So you’d like to get started with calligraphy?

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I was well into my Arabic calligraphy journey when I came across Instagram videos on my explore page with all the flourishing glory of modern calligraphy. It’s safe to say I spent a good few hours scrolling Instagram watching every calligraphy video there was going for a few weeks, I was absolutely obsessed, I found the whole thing so therapeutic with the delicate lettering and all the flourishing. I had been doing Arabic calligraphy for about 5 years by then and although I quickly realised there wasn’t a big community of people in the UK offering modern calligraphy workshops at the time, I found a place that did and to my luck, it was local to me too! (The company has sadly shut up shop since). Unfortunately the workshops was completely booked out for months every time I checked in nevertheless I would set a weekly reminder (yes, really!) to refresh the workshop page to see if there had been any cancellations, an extra seat or anything new had come up until I FINALLY got a place in May 2017 which is when my Modern Calligraphy joinery started!

Now I remember how overwhelming it was when I first started out, with all the different size nibs and different penholders, oblique etc and how one of the first pieces of advice I was give, and I am now here to tell you – avoid the kits you can find in the big stores! Compiling your own kit is going to make it so much easier for you and last you a whole lot longer too. I wanted to write up this blogpost to point you in the right direction. I know when Lockdown 1.0 happened and I introduced starter kits they literally sold out in the first few days and I don’t have a team around me, so I didn’t restock, however with lockdown 3.0 with no end in sight (let’s not talk about all the rumours, I’m just sitting right now) if there were any of you still looking to get into calligraphy, here’s a little point in the right direction of the bits you’ll need; 

Speedball penholder – this universal penholder is easy grip, works for both left and right handed people and is made from plastic so easy to clean. It holds most types of nibs and it is still the one I use today. You can click on the link to purchase.

 

 

 

 

Nikko G Nib – the Japanese nib. My favourite, and again one that I use for all my projects to this day. I provide this as part of my kits for all my 1:1s and workshops and is included in my own starter kits. It’s super smooth and quite flexible and allows for fairly thick and quite thin lines. This nib is super inexpensive too. You can click on the named header for the link. Click here to purchase.

Lastly, ink. This one might depend on what you’re after, whether you’re choosing a certain colour palette or ink type – you’ll need to add ink to your starter kit order. My go-to to use for my workshops and my own work is the Winsor Newton black Indian ink. It’s fast drying and the pigmentation strength is opaque. Be careful though as once it stains, it’s  sticking around. Click here to purchase.

Now for super beginners and just getting the hang of things – this is all you’ll really need. However, some things you might want to pick up include coloured inks, Finetec palettes and the Rhodia pads. Remember to use smooth but slightly thicker paper for Modern calligraphy too for best effect. If you’re interested in a part 2 of this blog post where I can talk about the fancier materials, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Happy lettering!

BLACK FRIDAY – My Top Picks

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Black Friday is here and if you’re reading this post it’s probably because you saw my Instagram story earlier where I asked if you guys would be interested in my Art related picks for Black Friday or if you were completely done with the never-ending emails we have been receiving for weeks now. (I know I am!). So, that’s what I’m doing this year. I’ll be compiling the best discounts, in my opinion, from all of the art/stationery stores we all know and love.

For all your Art materials – whether you’re a pro or just after some crafting goodies, check out Cass Art HERE. Use code OFFER20

For all things calligraphy and my absolute go to online store with everything you need from nibs, inks, paper plus so much more check out Scribblers Calligraphy HERE*. Use code bfd2020

The most incredible stationery store, which also sells an array of gorgeous inks and ink palettes visit Quill London HERE – would also highly recommend you checking out their incredible store in Marylebone once lockdown is over too! – I purchase all my stationery bits from here and purchase my planner from Quill every year. Use code BLACKFRI15

Next up – Hobbycraft, if you’ve ever visited one you’ll know it’s like falling into crafting/stationery/art etc heaven, options are limitless, you walk away with way more than you intended to ever buy and all at a fraction of the price – well beyond this, they’re offering black friday deals too. Find it HERE.

For you Pro Artists, check out my new favourite store! They have all the materials from canvases and paints to graphics and illustration tools. Check them out HERE.

Lastly, probably the one I’m most excited about – Papier, home of all things to do with personalised stationery and custom notebooks are offering 20% off site wide. Click HERE to check their range of gorgeous notebooks.
That’s all from me. If you guys have any art/crafts or stationery Black Friday suggestions please do leave them in the comments below, looking forward to seeing all your purchases!

Workshops in our new normal

Hi and welcome back to my blog!

I hope you are all safe and as well as you can be considering we are coming out of the other end of the weirdest times we may have ever experienced. I thought I’d write up this blog post to catch you up on what I’ve been up to in the past few months and how going forward I’ll be easing back into our (new) normal.

Pre-lockdown and what seem like many lifetimes ago I would plan a workshop *atleast* quarterly to create and build on a little community of calligraphy lovers, learners and improvers, I had a workshop pre-planned for April so was very disappointing when I couldn’t go ahead with it due to quickly going into lockdown in March.

Since I was unable to run the session I looked into alternatives to my usual group workshops. I quickly jumped in and learnt the basics of Adobe Illustrator so I could make Arabic and Modern Calligraphy PDF workbooks, I figured if this was a time I was going to use to get back into creative fun, many of you would too. They have been super popular and I’m super happy I spent the first few weeks of lockdown learning and working all hours to get this done. More details below.

I know most of you would have clicked on this blog post to find out about what I’m offering as well as pricing information. I’ve written up all that I’m offering and some information about it too just below, for any other questions just get in contact and I’d be happy to answer any queries!


Workbooks

– Modern Calligraphy Workbook (PDF) – £10.00
– Arabic Calligraphy Workbook (PDF) – £5.00
Email or DM to order.

Zoom Sessions
– Zoom session (Individual) – Please get in touch for a personalised quote depending on session duration and what skills you already have.
– Zoom Session (Group) – With most people still working from home I have been booked for a couple of team activity days where colleagues have come together to learn calligraphy. I’ve also been booked by bridal parties as a fun activity for the bride to do with her bridesmaids before her big day! – Get in touch for a personalised quote depending on your party size.

In person workshops
– 1-1 Modern Calligraphy sessions are back! Following social distancing rules I can now go ahead and book in 1-1 calligraphy sessions. All materials provided. I travel to you and we spend two hours learning calligraphy with you and your abilities as our focus. I even treat you a coffee and refreshments!
– Group Workshops – TBC – I’ve got in touch with my usual workshop venue to see how we can go about this. I will keep you all updated. Of course hand sanitiser, social distancing, masks etc will all be used.

Remember you can also purchase most of your calligraphy materials from this online store, Scribblers Calligraphy, Aff link* – they have a great selection and really fast delivery.

Ramadan Daily Planner

As we quickly approach Ramadan (7 days to go at the time of writing this! Insha’Allah!) and with the recent announcement of the UK lockdown being extended by at least a further 3 weeks I thought now might be a good time to perhaps think of ways to add some structure to our lives.

If you follow me over on Instagram you’ll know that I am obsessed with all things productivity and organisation, so for this Ramadan, considering most of us aren’t following our usual structure I thought I would create free-to-download print-out PDF worksheets/planners to help you structure and organise your Ramadan. I asked on Instagram stories poll if you guys would be interested and a huge 98% answered with a big yes!
With this, can track things from duas to good deeds. I have created two ever so slightly different designs, as mentioned downloadable for free! All I ask is if you could leave me a little comment at the bottom of this post.

Ramadan Planner One: Ramadan Planner
Ramadan Planner Two: Ramadan Planner 2

I would love to see how you use them so please don’t forget to tag me @lucyarts1, #lucyartsdailyplanner or simply send me your pictures via DM.

Arabic Calligraphy Workbook

Hi guys,

During these testing times, I thought we could do with a little something to lift our spirits! With so much uncertainty and perhaps a lot more free time than we would normally have I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to start a new hobby!

Attached you’ll find my new Lucy Arts Workbook.

This is a basic introductory level workbook focusing on the Arabic Alphabet – you’ll need a chisel tip pen to use alongside this – I would recommend the Edding 1255 Calligraphy pen which can be found here

Please leave me a comment if you do download the PDF. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Lucy 🙂

UPDATE: The free PDF was available for a short period. It is now available to purchase for £5.00

My favourites from Edding

This post contains *gifted items.

It’s been a while since I last made an appearance here on the blog but I thought I’d write up a post all about my favourite bits from one of my favourite stationery brands, Edding UK.

A lot of my DMs include messages from a number of my followers requesting help, advice and questions regarding the materials I use and in particular, what pens I use, and whilst I’ve done a lot of trial and error you guys can skip all that and go ahead and start with your masterpieces without all the faff beforehand.

One of my favourite brands for stationery and to use on my pieces, whether on canvas or card, are from Edding UK. They provide a huge range of items and I love that they have bits specifically for us calligraphers!
In this blog post I’ve curated some of my favourite pieces I have found so far;

  1. Edding 1255 Calligraphy Pen (link here)

My go-to pen for all my beginner’s Arabic calligraphy workshops – with the perfect flat edged nib it’s the perfect tool for every beginner as its replicates the traditional Qalam, without the fuss of ink etc. This easy to use pen helps to create the same strokes you would achieve with traditional materials and can aid in getting your hand used to quite a different nib before venturing out into other materials.

2. Edding 1200 Metallic Colour Pen (link here)

The tip, colour selection and colour pay off all contribute to helping this set make it’s way into this post. The pigmentation of these are absolutely fabulous. They show up vibrantly on almost any surface and I have used these for many events where I am invited into stores but might not know what surface I’ll be working one, (I’ve done chopping board personalisation to mugs) and I always take these along with me as I know I can trust they’ll work perfectly!

3. Edding Paint Markers (link here)

I cannot rave about these enough – they provide the pigmentation and colour pay off of paints yet come with the ease and precision of an everyday pen making it easy to see why they’ve been included in this post. They also come in a range of colours but my personal are the black and white so I can use on any surface.

4. Edding Fineliners (link here)

Lastly the Edding fineliners – works from your Bullet Journal to precise mark making on canvas or card. They come in tip sizes as small as 0.2mm and in a range of colours too.

I hope you enjoyed this post – let me know if you purchase anything from the brand, I’d love to see so leave me a comment below if you can.

Lucy 🙂


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Where to…Art supplies in London

Today I thought I’d share some insight on where I do all my art materials shopping because over the years I’ve come across some real gems in and around Central London.

First up, my favourite, Cowling & Wilcox. With branches all around London it’

s easily accessible and holds everything from canvases to arts and crafts.

They have amazing seasonal sales with brilliant discounts and I have found them to be my go-to when they have their ‘Canvas Madness’ sale on with up to 80% off!

I’m lucky enough to have had one open up LITERALLY 3 minutes away from me a couple of years ago and so naturally its become my go – to art store.

Stores are dotted around;

  • Highbury (North London)
  • Shoreditch (East London)
  • Camberwell (South London
  •         Next, Atlantis Art Materials, known for being the UK’s biggest Art store. With a huge range of materials in a warehouse style building. I’ve followed them around 3 different locations. From Brick Lane, East London to Old street, Central London which I loved as it was very local to me. and they have now found a new home in London Fields, back in East London – which is a out of the way for me so sadly not as accessible as before but I still make the trip down when I’m in need of a big canvas replenishment.
    You can find Atlantis on Bayford Street, E8.

    Another one of my favourites is Cass Art, this incredible 3 floor flagship store is located in Angel, Islington but with other stores also dotted around London too.
    Stores include;

  • Charing Cross
  • Soho
  • Kensington
  • Kingston
    HampsteadPacked full of everything and anything you could ever need in an Art store. A floor dedicated to canvases, paper stock, portfolio-ing and a little work area too! The ground floor holds all the art materials you could ever need! From Gouache to Acrylic paints and watercolour to a whole section dedicated to calligraphy and pens! The basement floor includes all things Arts & Crafts so if you’ve got kids – this floor is your go to! They also have a little space called…’The Space!’ where there are regular workshops hosted, exhibitions and just a lovely little meet up space!

    That’s the round up for today! I would love to hear your thoughts below and if you have any suggestions for what you’d like the next blogpost to be about – I’d love to hear from you.

Re-introducing the art of handwriting…

If you’re like me and appreciate a handwritten note, card, letter over a text or email then you might also appreciate my new found love (*obsession*) of Modern Calligraphy and hand lettering.

I absolutely love technology and all that comes with it, the convenience, the opportuneness and ease however there’s nothing quite like receiving a handwritten letter or card, I’m also a HUGE fan of anything personalised so you can imagine when I first discovered Modern Calligraphy was a *thing* and a there was a huge community and an online family who shared all of these little obsessions with me I jumped at the chance to learn the skill.

Much like many people I now teach (more of that later) I had absolutely no reason to want to learn this form of calligraphy – all I knew was I wanted to learn it and had no intention of doing anything else with it. I was finally able to enrol on to one of the courses after a very long wait and as soon as I attended that class in June 2017 I knew this was something I wanted to further develop. The lovely lady that taught us began by telling us she had started off as one of us – a student, no particular reason as to why she was doing the class but interested enough to give it a try – two years later she was running the classes and was a freelance calligrapher doing pretty handwriting for a living!! This, as you can imagine, was ridiculously motivating and I was in awe.

As you know I already had a calligraphy business concentrating on all aspects of Arabic Calligraphy, i then had a thought about merging the two worlds of calligraphy together but ultimately decided against it, thus, LettersByLucy was born!