POST 15 // MINDFUL CALLIGRAPHY
Back to 'school' mindful calligraphy
BOOKS, REVISION & WELLBEING
by Lucy Mellor
With summer officially over, the sun seekers reluctantly retire to hiding - everyone returns to their daily study lives. We know because all the shops keep pointing it out every way we turn - yes, because we need more pens to add to our third pencil case! A new year, could be a easy transition or one with big changes - new people, important exams etc. Sometimes, we can get hung up on every detail of our lives
If you're starting a new year at College or driving down to your University and unpacking for your first year - change is be on the horizon - we may need something to take our mind off things with a spot of mindful calligraphy. Things start swirling around - taking up our capacity, we need to take a step back and get a fresh perspective. Taking in a nice delicious deep breathe and find a comfy place - perhaps putting on your favourite artist in the background - sitting down with your phone far away, picking up a pen and some paper then letting your creativity flow! We sometimes bottle it up and don’t allow ourselves to have those creative moments because we’re too busy revising or scrolling. This is where the practise of mindfulness and mindful calligraphy may come into some use!
What is mindfulness all about?
After 4 years of University in 2 different cities - having a hobby was kind of essential - mine at the time was sports; playing or organising it for others. Hockey and Golf were my main sports of choice as I’d played them from an early age at school which took hockey very seriously... so, ultimately it’s hard to ever get away from it! Having another activity other than solely studying was a brilliant outlet - the idea of mindfulness was at it’s very beginning when I was at University with mediation and yoga very much at the forefront of mind and body wellbeing - mindful calligraphy is now joining the wellbeing party. For a bit more info on the practise of mindfulness and the reasons for introducing into your daily life; mindfulness is the practise of self-appreciation, slowing down and being in the now. We don't have to cross our legs and seek inner peace looking for something we can’t seem to find - we can practise mindfulness whenever and wherever - it’s brilliant.
Calligraphy and mindfulness work in fluid harmony - one compliments the other effortlessly. For example, mindfulness practises slowing down your mind and body - to appreciate the now. With calligraphy, the basic act of sitting down lettering, gives you permission to purposefully slow down - we have to take the pace off in calligraphy otherwise the pen will most likely scratch the paper and the stroke will ‘break’. The slower the better when we’re getting started with calligraphy.
What is mindful calligraphy?
Practicing a bit of mindful calligraphy doesn't only focus on beautiful lettering. Mindful calligraphy is also about setting aside some time for ourselves - appreciating where we are now and taking a step back. Plus, if we’re feeling particularly anxious or nervous, slowing down our mind and body will help us press that reset button giving us a fresh perspective. As we all know, we very rarely have control over a situation, but we do have an influence over our perspective; the way we view the situation. As you deliberately begin to sit down and take time for yourself - your actions start to happen without the need to prompt this behaviour - which means it’s gradually integrating itself into our routine.
Now, let's have a go!
1. get a pen and a clean sheet of paper.
2. find a comfortable spot; bit of music on in the background.
3. take notice of our breathe - if we’re feeling on the edge, we may fancy slowing our breathe and taking in a much deeper breathe each time. Something so simple has such an immediate impact on our whole body - we begin to relax.
4. now, lets have a go! Get your pen out! The key to calligraphy is rhythm and pressure strokes. Once we feel comfortable applying pressures and then taking it off - we can get a fluid motion and bring personality to the lettering. We’re not necessarily looking for completely uniform lettering (as thats what a computer is for!). We’re looking for italic style and smooth curves in this characteristic brush script style.
5. now we’re going to follow the design Pol has laid out below. We’ll start top left (if we're right handed) as to avoid smudging! Adding the lovely decoratives and banner brings some personality to the rather minimalist design - have a go and let us know how you get on!
Check out our YT Channel for calligraphy + lettering videos