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.