Creating calligraphy

Using watercolors and brush pens, senior Jessica Sarff draws and paints pieces of calligraphy and posts them on her Instagram, @jess.studios.

Ellie Druten, Writer

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As Jessica Sarff’s paintbrush meets the paper the watercolor bleeds into vibrant shades of blue spelling out “may your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.”

Sarff explained calligraphy as writing with a brush pen, using watercolor, or writing with something that makes thick and thin lines. She also uses a regular pen to create faux calligraphy.

One of Sarff’s tips for beginners is to practice continuously.

“I have sketchbooks filled with lettering,” Sarff said. “I doodle in the margins of my school notebooks, and my planner is full of fun fonts and calligraphy.”

Sarff’s sister, freshman Rachel Sarff, said her sister started three years ago but has improved significantly in the past year. She said Sarff has purchased cool new brushes and supplies.

“When she started, she used a regular marker and just kinda drew it and then filled in places,” Rachel said. “Now she has gotten to the brush part and she can use different techniques with that.”

Senior Anna Weigel follows Sarff on Instagram. Weigel said Sarff has always been an extremely artistic person and she has watched Sarff discover her passion for her calligraphy.

“To me it is super interesting [because I have] terrible handwriting and cannot do anything with lettering,” Weigel said. “It is super cool to see how creative Jessica gets in all the different ways she uses her calligraphy.”

Sarff started doing calligraphy to progressively make her handwriting look better, but then got her true inspiration from Pinterest.

“[I get] inspiration mostly on Pinterest. Sometimes I watch YouTube videos of other people lettering,” Sarff said. “Instagram is a good one too, there are a lot of people who do calligraphy and have videos of it up there.”

For beginners, Sarff explained any pens can become calligraphy pens.

“I started out using ballpoint pens to do faux calligraphy, and I still use Crayola markers to do brush lettering all the time,” Sarff said. “Watercolor lettering is also one of my favorite styles to do, and that takes a lot of practice and control.”

Sarff also has her own Instagram account dedicated to her calligraphy, @jess.studios. She said she created the account so her friends could see what she was working on, but she has since gained more followers. Eventually, Sarff said she may sell her work on Etsy or on her Instagram account, but for now she creates calligraphy to relax.

“Instagram has become a really accessible way to gain a following and gain attention for anything that you are passionate about or want to share,” Weigel said.  “So many people, especially [around] our age, have Instagrams and it is really easy to just follow someone and see all of their posts. I think it has been a really good way for her to share what she does.”

Calligraphy is a relaxing activity for Sarff, providing her the time to unwind. Along with the relaxing feelings, Sarff said calligraphy’s colorful vibes and positivity keep her a little more upbeat.

Out of all of her creations, Sarff’s favorite one reads “Always be honest and kind,” and is accompanied by pretty floral watercolor flowers, which Sarff enjoys.

Rachel also has her own favorite which reads “hello beautiful.”

“It has flowers around it and it’s really cool and it is written in black and all fancy,” Rachel said.

Rachel frequently watches Sarff practice, and she and her friends benefit by receiving various calligraphy pieces she makes for them.

“I definitely think it is very uplifting to see,” Weigel said. “First of all, her engaging in something that you can tell she is passionate about really shows her creative side and it also has a positive effect on all the people around her because she will write different uplifting phrases and quotes that just brighten your day and it is also really pretty.”