My Calligraphy Journey

It's June

Just in time for June!

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Have been working with lots of agates and quartz stones this month, and i'm not complaining! Listed some to my Etsy, but there are still more to go!

Look at all these beautiful stones! 

Look at all these beautiful stones! 

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Tried my hands on engraving too for my giveaway (congrats to Gwendoline!), and have to say these beauties are such great pieces for engraving! I can foresee me doing more of these, but first #letmefindtime

But one thing i'm super excited is this

Finally!

Finally!

My first calligraphy book is actually by Eleanor Winters "Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy", and i think most of us who learned calligraphy actually had/flipped it before. And so when Chia of cforcalligraphy shared with me about her tour, i couldn't help but immediately up for it! 

All these while there are enquiries on me for workshops, but honestly, i feel that teaching is one great skill, how to make them understand, at the same time igniting their passion on calligraphy, which i think i'm lacking of. So i have been declining to teach (ok i should have ammend my website on the "Workshops" section, but oh wells again #letmefindtime). It has been my dream after Micheal Sull's Spencerian workshop, to bring in teachers to share their passion. Even though nowadays i rarely practice Spencerian (sorry teacher!), but the experience, learning bout his passion and the humbleness, meeting fellow calligraphy enthusiasts are something that i'll remember for a very long time. I guess this is the beauty of in-person workshop!

And so when Inez agreed to host together, double joy! And the good people in Cziplee are sponsoring the printing materials, so you know you'll be getting some quality papers to write on! 

Head on to kligraphy for more details on the workshops, and can't wait!

My Favorite Tools for Calligraphy

10 April: Updated with link to the stores mentioned!

So a new month new year! 

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Perhaps in the new year you’d like to pick up something new, or you have always wanted to learn calligraphy, so here i am sharing my favorite tools for calligraphy! 

So first, the pen holder! 

See how well loved (aka dirty lolol) these 2 holders are

See how well loved (aka dirty lolol) these 2 holders are

For the beginners who are absolutely clueless on learning calligraphy, the one on the right is the one that normally i recommend-Speedball Pen Holder. It doesn’t break the bank (RM18) and it allows one to get familiarise on how to write with these wand like thing! It comes in oblique and straight, i’d recommend using oblique as you may find yourself putting too much pressure if you are using the straight holder. An oblique holder allows you to control the thin and thick strokes better!

And when you feel you are getting better, you can try getting the hand turned holder (RM120 and you can find them in both cziplee and stickerrific). I use this holder for almost 2 years and they indeed provide a better grip compare to the speedball.

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These 3 pen holders are from Michael Sull and i really like them alot! If you are just into modern calligraphy, the previous 2 mentioned pen holder will do the job fine. However if you decide to advance your skill and take things more seriously, i’d suggest to invest in a good pen holder, especially from those penman who specialized in that particular script (e.g Copperplate, Spencerian, Italian etc), as it actually has a certain angle that allows you to write the script perfectly. There are alot of fancier penholders (painted, galaxy, ergonomic etc), but these Michael Sull’s pen holders are really light, very good angle for Spencerian script, and they are not that expensive too (approximately RM290 when i bought them that time). So i guess i’ll be using them till death lolol

Next up, nibs

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There are lotsa nibs out there. Soft, medium, hard. These two are my favorites-Nikko G and Hunt Principal. One is hard (Nikko G) while one is soft & flexible (Hunt Principal). Initially i like flexible nibs alot and i really do not like Nikko G, but after attending Michael Sull’s workshop seeing how he works with Nikko G makes me change my mind on this nib, and it’s one of my fav now!

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And once you are comfortable using either, perhaps you can try these two-EF66 and Blanzy 2552. It may require you to have extra investment, as EF66 is a smaller nib so a different pen holder is needed, while for the Blanzy it’s actually a vintage nib, so you can only get them online (ebay or etsy), where currency is not on favorable for us in Malaysia T.T 

And Ink!

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Walnut ink! I love it so much till you see i have a 4oz walnut crystal, which i think will last till forever lol. I love that how you can dilute them to make them watery, or make the consistency thicker as a very dark ink! One jar of crystal cost around RM20 in Stickerrific (the one on the bottom with gold cap) and it’ll last you for quite a long time! 

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For black ink especially if for digitizing work i always use this Sumi ink (see how kiasu i am to buy extra bottles just in case). It’s super dark and has a glossy finish which makes it looks great when scanned. However i find them quite corrosive to the nib so make sure you clean the nib properly after use!

Lately i’ve been using Ecoline watercolor ink alot too for calligraphy (the “january 2018” picture was written with Ecoline!). Especially this grey 718, i love how soft and vintage look it gives! 

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And if you’d like to try out colored ink, i recommend this two brand-Ziller ink and Dr PH Martin’s. Both are acrylic inks so they are waterproof and very suitable if you’d like to write on envelope, custom pieces, or on glossy surface such as agate slices. I especially love this Dr PH Martin’s as they are not only waterproof but shimmer too! Which makes it perfect for many custom work. While for the Ziller Ink personally i love their white ink, and this periwinkle blue which is so dreamy. You can get Dr PH Martin’s ink from Scrap-n-Crop, while the Ziller Ink unfortunately have to order from overseas (try Paper Ink Arts!).

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There are alot of gold inks in the market, and these two are the ones i used the most-Finetec Arabian Gold and Dr PH Martin’s Iridescent Coppler Plate Gold. I especially love the latter as it’s waterproof, but Finetec allows one write with a very beautiful hairline work which is super gorgeous too!

So these above are some of my favorites and go-tos when working on custom pieces. Despite having other tools, somehow always i’ll come back to these. So if you have quite limited budget, just get the basic ones first, practice your skills, and slowly add in more to your collection. 

There are currently alot of calligraphy workshops available in Malaysia, personally i recommend Kligraphy’s class, as it’s a 5-hour workshop that really allows you to immerse yourself into calligraphy, practice the strokes and understand how to write (there's where i learned my calligraphy!). And i always encourage people to learn Copperplate first, so that once you are familiar with the strokes you can then break the rules and create your own style!

Another thing i’d recommend is to get in touch with other calligraphers or hobbyists, initiate an art jam or pen meet, from there you can try out more tools or materials without breaking the bank! This is why i love to meet up with fellow calligraphers so i can try their stuffs for free muahahahah (opps my secret is leaked lolol)

So there you have it! Hopefully it helps you in learning calligraphy, and let’s keep on creating in this new year!

Marie Claire Interview

So in September i received an email from Natasha of Marie Claire saying they wanted me to answer few questions, and of course i said YES! I thought there were only 1 or 2, but they sent me 11 questions! So i answered them, sent in some photos, and she said it would be published in November

So patiently i waited

and waited

LOL

And finally it's November, that time i was in the hospital, enjoying my little staycation

The food was actually not bad and i ate more in hospital compared at home lol

The food was actually not bad and i ate more in hospital compared at home lol

 And my husband bought me this

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MY INTERVIEW IS OUT, ON A FULL PAGE OMGGGGGGG

DO YOU SEE MA NAMEEEEEE

DO YOU SEE MA NAMEEEEEE

I thought it's only a few lines, on a conversation bubble, with my headshot, but NOOOO A FULLLL PAGEEEEEEE OMGGGGGGG, i nearly screamed in the wad hahaha

Ok now only i realise they spelt my IG handle wrongly (it's  helloglooomi ), but it's ok i forgive you LOL

Ok now only i realise they spelt my IG handle wrongly (it's helloglooomi), but it's ok i forgive you LOL

I'm glad they chose this picture, coz she's the one that got me into this whole calligraphy thingy!

I'm glad they chose this picture, coz she's the one that got me into this whole calligraphy thingy!

So here is the interview, un-edited version (and i'm quite surprised they didn't edit alot of my replies! Coz i worried they might find my replies mundane so i wrote alot for them lol)

What’s a usual day like for you?

Normally i wakes up at 9am. Morning and noon will be busy with my 2 kids, Rae and Jiunn (shower, breakfast, abit of reading and singing, lunch), after lunch, when the kids go to nap, i’ll plan out my work (mixing watercolors or ink, doing design drafts), or replying emails, so once they wake up it’s dinner time! Luckily my mum stay close to me so i always head over there for dinner, and after back home another round of shower, reading and singing. After putting them to bed which is normally around 9pm, that’s the time i start my work. Sometimes when it’s busy i’ll work until 3-4am, and the day goes the same the next day :)

Why do you do what you do/ Why Calligraphy/art?

I have always been a creative person and fascinated by typography and lettering, but it’s only 3 years ago that i get to know about calligraphy. I find it very therapeutic, and there’s so much to learn about! And to be able to see the progress i made in front of myself is an amazing feeling as well. When currently everything is moving so fast, calligraphy allows one to slow down and just focus on writing the letters. Also through this calligraphy journey i’ve learned that practice does make progress, one just needs to be patient and dedicate the time!

How did Crafted by Day come about?

I become a stay-at-home mum 4-year ago after i delivered my eldest daughter Rae, and honestly the initial period was very difficult, as i had been working for very long time and couldn’t get used to being at home with a baby. So the phone is my window to the world. And one day i saw a post on instagram of an oblique pen holder, that’s the moment i started to explore more about calligraphy. That’s also the time where workshops are blooming, so i took workshops after workshops, from calligraphy to brush lettering, from chalk lettering to watercolor, as well as taking online courses. At the same time i started to share more of my work on my IG @helloglooomi. And after i got a commission job from Sherly of Tie The Knot, who is super encouraging, that’s when i decided to set up Crafted by Day

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

To have clients saying they love the design even though it’s just the initial messy drafts, that’s the best!

What is your dream project?

To be able to do lettering on store’s window front, that’ll be awesome!

Describe yourself in three words.

Positive, carefree and creative!

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Hot chocolate with chocolate chip cookies!

What’s your favourite artwork?

It was the first commission job i got from Tie The Knot, to create table mats and thank you notes with watercolor and calligraphy. Looking back the artwork was very raw and amateur, but it was the starting point to everything else.

This <3

This <3

Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?

Vivy Yusof! I adore her energy on managing both career and family. But at the same i have been very blessed and am very happy to work with current clients who trusted me to create pieces for their big day!

What music do you listen to when you do your artwork/Do you listen to music when you do your artwork?

Nope i prefer to keep it quiet as the day has been very noisy with the kids screaming and shouting, i need some quiet time for myself to work :)

Do you have a secret talent?

I can bend my thumb to my wrist

Nah my secret talent and Sherly said i can join the circus LOL

Nah my secret talent and Sherly said i can join the circus LOL

So hope you enjoyed reading it, and get to know me a lil bit more better! Thank you to Marie Claire team for giving me the chance! Someday in the future i will definitely be sharing this with Rae and Jiunn, that you know, just do what you love, do it well, and the rest will follow :)

Marie Claire August Issue

It seems like in this 2-month i'm seeing all my efforts bearing fruits, and this feels so good!

I remember In June i got contacted by Marie Claire Malaysia to letter t-shirts for their upcoming photo/video shoot, and of coz i said yes to it! That's the thing for us who do calligraphy or lettering, we just want to letter on anything and any surface and materials!

 

Preparing the drafts in airport

Preparing the drafts in airport

That time i was heading to Singapore for a short trip, and as the timeline was super tight, i had to bring my sketchbooks and brush to prepare for the drafts, it was crazy yet fun!

 

Letter letter letter

Letter letter letter

All the T-shirts

All the T-shirts

It was really fun working on them, to see the idea transfer to drafts then transfer to the t-shirt. And after 2-month of waiting (for me), i share with you the amazing photoshoot done by Marie Claire Malaysia with Rado and Faber Castell!

 

August Issue

August Issue

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I remembered when i was painting these t-shirts, "Girl Boss" was the one i like most, and in my mind i was also thinking, ah wouldn't it be great if it's Vivy Yusof who wears it

And indeed she did

With the editor even!

My life is complete hahahahahah

Thanks again for the opportunity! You can head over to Marie Claire Amazing Women to read about the interviews!

Spencerian Bootcamp by Michael Sull

I never thought i'd like Spencerian

I mean i started from Copperplate calligraphy, and it actually took me quite a while to appreciate the beauty of the fine lines and crazy beautiful curves! And one need to have great skills in order to master it!

Sadly in Malaysia i couldn't find anyone to teach me this beautiful script, and so when i found out the Master Penman Michael Sull was going to have Spencerian workshop in Cebu and Manila, i was like i MUST go! Was contemplating to join both Cebu and Manila, but i thought to myself, just learn the basic first, and maybe next year join the advance class! So after checking with my ever supportive husband, plane tix booked, hotels booked, and off we went to Cebu!

i am really glad that i make it to this 2-day Spencerian beginner's bootcamp, to learn all the basics, understand the forms and the reasons, and surrounded by all the talented people in the room. I still remember when i found out someone i followed for quite a while on insta was sitting just right next to me, i screamed a little inside (and out)! And Michael Sull, oh Michael Sull, so adorable, and so so humble even though with his wealth of knowledge on this field! He really took the time to explain and show us the right way, and always when we said thank you to him, he'd replied "Thank you for letting me to show you!" awwwwwww

And to be able to immerse myself in this beautiful script for 2-day, even with this 2-day, my eyes are trained, and i'm looking to train my skills so i can write this script beautifully and confidently!

So here are some photos for the 2-day!

 

Excited kids with not so excited parents behind

Excited kids with not so excited parents behind

We (or I) were actually quite worried for the plane ride, coz you know, 2 kids. And this is the first time Jiunn takes a plane ride that is more than 1 hour. But luckily everything went well, without the help of iNanny (but lotsa grapes and biscuits helped!) and we reached Cebu safe and sound!

Dec 7 1910, no biggie

Dec 7 1910, no biggie

Michael Sull brought along with him a giant folder, that contains original letters or writings of the great penman, so that we can be inspired by the writings, and we were really amazed by the skilfulness and gracefulness of the letters!

I screamed a little when i saw this! Louis Madarasz of Madarasz Script!

I screamed a little when i saw this! Louis Madarasz of Madarasz Script!

Pardon my fingers, but such delicate lines!

Pardon my fingers, but such delicate lines!

Who can resist these gorgeous penholders?

Who can resist these gorgeous penholders?

So light and fits just right!

So light and fits just right!

I liked how Michael Sull took his time to explain the difference of holders, and also helped us to adjust our own holders. But i remembered he was abit shocked seeing my ink-stained holders (opps!), and kept telling me to "Remember to clean the nib properly after writing!"

So i bought his holders, and he was adjusting mine here

So i bought his holders, and he was adjusting mine here

My three little wands!

My three little wands!

Rise and shine the next morning! Rae loves scooping out the fresh super sweet mangoes and put them in her yogurt!&nbsp;

Rise and shine the next morning! Rae loves scooping out the fresh super sweet mangoes and put them in her yogurt! 

Here's Jiunn guarding his yogurt

Here's Jiunn guarding his yogurt

On day 2 he showed us on the spot flourishing which is sooooooo crazy!

On day 2 he showed us on the spot flourishing which is sooooooo crazy!

Speechless

Speechless

He also wrote all our names in "fancy letters"

He also wrote all our names in "fancy letters"

That's mine!

That's mine!

And my seatmate-  Pia!

And my seatmate- Pia!

Of course, we need to take a picture!

Of course, we need to take a picture!

Me with  Pia  and  Hana !

Me with Pia and Hana!

Some may think learning calligraphy is a trend, like workshops popping up, fancy settings and what not. But really it has been around so for long, and calligraphy is really an art by itself. Really thankful to be able to attend and learn this artform, the warmth and hospitality, the talent, the never stop learning (do you know he still practice 4-hour per day?), the humbleness and the passion is something i'll cherish for a long long time!

Till next time!

Till next time!