I was the kid filling out every form I could get my hands on. Customs documents? Bring it. My older sister’s college applications? Hand ‘em over. I adored writing by hand and not just for the sake of making words look pretty or interesting. It was the simple act of writing that brought me pleasure and calm. And it still does. Writing by hand requires just enough focus that it allows my mind to rest in a meditative state. Or if I’m working on content or new ideas, it helps me concentrate and avoid distraction. Writing artfully with calligraphy enhances that for me since I am making creative decisions as I work. Those decisions we get to make as we form each word are also a thrill for me. Each letter doesn’t have to be exactly the same time, in each instance. It’s that freedom and liberty as I write to modify or experiment that makes calligraphy so enjoyable for me. Pen on paper carries so much emotion and conveys a tangible human touch. That is what makes handwritten work so undeniable and draws such a response from the observer or recipient. It’s what keeps dinner on my table, and overpriced coffee money in my pocket. :) I love experimenting with form and tools to influence the mood of my handwritten work.
How I get things done
My approach is digital + analog and I’m extremely reliant on both. Todoist is my tool of choice for complex to-do tracking, organized by each client project or Paperfinger focus area (Workshops, Project Management, Finances, etc.). I couple that with a passionate dedication to this grid calendar (that is also a giant post-it pad): I maintain it in pencil to move things around as needed and like to keep it filled in about a month in advance. These are made by JSTORY, a South Korean stationery line, and I’m terrified that I can no longer find this particular version online but they do make this set of blank monthly grids that could do the trick.
Make your lists look their best with these three tips
1) Slant Keep an eye on the downstrokes as you draw and see if they are parallel to the previous downstroke. This will help you maintain a consistent look to your writing, be it clean caps or a curvaceous script. 2) A good pen on the right page Don’t disregard the pairing of your pen to paper. Some pens are a dream on certain paper stocks, and some are a nightmare. Some tried and true favorites of mine include: Sakura Micron PenLe PenSakura Gelly Roll PenNikko G Nib w/ Speedball Holder & Best Bottle Sumi InkMnemoysyne NotebooksHAY Notebooks3) Room to move Vertical space is essential for me to do my best work. Allow your forearm to rest on the table and beware of writing towards the bottom of the page where your hand will start getting locked in near your ribs. I write much better at the top of a page! So slide your page or notebook forward on the desk and give yourself plenty of room. —————————
Bryn Chernoff started her calligraphy studio Paperfinger out of a true love for writing by hand. Paperfinger provides modern, hand-drawn calligraphy and illustration for everything from weddings and events to graphic design projects, keepsakes, commercial and custom work.