I might have stated once or twice before in my writing that I was a bit of a nerd when I was growing up. I was definitely not a “cool” teenager – nor am I a cool adult. If the category existed, someone might have labeled me a “nerdy-jock” because I was athletic but also focused on academic achievement. A lot of reading and studying balanced the sports I played, and practiced for hours, and I participated in other extra-curricular activities that “cool kids” would never join like band, public speaking, debating, and creative writing. In some of the spare time I had, I explored other solitary creative pursuits like writing poetry, drawing, and calligraphy.
I’m not sure what sparked my interest in calligraphy, but I do remember buying my first kit that had a pen with varying nib sizes and dark blue ink cartridges. I used to sit in my room practicing how to write with that pen for hours on end. I sometimes wrote my poetry with it to give it a unique and slightly aged look. I gave copies of my poems, written on coloured paper in calligraphy, to my friends and family as gifts. Sometimes my family would ask me to use my “fancy writing” to write up tags on presents or cards. Unfortunately, like so many of the creative things I did when I was younger, calligraphy fell off the list of things I enjoyed doing.
Lately, as I’ve been reconnecting with my creative self, my interest in typography – the design of lettering and typeface, which for me includes calligraphy, has resurfaced. Countless tutorials are available online that teach the basics of lettering from drawing simple lines and shapes to ornate Gothic fonts. It’s wonderful to see the broad range of resources available to anyone interested in typography as a hobby or on a professional level. It’s even more wonderful to know that something I might have been laughed at for having an interest in as a teenager now has a cool factor.
One of the people making calligraphy cool is Seb Lester. He is an English artist, type designer, and calligrapher. Videos of his work have gone viral. A few nights ago, while I was unable to sleep – again, I stumbled upon one of those videos that I had seen before but never paid attention to who the artist was or the significance of how he is exposing droves of people all over the world to an old art form in such an interesting way. The fascinating thing about his work is that he is able to create beautiful works with incredible precision without any specialized tools. He relies on the steadiness of his hands and his pens. The video below is a quick look at his talent for reproducing some of the most recognizable logos in the world.
Seb Lester – Hand Drawn Logos
Seb Lester has more than one million fans across social media. I’m one of them now. In a few weeks, I’ll also be the proud owner of one of his stunning prints, titled ‘First Time Ever’; and I’ll never think of my love for calligraphy as uncool ever again.
Echosmith – Cool Kids