Looking for an offbeat career? How about Calligraphy?
For the uninitiated, calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing. With the help of various pens, quills, nibs and mediums, the artist can express herself and leave a unique impression by writing words in stylish and beautiful ways.
Calligraphers can do wonders with their skills – impart a touch of class to written work and make even the most basic words look interesting!
How to make a Career in Calligraphy:
There is literally a wide palette of services available for a good calligrapher. From designing greeting cards, invitations, announcements, certificates, business cards, menus and decorative books to designing logos, monograms, posters, art prints, titles of magazines and even films. Don’t forget to add the doodle books that are hugely popular these days. They are all handiwork of good calligraphers.
On a wider scale, even paintings, maps, cut stone inscriptions, ceramics, memorial documents and handmade presentations are all part of the job for a calligrapher. Once you have mastered the art, the sky is your canvas. You could just do niche work like addressing envelopes or can spread a good letter by conducting calligraphy classes and workshops.
You can even create beautiful artwork and merchandise like T-shirts etc for your own pop-up shops. And, if it still doesn’t work for you, how about designing for tattoo artists?
Good things about the job:
You can choose your work hours. You can work part-time, freelance, start your own business, or do only private commissions.
Let’s face it, everyone needs a good hand. And you could obtain full or part-time or work-from-home employment in printing shops, greeting card companies, publishing houses and wedding planners!
Many argue that calligraphy is a dying art what with the almost ubiquitous use of computers and digital media today. But noted calligrapher and graphic designer, Rohan Rawat, argues: “Calligraphy has existed for centuries, but is relevant even today. It has a rich heritage, yet is being adapted to the digital media as well”.* Calligraphers today are working with different mediums (paper, digital, merchandise), colors and are using designing software too.
Calligraphy now forms an integral part of various other fields like design, graphics and typography. Typeface (font) design, desktop wallpapers, manuscript design, hoarding design, signboards, packaging design, illustrations, fine arts, props and moving images for films, television and advertisements use calligraphy for both pen-based and computer-based variations. To add more spice to it, calligraphy is frequently being integrated into the fields of fashion and interior designing too.
Are you scripted for it?
To be a calligrapher, you need to have an artistic mind and passion for creating. You must have an eye for details, and a vivid imagination. An aesthetic sense and artistic balance is necessary. While most of these skills can be cultivated over time, they are also partially innate. You must be patient and persistent to hone and master this skill.
Like any other skill, practice and determination will help you script your future in calligraphy.
World-renowned calligrapher and master of modern calligraphy, Achyut Palav, elaborates, “If you are interested in a creatively fulfilling career, have an artistic flair and don’t want to work at a regular 9-to-5 job, a career as a calligrapher is for you!”*
Making a Mark in the field
While there are some university-recognized calligraphy courses in India, Your best bet is to opt for training offered by some established artists, ranging from a few weeks to a few months. Take a look at free resources available online. The essence of a good calligrapher is practice, practice and more practice. So be ready to create your own portfolio over time.
Entering into a professional organization once you have finished the course helps firm up your work base. You can look out for online and distance learning courses too, where you can watch demonstrations by tutors, and scan your work for them. You could also take the help of instruction books and calligraphy writing kits available, but the best way out is to get hold of a good tutor whether online or offline.
You need not have a fine arts degree for calligraphy, however, a background in arts does help.
With the growing demand for calligraphers, this is a well-paying career. But earnings are bound to vary depending on the art form and project commissions.
As Richard Tuttle, publications director for the Association for the Calligraphic Arts (an international association promoting calligraphy) remarks, “Payment can range from ten dollars for making a little bookmark to many thousands of dollars for creating a one-of-a-kind art piece!”
So, there is a long way to go as you bring your letters alive – the only limit is your imagination! As QWEEN Mentor Shipra Malhotra Calligraphy Professional, author of the book “ Calligraphy made easy” and rightly puts it- “Calligraphy courses makes the journey with little baby steps to begin culminating into strong professional strides”