There’s something amazing about creating. There are infinite ways to make things, and infinite things to make. The sad thing about this phenomenon is that there is no possible way for you to make ALL the things.
That doesn’t mean I won’t stop trying to make all the things. Learning a new craft can be a fun and obsessive experience, but it can also be a challenge to motivate yourself to move forward when you aren’t quite sure how to get started. That’s why I love a good workshop. In-person, hands-on, let’s-make-a-mess activities make my life complete.
I’ve attended workshops for silk dyeing, letterpress and earlier this summer I had the chance to dive into the world of calligraphy. I briefly attempted calligraphy at the start of this year, but I was totally winging it. At one point thought I broke my nib when in actuality it was doing exactly what it was supposed to. I decided a more formal approach was perhaps in order if I wanted to learn the art of lettering.
The class was taught at the new 104 st gem, Habitat Ect. and was lead by Justine Ma. I had been following Justine on social media after first spotting her beautiful hand-lettering work at the Royal Bison last winter. One day she posted on Instagram that she would be offering her first-ever workshop. I jumped on that as fast as possible but I was already too late, it was full. Luckily a second date was added a few days later and I was in!
When I arrived at the space (20 minutes early like a keener) I was so delighted! Justine had tables set and beautifully decorated, with assigned seats at which she had thoughtfully provided personalized blocks and water bottles for everyone attending. Also included was all the paper, ink and nibs we needed to get ourselves started on our lettering journeys.
There were 12 ladies at this two hour workshop, and although we were excited and giddy to learn, once the ink pots opened the room was full of concentrated silence. Justine walked us through some basic techniques to put the pen to paper and then just let us experiment and create.
It was brilliant to watch the various learning styles in the room. Some people simply wrote the alphabet over and over, perfecting each letter as they went, others picked some key phrases to repeat. I admittedly get bored easily so once I understood my ink flow, I wrote whatever random words popped into my head as we went along. I got a few odd looks for writing ‘peanut butter’…’pickles’…’confetti’…’party hats’…’popcorn’… but I’m gonna say that the best way to learn how to style words is trying different words to see how they look. Ha.
I’ve always had a bit of an interest in hand-lettering and this workshop sent me into full obsession mode. I’ve filled multiple notebook pages with more random words and am constantly looking for excuses to write on things. Luckily this hobby doesn’t require a huge time or space commitment so I can pick it up here and there when I am able. Which is the best kind of side hobby to have, don’t you think?
Be sure to follow Justine’s social media pages as she will announce future dates for this amazing workshop so you can get in on this!