Calligraphy in the Public Eye

Recently, there has been some notice about the resurgence of calligraphy, or at least its recent rise here on the Internet. With more and more outlets to show our art (most notably Instagram and DeviantArt) as well as places to just get together and learn from each other (such as Reddit), there have been an increasing number of calligraphers who have decided to put not only their finished works but their process and practice out for the world to see.

Here are a couple of high-profile articles that have helped draw attention to calligraphy online:

The New Yorker: The Calligraphy Stars of Instagram

The BBC: How Video Saved the Calligraphy Star

I hope that this trend continues, if only so that more people can get into this hobby. It’s creative, doesn’t require a huge investment to start, and while it’s easy to get the hang of, it’s something you can spend a lifetime refining and mastering. With more and more excellent examples to learn from, I hope to see more and more people taking up the pen and writing words that make them happy.

Project: Mitchweek

Some Instagram calligraphers and I – @theulzo, @openinkstand, @gourmetcetera, and @dearondine – decided to do a week-long tribute the the late, great Mitch Hedberg. If you’re not familiar with his comedy, go over to YouTube and check him out.

In celebration of his work, I present my choices from this week:

Instagram - Mitch Hedberg 01

2015-06-08 15.17.40-1

2015-06-08 20.58.09

2015-06-09 17.10.01

2015-06-10 21.02.12

2015-06-11 20.14.59

2015-06-12 09.38.34

2015-06-13 10.53.03

It was a fun theme week, and nice to collaborate with other calligraphers on Instagram. Thanks, all!

Spring has finally arrived

Quotation - Henry Rollins 01
Coming from Rollins, though, it sounds dangerous.

I did this for our Reddit Spring/Easter contest. As of this writing, the contest is still undecided, so I guess I can cross my fingers. There’s some good competition, though…

EDIT: I won!

The effect here was done with gouache, a medium I’m slowly getting the hang of, and it was done by carefully, meticulously… tediously going from color to color within each letter. I mixed the gouaches a little more watery than usual so as to encourage blending, and then just tried to be as quick as I could. I think it worked nicely. I used the same techniques for these two as well:

Quotation - Pablo Neruda 02
You can never go wrong with Pablo Neruda
In case you’ve forgotten what this is all about.

Finally, in further celebration of the season, I went out to Osaka Castle to see cherry blossoms and did a little calligraphy en plein air. I wanted a quotation with some kind of flower reference, and I had this one hanging around.

Instagram - Mark Twain 03

The script, in case you were wondering (and I know you were) is a variation of Uncial as found in the Vespasian Psalter (8th century-ish). It’s a difficult script, and I still have a lot of practice to do, but I like how this turned out.

So enjoy your spring, everyone – here’s to new beginnings and hope trees full of blossoms.

Quotation – Jonathan Hule

I’ve always liked this quote. It has a very special truth to it.

Instagram - Jonatahn Hule


I’ll probably end up doing it again at some point, because there are some little spacing issues that nag at me. Someday, when I have the hang of proper spacing and proportions, it’ll look truly wonderful. I’m reasonably sure the ink is Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue, but it’s been a little while. I could be wrong.