by Lydia Gee
photo taken by Kia Harlan
Since my youth, I have always had an interest in stationery, developing an early admiration for card-making, scrap-booking and crafting. While activities began as recreation, an outlet to relieve stress, it was not until high school that I began to appreciate the art and beauty of calligraphy.
It is defined as decorative handwriting or handwritten lettering which is often confused or associated with cursive writing.
Calligraphy distinctly focuses on the art form of writing, such as the strokes, forms and structures that make up the individual symbols. This form of writing deals with the totality of the layout while cursive focuses on keeping connection between each letter.
Learning to compose aesthetic lettering requires practice and relentless repetition. Producing pleasing results demands constant training to emulate the consistent down-stroke pressure achieved only through precise wrist positioning.
Calligraphy is a meticulous skill and art form that I began to frequently use both in and out of the classroom.
Being involved with various extracurricular programs, my stylistic handwriting proved beneficial when poster-painting season arrived or when organizations (such as the volleyball program) desired appealing designs for a variety of items: shirts, jackets and even backpacks.
The use of calligraphy became a valuable element in my academic assignments, as I capitalized on the pleasing visual representation and essentially personalized my work.
Through my developing skill of decorative handwriting, I was able to take a break from the demands of academic responsibility by setting aside time to create handcrafted cards.
Varying from letters of personal thanks, birthday wishes, holiday greetings to even birth announcements, my aesthetic penmanship has proven to be useful. The look of calligraphy has made an impression not only on the visual aspect of my work but on the way I accomplish it: with confidence and delight. It has given me the self-assurance to utilize my skill in order to express my appreciation for others; I am able to display my gratitude on a more personal level. Calligraphy has become a bridge between responsibility and nonchalant activity.
With every smooth stroke of the felt-tip brush pen, and every elegant transition between the elongated letters, I realize that calligraphy is not merely an avocation but a reflection of my high school experience.
Those long hours of monotonous training set aside to focus on producing consistent strokes, mimics the unceasing dedication and discipline needed to study for tests or quizzes. It parallels the dedication and discipline of attending volleyball and track practices. School demands commitment and persistence. Without training and studying, success and mastery in any subject would be unattainable.
Just as decorative handwriting has provided a unique form of expression and perspective for me, high school has exposed me to various routes leading to new opportunities. Calligraphic creativity is endless; just as all the knowledge and experience I have acquired has equipped me to approach the boundless possibilities of life.