If you’re interested in starting modern calligraphy, the good news is that it’s really affordable to start out! The bad news is, as with any hobby or craft, the expenses can add up fast. Here are my tips for maintaining a modern calligraphy hobby without breaking the bank.
- Start small. With the vast amount of markers, paints, and other fun supplies out there, it can be so tempting to buy ALL THE THINGS to try them out! Resist the temptation and start with just one or two tools that you really want to try. Individual pens, inks, markers, and nibs are very inexpensive – you can get a great brush pen for under $5 – but let me tell you from experience that it adds up fast if you aren’t careful!
- Pick one medium. This is really complementary to the first point since part of the reason why so many tools and supplies exist is because there are so many different mediums available for modern calligraphy. There’s nib and ink, brush pens and markers, paint and paintbrush … really, the possibilities are endless when you get creative. If you’re like me, you’ll want to jump in headfirst and try them all. Even if you’re being mindful about the tools you select for each medium (e.g., just one nib, one brush marker, one paintbrush), that adds up. Keep your costs down by choosing to focus on just one medium at a time.
- Do your homework. Most of us are naturally inclined to head straight to Amazon for our shopping needs, and understandably so! With Prime 2-day shipping, the instant gratification alone is sufficient incentive to skip comparison shopping, and you do often find that Amazon has the best price. But I have actually found that with art supplies in particular, other retailers are in fact cheaper. Always do a quick comparison shop, and you’ll likely find several art supply retailers to choose from that are both more affordable and will offer free shipping above a certain threshold. Personally, I like Blick and Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff.
- Be patient. Art supplies often go on sale, and retailers will also regularly run specials on each category or brand every so often. For instance, Michael’s will regularly run a BOGO event on Canson paper. If a sale isn’t currently running, hold off on making the purchase, and one will likely crop up soon.
In short, with some patience and research, modern calligraphy is most definitely doable on a budget!