GILLOTT 404 NIB::GOOD FOR BEGINNERS?

The nib is spelled Gillott with two ‘t’s’ but Gillot was a French painter so maybe I wanted to write Claude Gillot’s surname with a Gilott nib for this sample, we will never know…I bought this nib (the Gillott 404) because it was recommended as a good nib for beginners. This is where I suck in my breath and tsk, tsk.  It’s a nice nib and you could technically make much thinner hairlines, but this nib is a bit tricky.  I found this could get messy really fast, on the upside if you wanted to make a splotchy lettered piece then this could be a good choice.  I had a hard time with skipping and running out of ink fairly quickly, so I would have to dip a lot (thus more margin for splotchy errors).  As you can see above, I had a very heavy hand and created something a lot chunkier than I would have liked. One of the tips I learned that you don’t find in a lot of books is to take a match to your new nib tip + middle, this burns off the lacquer that is put on at the factory to prevent the nib from rusting.  If you don’t burn or clean the nib (some suggest using a toothbrush), than the ink doesn’t stay in the well (this little well thing is pretty close to magic btw). Another tip that I have been using is cleaning my nibs with unscented baby wipes. It’s SO easy, this is how I clean my rubberstamps as well, no mess and I don’t have to run downstairs to wash them and then  lose them in our sink drain!  If you want to see a couple of my current favorite nibs visit this post.

ZEBRA G NIBS:: BEAUTIFUL HAIRLINE STROKES

One of the hardest things to navigate in hand lettering seems to be what nibs to choose. The most frequent answer to my questions have been answered with, “it depends on the person”. I understand the gist of that sentiment, because each person holds the pen holder with a different weight and it does depend on many variables, but I still wish someone would give me one concrete suggestions. I am hoping that maybe my experience can at least guide you in the right direction. I am going to pop in with a few pen nibs that I have tried out. My current two favorites are both Japanese nibs, the Nikko G and the Zebra G (they are very similar to each other so if you are having a hard time finding one, try the other). The sample above is with the Zebra G, I love that it can make such beautiful hairline strokes. In calligraphy they refer to nibs as being stiff or flexible (and variations in between). For beginners it seems that a stiffer nib is easier to manipulate. One of the things I really like about this nib is that it is so smooth and doesn’t skip, you can have a heavier hand (like I do). The Zebra G’s first got popular with Manga artists and have worked their way into a lot of modern calligraphers tool boxes. When I posted a sample image on Instagram two of my fave lettering artists immediately commented that the Zebra G’s were their favorites.  I think starting a lettering practice with either the Nikko G or Zebra G will be a great start and give you a little confidence in your abilities.  Earlier I mentioned variables with nibs and you can’t even believe how many subtle nuances can change your lettering outcome such as type of ink, paper, even humidity.  Don’t give up, change it up! I’ll be back later with more samples and nib suggestions. I am no expert, but if you have questions please let me know.

P.S. I almost forgot! I was on Brooklyn Limestone sharing a crazy easy + cool no sew bed skirt D.I.Y.. come visit!

6 REALISTIC CALLIGRAPHY FONTS

There are a ton of beautiful script fonts available but I wanted to try to isolate some of the new calligraphy fonts that feel more close to a ‘real’ hand. I chose a selection from classic & sophisticated to the more casual and even girly.  A lot of these font designers have multiple offerings that may entice you as well. I love fonts, but I do try to keep my font collections to a minimum, too many fonts can slow a computer down and also I am not known for being able to make a quick decision. These are not free fonts, they will take an investment, but I really feel like they are worth it. The bottom one is from the font house Emily Lime a newcomer to the scene, I love everything she is doing and from what I am seeing on the interwebs it seems like a lot of designers feel the same way.
From top to bottom:
I have mentioned my friends at Magpie Paperworks prior, but it’s worth having another easy to access link for you here to buy their beautiful calligraphy fonts.
P.S. Calligraphy fonts will never replace the beauty of a hand-lettered piece, but I know not everyone has the time + inclination to letter themselves and also you may not have the budget to hire a calligrapher so these fonts are beautiful alternatives.

ARTIST SABINE::PICK ME

I have had the image of the beautiful model with Italian script floating across it on my inspiration board for two moves, basically for-like-ever. I just love the effortless hand; loose, sophisticated and uncontrived. I first found the image on a Tumblr blog (where you can usually find no information about content source) and I had NO idea who it was, then to my complete and utter delight the genius behind the creation left a comment here. Yes, you read that right, she left a comment here, on this little blog and I was able to finally give her the kudos she deserves. Not that she needs my kudos as luxury companies such as Audi and Collette Dinnegan have already hired her hand for their projects.  Sabine, of Pick Me an Australian based company is the artist and I just love it all.  I couldn’t find much about her from her site, but I now know she has done magazine covers (wow) and the name Sabine is perfect for someone with such artistic inclinations, doesn’t it just sound like the person behind the name should be doing something wildly creative? I hope you like this find, you can visit her site here (a Paper & Ideas Studio) and see a bit more of her work. I shall be back later with more lettering tips and the like so stay tuned…
On a more somber note, it is 9-11 today, which always brings back a traumatic time in my life (as it does for many). It was a turning point that was forced upon me, but really set the ball in motion of who I am today and how my life has been lived and turned out thus far.  As the great Winston Churchill has been quoted as saying, “If you are going through hell–keep going”.  I agree. If anyone reading this is going through a dark time, just know it is temporary, it will pass and you will come out the other end a better person, even if it doesn’t seem like it right now.  My wish for you today is to have a beautiful, wonderful and unforgettable day filled with possibility, love and laughter (lots and lots of laughter).

LETTERING LOVE

Oh, what a week this is going to be for me-BUSY!  I decided since it will be such a whirlwind week that I would dedicate this entire week to lettering (thus getting myself a bit organized).  I am getting SO many emails with specific questions and I can’t answer everyone individually (although I would love to). I will be covering dip pen nibs that I have been using, books, resources, new to me lettering artists, favorite calligraphy/hand lettering fonts and of course some downloads.  I hope you enjoy this week and it answers some of your many questions.  I will be back to my usual chaotic blog next week!