For the longest time, I would tell others, “I do calligraphy”. Recently, I made the switch to, “I am a calligrapher”. Eep!
It’s been a little over a year since I started doing calligraphy (really, already?) and it is crazy cool to see how much I’ve improved (I’d like to think my photography skill has improved too, between those two pictures!). That’s why I’m more confidently able to call myself a calligrapher now. I can stand behind the work that I do and say yes, I am the calligrapher behind this work.
Confidence comes with practice
I used to always tell people tentatively that I like to draw and doodle letters. I like to create calligraphy-ish work. Sometimes I even sold it? But the more I did, the more confident I felt! Yes, I do calligraphy! Wait, no, I not only do calligraphy, I am a calligrapher. It’s the same struggle that artists and designers feel. Or anyone, really. At what point do you stop saying that you are a student in xyz, and say instead that you are an xyz-er?
Some people will say that it’s after they’ve been paid for their first job. Some people will say it’s when they get recognition. Some people say it’s as soon as you begin. I think there’s some truth to all of those points — the one thing that’s in common is confidence. Keep practicing your craft, and build your confidence. Whenever you feel confident enough to claim your title, it’s there for you. So I’m claiming mine — I am a calligrapher! And the more I say it, the more comfortable it will feel.
Confidence comes with experience
The more calligraphy I do, the more comfortable I am with telling people, “I am a calligrapher”. I’ve created a line of calligraphy greeting cards, sold custom products with calligraphy and lettering designs, designed logos for people, and even taught a mini-workshop at the end of last year. These are all small steps. But every step is an important part of the overall journey, and I am grateful for all the opportunities and experiences that I have been given in this journey so far.
So, thank you for joining me on my journey! I am seriously so appreciative that you’ve given me the time of day and that you are even mildly interested in my calligraphy journey.
Cheers to more experience building opportunities in the coming year!