Calligraphy is officially a thing. You can’t move on Pinterest or Instagram for a beautifully inked quote. Quill London started two years ago first as a stationery shop before expanding to modern calligraphy classes to fill the gap to learn how to make your own beautiful invites/cards/Instagram-worthy quotes. Calligraphy has come a long way since the stiff, conservative lettering I knew at school, and towards the end of the two and a half hours I really felt like I was making art in the class, not just copying someone else’s lettering.
Quill does classes across London and now in Brighton and they sell out quick. I arrived at MADE in Brighton to piles of free cake, a free hot drink and a beautiful pack of paper, ink and a quill to get me started (and keep afterwards). My idea of a dreamy Saturday afternoon: art and cake.
We began by learning how to create thick and thin brush strokes, before moving onto lines, shapes, lettering and finally joined up lettering aka massacring the names of your loved ones. It is all a lot harder than it looks.
Our teacher was Julia, aka @lettersbyjulia on Instagram and she led the class brilliantly. Just over two years ago she was sat in exactly the same beginner’s class, and now she’s a full time, freelance calligrapher, stationer and Quill class tutor. She got the bug after her first class and never looked back. If that’s not motivation to get your head down and work on those lower case ‘Rs’ (the hardest ones, I found) I don’t know what is. She was funny and very honest, telling us when our posture had slipped (this skews your lettering) or when we were joining our letters wrong. I found her so inspiring and would love to take another class with her. Also, I can’t tell you how beautiful her writing is!
It was also the perfect way to unwind. And for me, I find any kind of art and craft really good for my tendency to not be OK if things aren’t perfect. When you’re learning a new skill, you will make mistakes, you will spill ink or drop a knitting stitch or do a really bad self-portrait. What matters is that you carry on and work on your technique. My usual form is to get frustrated and Julia admitted she has had to help people’s self-esteem in classes when their first pieces don’t look insta-worthy. She was joking a little, but it’s good to know I’m not alone in being super hard on myself even in a relaxing Saturday afternoon class.
They do beginners, improvers and brush classes and I hope, once I’ve practised a bit like Julia I might be good enough to head back for an Improvers class.
Look out Brighton stationers, I will be buying paper and ink by the truckload!
You can find the Quill class I took here.
*I was not sponsored to write this, I paid for the class myself and thought you might like to do one too 🙂