There are so many workshops in the metro nowadays. When I was starting with calligraphy back in late 2013, I found it so difficult to get into one. I believe there was only Alexis [Ventura] of Ink Scribbler hosting calligraphy workshops then. I'd get the email newsletter that slots are up for registration, but as soon as I try to sign up, it's full. Darn. It felt like Me versus Metro Manila, really. I guess that was what pushed me to self study instead.
While I eventually got to modern calligraphy just fine, being self-taught wasn't the easiest thing to do. There's buying an entire set of the wrong calligraphy tools, trial and error days with different ink and papers, buying nibs that didn't actually fit in my holder, adding too much gum arabic because I thought it would save my life... all that. Not to mention, I had hours to spend on YouTube, Google, and Instagram. I sort of used every practice minute trying to figure out how stuff works.
When we started La Bella Scrittura, being one of the firsts to bring calligraphy tools to the Philippine market, we replied to a lot of emails asking about the same challenges that we had to learn the hard way. We figured, just like I would have wanted when I was starting with calligraphy, a beginner would sure benefit from a workshop. We've barely passed the newbie stage then and all our noob questions were still fresh; collated into one long list, we answered each one, and prepared for our first workshop in March of 2014. Two years later, we're still conducting Basic Calligraphy Workshops.*
Why haven't we stopped? Because it's like reliving beginner days all over again, and that it gives you that sense of accomplishment that you have helped a beginner not to waste time nor money. While we're not there to wow you with fancy materials or freebies, we take pride in focusing on the most essential pieces of information for every beginner, hoping our workshop makes one realize that calligraphy requires patience, practice, and that it can be done with affordable materials. Our teacher to student ratio (1:5 at the least) also gives each student more supervised time throughout the session, something that we would all want from any learning environment.
Right handed, left handed, beginner, zero knowledge, it doesn't matter. If you've been thinking about signing up for one, do so! Hope to see you in one of our workshops!
*La Bella Scrittura has conducted workshops since March 2014 in Pasig, Taguig, Makati, and Alabang. The Bellas have also taught in Cavite, Bulacan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, and Davao. You may find upcoming workshop schedules on their website, or if you are interested in setting up a private workshop for your small group or company, send me a message.