What are some of your favorite supplies?
I’m pretty workaday when it comes to supplies and don’t do a ton of experimentation. You can find the supplies I use on my workshops page: Nikko G, Moon Palace Sumi ink, Dr. Martin’s Bleed Proof White. Canson Pro Layout Marker. What I am much more interested in is experimenting on different surfaces and with different materials. In London we calligraphed on leaves and the glass of vintage butterfly boxes. I love working with fabric and vinyl decals. And then there are the tattoos of course.
I may be wrong about this but someone mentioned you may be left-handed? If so, any tips for lefties?
It’s true– I am left handed. After teaching many workshops one thing I’ve noticed, with left handed calligraphers specifically, but for everyone more generally is that ergonomics is the single biggest reason people feel frustrated, especially when they first start out. The angle of everything matters: pen nib, holder, paper, wrist, torso, shoulders, hips, thigh, chair seat. Most of my teaching comes down to helping each student identify the angle for all of these things that feels best to them. You will often find me adjusting elbows and crawling under the table to move the legs of a chair. The basic rule of thumb is all of these angles should be as aligned and harmonious as possible. You can’t have your paper at a 55 degree angle but your legs at 15 degree angle and your shoulders at a 100 degree angle. My biggest tip for all calligraphers is to play around with the angles of all of these things and notice when you are contorting your body. Every awkward angle reverberates in your work. For left handed calligraphers they often need to move the paper practically perpendicular to their hand. Here’s a video of me at work as an example.