There are two things I particularly like about myself:
MY HAIR and MY HANDWRITING.
There are other things, sure, but these two feel like my signature, random features that one might use to describe me, things I’m fond of and proud of.
The hair thing is totally not my doing. God decided to surprise my parents with a redhead and this head of hair just happens to be thick, hold curl well and can go several days between washings (which works quite well for this busy mama).
The pretty penmanship thing is partially innate and partially because I work at it, enjoy it, practice often and have learned helpful techniques over the many years I’ve been writing.
TRUE STORY: in high school, my best friend, Brittany and I used to study and practice our letters for fun. I know, we were real rebels :). There was a senior who had the best writing ever and we would look at her letters to figure out how she wrote each one and practice altering our writing over and over until it became second nature. Dorky, perhaps, but that’s what this 16 year old found entertaining.
Who knew that years later, that same girl would be hired by Bill & Melinda Gates (of Microsoft fame) to design, assemble and hand-address 750 family christmas cards every year for 9 years in a row?! All that practice really came in handy.
Here’s what I know about penmanship:
YOUR HANDWRITING IS AN EXTENSION OF YOU
Ever get a letter in the mail and know exactly who it is from just from the handwriting? This is what I love about penmanship – everyone’s is different and part of who they are.
I found a letter in a box the other day and knew instantly that it was a poem Ryan’s grandfather, Pop, wrote for one of our kids. Pop passed away this year and having this piece of paper with his handwriting feels like such a treasure. It’s a little piece of him we get to keep and cherish.
THE ART OF PENMANSHIP IS QUIETLY FADING AWAY
Digital communication has overtaken the need for handwritten documents. This is not always a bad thing as texting and email and digitally signing is both efficient and convenient, but I don’t believe it could or should ever replace the beauty and joy of a real signature or handwritten note.
The fact that my second grader doesn’t get to learn cursive, but instead takes typing classes is bittersweet. Sure, he should learn to type, but I want him to learn his lettering, too!
THERE ARE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR HANDWRITING
So many of you have expressed that you wish you had better handwriting and if you did you would use it more often. I totally get it. Good news is, you can make it better. There are simple techniques and exercises you can do to correct bad form, change old habits and improve the quality of your penmanship (NOTE: none of it is hard, it just takes practice).
THE FOUNDATION FOR PRETTY LETTERING IS GOOD PENMANSHIP
You’ve seen the gorgeously hand-lettered quotes and artwork all around the internet. It’s lovely. And it certainly makes you wish you could write like that.
What I have come to realize is that each of these artists understand the basis for good letter forming, know the proper techniques and put in time to develop their own lettering style. The line between penmanship and lettering is a thin one but once you master the first, the doors open up for crossing that line into lettering.
If you want your penmanship to be better, if need help figuring out the best tricks, tools and techniques, if you’d love to learn how to make your own pretty lettering pieces, I’ve created a class just for you
This online course not only encourages handwriting but, more importantly, teaches techniques to make your natural penmanship something you’re proud of (and therefore excited to use!).
Because most of us learn best by watching, this online class is a series of fifteen videos that walk you through projects and techniques to help improve your penmanship and develop your lettering style. You can watch and re-watch to learn new techniques and then pause the video to practice on your own. Printable paper and worksheets are included to help with practice.
THE COURSE INCLUDES:
* a full resource guide with favorite paper, pencil, pen and eraser options
* the five techniques that will instantly improve your handwriting
* simple methods for practicing control, consistency and line forming
* 13 examples of letter styles with worksheets to practice
* practical tips for effectively spacing, centering and writing on a straight line
* the best chalk art supplies and practices
* a brilliant method for transferring art to a chalkboard
* how to create fake calligraphy
* four creative ways to address envelopes
* start-to-finish lettering project
The class and all its content takes place online in a password protected classroom. Go at your own pace, moving from section to section as quickly or slowly as needed.
To help you get a feel for the class and to learn more about what we’ll be learning, here is the introduction for the class:
Are you ready to begin?!