice as mine, so I feel the need to tell you the following:
- When I say you need to practice, it's only because I've practiced. A lot. I'm the type of person who rewrote notes in college if I didn't like the way that they looked. I waste paper all the time, because I'll toss something out if I mess up, even if it's just a personal note I've written to myself. Even post-it notes have to look perfect. I'm ridiculous and I know it.
- I grew up with nice handwriting. My mom and aunt both have extremely nice handwriting (my mom used to calligraphy), and it's what I've always known. My brother even has nice handwriting, so I really think it has something to do with my genes...
- Artistically, I'm not good at very many things. I can't paint or draw or sculpt, or do anything with my hands, really. I'm even terrible at DIY projects. But handwriting and calligraphy is always something I've excelled at. It may sound incredibly obnoxious, but it's a type of art for me. And I really do take it very seriously. So don't feel down if your handwriting doesn't match mine. I really put a lot more emphasis on it (for myself) than I probably should.
If you try this and post about it, I’d love to see it! Feel free to post a link to your post about it in the comments!
UPDATE 3/6/2013: My own "fake calligraphy" font is now for sale! You can see more information about it here.