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About a month ago, we were given the opportunity to
vandalize paint the glass panels of The Alphabet Press’ studio in SS2, Petaling Jaya. The idea came in when we were trying to figure out what we can do to design the studio for an upcoming newspaper photoshoot. It’s my first time doing glass murals, and I had so much fun doing it.
– White water-based paint
– Brushes (Regular paint brushes or waterbrush)
– Manila Paper
– Glass Cleaner
– Rugs/Paper Towels
There are three glass panels on the studio so Inez and I decided to each write a quote, then “KLigraphy” on the center panel. Unlike wall panels, we can’t just use pencils for the outline. We started by doing drafts on a manila paper using Sharpies and taped them on the other side of the glass so we have a guide while doing the actual painting. While the medium we used is forgiving enough, we still wanted to finish everything with the least rework required so we opted for the safer way to do it. When you’re dealing with paint and a property you don’t own, freehand isn’t always the best way to go.
Before we started painting, we cleaned the panels using a Glass Cleaner just to get rid of all the dusts cos those stubborn dirt might make the painting job more challenging.
I used a regular brush which I trimmed off using scissors. I did it so it’ll be easier to make thin strokes but it wasn’t too helpful. I then went on and used a Pilot Waterbrush pen and it worked like a charm! The paint is water-based so I wasn’t too concerned about it damaging the brush pen. The only downside to using brush pen is that you have smaller coverage, but alas it did the job!
We had to make two to three coatings because the paint thins out when applied using a detailed brush. For my first coating, I thinned out the paint by adding water to it. I didn’t want it to be too opaque so if I made mistakes, it’ll be easier to wash it off. I gave it 15 minutes to dry before doing the second coat. For the second pass, I used the paint right out of the can because I needed it to be as opaque as possible.
I was praying for a rain-free afternoon because I was afraid that since we used a water-based paint, the rain might wash it away. And how lucky am I that the rain started to pour WHILE we were painting. Thanks for that, ladyluck. Anyway, here’s the final output:
If you happen to pass by SS2/24, you might catch a glimpse of it.
You see, I’ve always had a penchant for anything handmade or hand-lettered, thanks to my Mum who introduced me to the wonderful world of DIY and lettering at an early age. She always taught me that if you can’t find something you like (a home décor, a Christmas ornament, a greeting card, a scrapbook, or a lamp) in a store, then just go make one yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be what you want it to be. During those days, my Mum was my very own Pinterest.
Growing up, I always loved writing. Just imagine a girl’s bedroom with random song lyrics and quotes written on the wall using fine-tip markers. I remember writing things down a lot even when everything is being done by tapping and typing. In school, my classmates would usually borrow my notes and have them photocopied. My notes weren’t legible because I have an awesome handwriting. They were legible because I try to make them so. I scrupulously practiced to make sure my letters look right, not because I want to show them that I have a decent handwriting but because I knew it should look nice so they can copy my notes. I loved the fact that I can share it with my friends and it made me feel giggly whenever I see them on the hallway, reviewing for an upcoming test using a copy of my notes.
Fast forward to August 2014. I just moved to a new home, and now have a bigger space to do all the artsy fartsy stuff that I’ve always wanted to do. I didn’t know what that was, though. My boyfriend was (and still is!) very supportive so the first thing we did after unpacking was head out to Ikea to buy our tables. I then decided to visit a local art supplies shop to get my hands on anything that will make me busy. At that time, I had an unusually light workload and I had just taken a break from my MA classes. Sure, I did some Papercutting and Rubber Stamping but it always felt like I’m not doing something I’m supposed to be doing. (Woah, that’s a lot of “doing” in one sentence!)
When I walked in to the store, I saw a rack of calligraphy tools and decided to give them a try. Those weren’t even the proper tools for Pointed Pen Calligraphy, most were for Italic/Broad Pen Calligraphy. But still! As I reached for the first pen in sight, I was already imagining all the things I want to write and post on my wall. I can already see it – my messy desk, my ink-stained hands, and the walls of my room battered with papers mounted using colorful washi tapes. Yes, I was daydreaming. And since I was in trance, I picked up all the stuff I can get – pen holders, nibs, inks, brush pens, calligraphy pens, etc.
It’s been a few months since I started doing calligraphy, but I still have butterflies in my stomach whenever I come home from work and see the inks and sheets of paper on my desk. Some people see clutter, I see possibilities; I sense happiness. I am grateful for that day when I had a little existential crisis episode, because I finally figured out what I wanted to do. I walked in to a store knowing that I just needed a new hobby, but I went home with a passion.