For In-Depth this year, I have decided to learn calligraphy. Calligraphy is writing, but done as aesthetically as possible, to the point that it is considered an art form. This type of writing was used for very important documents in the past but is now mostly used for pure aesthetics. Due to this, calligraphy is dropping in popularity with the population, because there isn’t much use for it. However, science has contradicted this, showing that there is a lot of self-benefit that a person can gain from partaking in calligraphy. Calligraphy is a very calming art form, as it is known to slow down heart rate and raise skin temperature, which is also how meditation commonly affects individuals. It has also been proven that it increases cognitive function and concentration, due to the large amounts of concentration needed for a perfect outcome.
I was very excited about these health benefits when I heard of them because I have always been very interested in trying calligraphy. I realized this just as In-Depth was coming up, and thought it was the perfect fit for this project. It would be the perfect opportunity to have some relaxing time in the day to unwind and create something I would like. After handing in my In-Depth proposal, I immediately got to researching the different materials needed for the project. I have learned that there are different types of pen ink, each has different properties and qualities. I learned about different pieces of paper, which have different amounts of ink tolerance: on some, the ink soaks into the paper and spreads causing unpleasant smudges, but on higher quality paper the ink does not bleed through or soak as much. Lastly, and most importantly, I have learned about the most important tool, the pen. There are different types of pens, but most are comprised of a nib and a nib holder. The nib is the part that is dipped into the ink, usually made from metal. Some are called wedge or italic nibs, which are designed for gothic fonts, and some are called flex nibs, which are made more for handwriting, with a wider line created when more pressure is applied. The nib holder, made of wood or plastic, holds the nib and is the part that you hold when writing, kind of like the body of a pen.
I have not had much luck finding a mentor yet. However, I have sent many emails to different calligraphy studios in Vancouver, introducing who I am, what I am seeking to accomplish in my project and asking for a mentorship position. Hopefully I will get a response soon.