We were seriously crushing when we saw Meghan Markle’s handwriting for the first time – the slants, the flicks, those curled letters. Honestly, it’s exquisite.
And it’s no coincidence she’s skilled with a pen – Markle learned calligraphy early on in life and even worked as a calligrapher for a while, according to royal correspondent Angela Mollard.
Speaking to Esquire in 2013, the Duchess said: “I’m glad that in the land of no one seeming to appreciate a handwritten note anymore that I can try to keep that alive.” We couldn’t agree more.
“Meghan does have a really unique handwriting style,” says Suzie Dicker, a calligraphy expert who runs workshops in London. ”She uses a simple flourish which she adds onto certain letters and the overall effect looks really stylish.”
Can you write like Markle? You’ll be well on your way if you follow these tips.
Figure out your style.
Everyone has their own handwriting style – they will have muscle memory in their hand for it, explains Dicker. But to change yours, you need to work out what style you want to adopt.
“With Meghan she flicks backwards on the ascents of her ‘Ds’ and ‘Ks’ and then flicks down lower on the tails of her ‘Ms’ ‘Ns’ and ‘Rs’,” says Dicker who suggests downloading a full alphabet for the sort of writing you aspire to.
Trace over these letters – this will give you an idea of the movement your hand needs to make to create these new letters. “Then doodle them as much as you can!” Before you know it, you’ll have built up muscle memory for these letters.
Don’t be disheartened if, when you’re practising calligraphy, yours doesn’t look exactly like someone else’s, says Kirstie Bird, an artist who teaches calligraphy. “Own and build on your own creativity. Adapt letters, add flourishes and see what comes naturally to you.”
Shop for the right pens.
Biro isn’t your friend when it comes to beautifully-created letters. “A nice fountain pen will make a world of difference,” says Dicker, who advises you to go into a shop and test pens out in person rather than ordering online – after all, you want to get a feel for the weight of the pen and the sort of nib you like.
[Read More: 10 Gorgeous Notebooks For Stationery Lovers]
Experiment – and practise, practise, practise.
Find avenues to expand your creativity, says Bird. Try out different styles of lettering, go to workshops, read a selection of books and experiment with your tools. “There are lots of different nibs, inks (coloured, metallic) papers to work with so be curious and see what works best for you,” she says.
Kirsten Burke, master calligrapher for The Modern Calligraphy Co. advises you to also take photos or cuttings of beautiful lettering that inspires you, “then when you sit down to start creating, you have some fun ideas to get you going!”
Ultimately, be patient.
Calligraphy is tricky to master, so don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t come to you naturally. “Persist, be patient, practice, and all is coming,” says Bird. “Practising little and often is most effective. If you sit for hours at a time you may encounter frustration and even cramp in your hands. Dedicate 30 minutes a day to master a letter then put your pen down and come back tomorrow.”
“Don’t focus on the results,” adds Burke, who wrote The Secrets of Modern Calligraphy. “Enjoy the process and relax, this will lead to better results in the end.”