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  • Writer's pictureHardik Singh

Calligraphy: a very much alive field

A lot of people when hear about calligraphy as a primary career assume it to be a field which has been dead for centuries, but the reality is totally opposite, especially in current times calligraphy is seeing a boom both as a hobby as well as a stable career option.

It is true that the utility of calligraphy as a commercial art declined after the invention of printing press and now digital typography, but it never stopped it to exist as an art form, the uniqueness and life in the hand written art has its own identity.

Now hearing all that some obvious questions pop up like, “how to pursue it?”, “how much I can earn with it?” etc.

There are many ways to generate money through calligraphy as explained below.

Direct Commissions

It includes works like calligraphy for wedding or greeting cards, certificates, poetries or any written material the client requires. These are charged per letter. Suppose you charge 10 rupees per letter then the earning depends on the length of the text, and then you can add decorations or supporting illustrations and charge extra for that.

Poetry with illustrations

Graphic Design

If you are familiar with basic graphic design skills you can step up and use your calligraphy skills by vectorizing or digitalizing them, and design logos, album covers, movie titles, t-shirt designs and what not?

The best part is that you can charge much more for this kind of works like on an average hundreds of dollars, due to their commercial usage. The more you work the more you earn.

Album cover designed with calligraphy.

As Artworks

After mastering your skills, you can make beautiful artworks for example graffiti works by using fundamental strokes, which exists as a separate artform called Calligrafitti.

Artwork including the use of Strokes (Calligraffiti)

How to learn Calligraphy?

Now that you are convinced on the career aspects of this field lets discuss how you can dive into the world of calligraphy. Even if you don’t have much money to invest, especially in the starting stage, there are lots of books and tutorials on the internet, and many of them are absolutely free, it’s all up to your searching skills, and if you are ready to invest then you can attend offline and online workshops which are organized very often by various eminent calligraphers.

Some book recommendations: Art of calligraphy by David Harris, B2C Devanagari by Achyut Palav, Speedball textbook, Tri Le’s Manuals, there are so many of them but for starting these will surely help.

What tools are needed to start calligraphy?

You can even start with just a pencil or two or can even make your own pens with cola cans if you want to start with zero, there are many tutorials on Youtube, and if you are ready to put your money in Pilot parallel pens, and Speedball nibs are best recommendations for beginners (not endorsed by them, just personal experience). For practice you can use normal copier or bond papers with fountain pen inks, and for final pieces you can move to water color or handmade papers.

How to stay updated in calligraphy?

To stay aware of the developments in the field and getting a community support you can join the calligraphy society of your country, for example in India there is the Indian Calligraphers Society where all calligraphers of the nation, from absolute beginners to complete masters are members. There is a regular exchange of knowledge, competitions are organized and guidance from masters is available directly.

There are lots of things in this field and I just stated the very basics here otherwise this blog would have become a book.

Some important links

Indian Calligraphers Society Instagram:

Calligraphy Masters Instagram:

(All artworks attached are copyrighted works of the author)

About the Author:

Hardik Singh (a.k.a. Cretalyst), Calligrapher and Graphic

designer from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

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