Arundhati Surendran writes on the skill of beautiful writing that is a hobby, a way of inspired expression for some, and an art form too.
From the time that you learn to hold a pencil in kindergarten to practicing cursive writing in early school days and then as you move to the higher classes hastening up the pace to fill in journals & exam sheets, your handwriting evolves and develops its own unique personality & style too.
And whilst some people, like me, develop a sloppy squiggly handwriting, sometimes barely decipherable to even my own eyes, there are a few whose penmanship is simply dazzling to look at.
The art or skill of beautiful handwriting, Calligraphy as we term it, is derived from the Greek words for “beauty” (kallos) and “to write” (graphein). The symphony of letters that flow out from the pen or brush has bewitched humanity for millennia, but the art doesn’t stop at simply being something pretty to behold.
In earlier times, Calligraphy has been somewhat of a status symbol, with only higher tiers of nobility being able to afford its usage. And now in the modern era, the influence of the word calligraphy is quite similar; being able to write beautifully is still nothing short of impressive to anyone views it.
Some take it up as a profession, creating beautiful works of art that finds its place in museums and art galleries; for some it is more of a hobby and a way of expressing themselves through the cursive strokes of their pen.
The art itself carries a lot of merits – The focus and effort that it requires pull calligraphers into a meditative state, and it’s an outlet that forces us to slow down and breathe for a second. The uptake of any hobby is to primarily give us peace of mind and enjoyment, and calligraphy does not disappoint.
Calligraphy is impressive on all fronts – a calming, low-effort, affordable activity that brings out beautiful results; truly a skill worth learning, and a hobby worth enjoying.
If this is something that interests you, the supplies to begin calligraphy are cheap, and practising it is a low effort activity. There is no need to run or pull out an exercise mat to churn out beautiful pieces of writing – all it needs is a steady hand and a hard surface.
Calligraphy is a very constructive leisure activity giving one a lifetime of praises in return for a little initiative.
If you are looking for the next level of self-satisfaction & creativity, then you can invest in the following;
• Any good Calligraphy instruction book or course
• Calligraphy Pens,
• Calligraphy Pencils, Erasers, a Ruler
• Calligraphy paper &
• Calligraphy Ink
One name that strongly comes to mind here is that of Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose inventions turned the world around starting a new era of development. But what does a Tech Mogul have to do with Calligraphy? Apparently, quite a lot.
A recent dropout from Reed College, Jobs barely able to make ends meet, signed up for one class like a lifeline – Robert Palladino’s Calligraphy class. He learnt the technicalities of the art, typefaces, about the spacing between the letters, about typography and more.
That single class that he persisted with and continued to attend was an incredible motivator for his success. Although, in his words, “none of this had any hope of any practical application in [his] life”, he continued to take it. And years later, he designed the Macintosh inclusive of the stunning typography that he learned from this class. Thus, what could have barely been a footnote in his history turned out to make an impact worthy of being a tale told for time immemorial.
A hobby is something we do for our own interest & self-satisfaction, but it is also an experience, a skill, and an opportunity. The way it is realised for every person is different, and we can never know what it will be until we hold that pen ourselves.
So look at that pencil now with a different angle and write away!