Hey guys! Last month I had the opportunity to join a calligraphy workshop. This is what I mentioned on my previous post. The workshop was brought to us by CraftMNL an art community based in Manila. If you are from the Metro, you've probably heard about them and yes, if you are interested in arts and crafts, you can visit their website for workshops.
I heard about them before, but I never thought they will have a workshop in Cebu. When I heard about it in Facebook, I immediately grabbed the chance. We have the equally talented and amazing Miss April who served as our teacher.
The day was so stressful for me because the day before the 26th, I traveled on the South with my best friend. We hit the beach and had a really great time even though it was a short one. I'll talk about it soon. Straight from the south which is 89 kilometers far from the city, I went ahead to attend the workshop which started at two. I was overjoyed because we have Librando bus that runs like the Shinkansen of Japan (not even kidding here). That was really fast (and dangerous)!
Miss April's assistant was calling me asking my whereabouts a few minutes before 2. I was so upset because I do not want to be late and to miss anything from the workshop. What I was thinking at that time is to get myself into the event no matter what happen. I could have made it on time but I was really having a hard time looking for the venue (the Anthill gallery). I've never been into the place ever before. The taxi driver who took me to the place was so stressful. He was clearly showing signs that he was pissed at me and he was even driving me all around the place. Obviously to take more money from me. He didn't have enough money to give me as my change too, even though I warned him beforehand, that the smallest amount of money I had was 500 pesos. I was forced to stop by a convenience shop to buy something just so I can pay him. Nagkanda letche2x buhay ko. I had no choice but to get off and then good heavens! A very nice person taught me where it is. He is so nice that he even lead me to the place. Pero nothing romantic 'cause he like boys too. If you know what I mean.hehe.
Anyway, I made it and that's what matters. When I arrived, I obviously missed the introduction part but here are the materials handed to us:
We were given some guide which include exercise sheets, a pencil, a watercolor with a brush, two other separate brushes, and some watercolor papers
Miss April advised us to practice with pencils first before using the brushes.
The red letters are the guide made by Miss April whilst the yellow ones are the ones I made.
There were like 15 participants in the workshop including me. Everybody is so serious. Like capital SERIOUS. lol. I can't remember the number of times Miss April told us to relax and enjoy. I felt like I'm in a competition the whole time that I was in the room. haha Can't blame everyone though because most of us are first time attendees of a calligraphy workshop. It's either we really want to improve or we don't wanna waste our money.
An aside: One of my professors from college said that Cebuanos are people who really love security. What it means is that people from Cebu would really want to make the most out of their money. 'Yung dapat sulit na sulit talaga nila ang pera nila. Mapa-concert man 'yan o kahit na ano.
Yup, we have a foreign classmate. If I am not mistaken she's French. hehe Haven't talked to her 'cause we were all focusing on our work at that time. That is also the reason why I took terrible shots for this post. I secretly clicked the camera without any flash. lol
That girl with her mouth open was the only person I talked to. I didn't get her name but she was so nice. I was really thankful because she was the one who taught we about the things I missed. So nice of her to give me tips. If you know her, or if you are her, Thank You!
If you are asking about my shooting location, yes, I was sitting on a separate position. lol. And that's because I was late.
That's Miss April in her very dainty get up. She's so lovely and accommodating. Now I understand why slots are limited. It isn't easy to look after 15 people. I thank Miss April for everything that she taught us. I hope to see her again soon.
She's so welcoming even though I arrived late. The fact that I was the only leftie in our class made it difficult for her to teach me. hahahaha. I saw how puzzled she was even by looking at how I hold the brush. She was asking me "How will you do it? " lol
It was hard for me to finish writing too because I need to let the previous letters to dry before I can start writing another. If I don't do that, the paint will stick into my hand and ruin everything. That's how hard it is to be a leftie.
Photo grab from Miss April's IG account (@firstofapril). That's the first output that we made. We were asked to write our name in a watercolor paper. Hmm..I guess you can tell which one is mine. lol. chakaness.
For the second output, we were asked to write a word that describes ourselves. I wasn't able to write one for me. They forgot to give me the white paint and the brown sheet :(((((
For our final output, we were asked to write our favorite quotation. Using another watercolor paper. That's what I wrote- "If you do it with heart, it's ART."
I'm not proud with it but Miss April told us that we were doing great considering that it was our first time. Believe me, lettering using watercolor is NOT easy. It's absolutely hard! I even cried when I got home because I felt like I'm a total failure. But then, when I thought about what I learn from the whole session, the tears fade away and I end up happy and smiling.
Here are some of the things that I learn from the workshop:
- Calligraphy is more of painting than handwriting. To practice the art, you do not need to have the most beautiful penmanship. It's all about controlling the brush and disciplining your hands into applying and releasing pressure.
- Materials/Tools matters. Anyone can really paint or put on their makeup but different tools will always yield different results. I learn that when Miss April let us use the watercolor papers. The result were really different when we use the bond papers. I think it's also the same with make up. The kind of brush will always have something to do with how you blend the eye shadows. It's basically the same with calligraphy. To achieve a certain kind of stroke, a certain kind of brush is needed.
- Calligraphy, like any other kind of art, is a skill. The best way to improve a skill is to constantly practice it. Let's say someone has the talent and the right materials. But without any practice, no one can ever find improvement. An artist must always remember to never stop learning and exploring.
- Never aim for perfection. To seek perfection is to end up with disappointed. The real value of art lies not on its product, but on the process how it is produced. No matter how beautiful you want your work to look like, it will never be perfect.
- Calligraphy is not merely putting letters on papers. It deals with discipline and control. As you do it, you need to learn when to push and when to flick your brush. Those are the reason why I love art it teaches us some important lessons that we can apply in our lives. For a leftie like me, it also taught me the value of patience. I need to surrender myself to time in order not to ruin what I have been working on. I taught me that sometimes, we need to wait.
- Art is somewhat useless and expensive, BUT is is necessary. For some reasons it has the power to give us a sense of achievement and happiness. Of course we can be happy by seeing our love ones and spending time with them but what art can give is totally different and special.
Love your story. No one will love it as much as you do. You'll never know your story unless you start writing it.