I’ve uncovered something wonderful: Calligraphy is the new yoga. Turns out, flourishing letters for an hour and a half puts you in a meditative state similar to folding your body but without the muscle tightness. Anyone can do it!

I will say there were other factors at play that made my class the ultimate study in relaxation. Should you consider taking a calligraphy class or working solo on your scribe skills, consider these tips:

1. Go big or go home. Write while sipping tea from one of those mugs you can fit your whole face in. In fact, try ordering a “bowl of tea” and see what kind of results you get. I’ve always wanted to try it! And If at CityGrounds, where our class met, trust the barista when he says you’ll want to get the cranberry oatmeal cookie.

2. Play some mood music. If the DJarista puts Mumford & Sons on, go with it. Stop thinking you’re better than folk rock pop nostalgia. You’re not. Embrace it. A tranquil scene is starting to take place.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others. Maybe you’ve Google image searched “calligraphic writing” or maybe your first letters look more italic than Gothic (calligrapher’s joke.) Either way, your letters will look fancier than they did before.

4. Have fun with it. Our instructor told us she’s a fan of “ironic calligraphy” like a beautifully serifed “Yo Mama” joke, for example. I wrote “Yancy,” the name of my Betta fish, over and over like a crazy person. Start by practicing the letters that interest you and the words that contain them.

5. Pull a Taylor Swift. Try writing every letter. Don’t make judgments about ones that seem hard to write. Keep making the same mistakes OVER AND OVER. Only after you’ve done this (for 3-4 months) can you decide which ones are trouble.

Calligraphy is not one of those ancient arts that should be taken lightly like rug looming or fresco painting. It should only be done by those serious about relaxation and peace and beauty.


To sign up for Calligraphy classes in Chicago, scroll through the drop-down menu of additional dates here.

Ali Kelley is a 20-something trying to figure out her life one Dabble at a time. Be sure to check back each Wednesday to see her newest Dabble class adventure, and cheer her on with words of encouragement through the comments section below or on Twitter @freegiantparty..