I first started playing around with calligraphy and typography from a young age – other than the dreaded tacky ‘bubble lettering’ phase – during a year 6 Victorian project, when I discovered I had a knack for picking up Copperplate handwriting. From that moment I was hooked, and immediately changed my handwriting style to large, embellished letters which was both time consuming and a pain for my teachers’ marking. Palmer’s lecture and demonstration refuelled my love for the art of hand-rendered type, and it was easier than I expected to switch back on the rhythm of flowing ink and attention to detail.
I still require lots of practice before thinking myself very talented at the art of calligraphy, however I feel that with lots of practice this could be an avenue I could excel in, at least within my own practice. My current tendency is to draw out the words first in pencil, then fill back in with different fineliner sizes, as I have not yet comfortably ventured into using dip pen nibs for lettering. This feels a bit like ‘cheating’ as it takes away a touch of the dynamism and energy of freehand calligraphy, but hopefully I’ll soon be able to achieve the styles I like with ink as apposed to fineliner pens.