Learning Post #11: A Bee-utiful Wrap-up

My learning project consisted of me using different technologies and tools to teach myself how to handwrite, or do “modern calligraphy”. I found myself practicing outside of the actual project posts but constantly doodling and writing random quotes here and there. I even started taking notes for classes in a much more pretty way, often making my headings up out of calligraphy and trying to organize my note-taking better.

Here are some examples of notes I’ve taken for my English 302 class:

To summarize my process, you can check out the posts here.

I tried digital calligraphy and using websites to learn; I found inspiration in music and songs, and within myself; I tried to record myself practicing using timelapses and editing tools.

To wrap-up some of my learning, and to apply it to my daily life, I decided to create some pages for my May bullet journal. I used the following Youtube video for design/art inspiration, but really took it into a different direction with the way I do my lettering:

This is what I came up with for a “reminders and to-do” spread:

I think that this skill that I took it upon myself to learn can really be useful in the future. I will continue to bullet journal as it is something that calms me and allows me to plan out my life month-by-month. I can use my new handwriting skills to make displays and posters around my future classrooms more appealing and eye-catching. I even had my friend request that I write out the “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” cards for her upcoming wedding! Calligraphy is definitely a versatile skill that can be utilized in many different settings, and a handy one to have as a teacher — we do often find ourselves writing, afterall. It has also made me more aware of my handwriting in general, and I find myself wanting to write in cursive rather than normal script.

I found it so cool that there is such an abundance of websites and apps that can teach different skills out there. Not only through my process, using sites such as Youtube, Skillshare, Procreate, Instagram, and more, but seeing some of the amazing tools that my peers found and used for their projects.

I definitely am aware of future projects I could pursue using online technology. Some of the many things I want to try is to learn include sign language and embroidery, and I believe there must be a huge amount of online resources to help me with that journey.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my process and I cannot wait to post more hand-lettering adventures in the future! Keep an eye out on my Twitter or Instagram pages.

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Learning Project #10: Blending Tutorial

This week, I utilized the following Youtube video for inspiration:

The video makes blending colours look easy, but I found that it wasn’t turning out as beautiful as I wanted it to. Perhaps I have to invest in some nice, Broadline Crayola markers to get the same effect. I also did not have a bowl that my mother would let me ruin, so I used a trick I found online that says a plastic bag works just as well; I used a Ziplock bag:

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Here are my results:

 

I found that the markers dried out a bit from rubbing them over the plastic bag; you can kind of see this at the start of the word “colourful”. Also, depending on the colours used, it was hard to actually see any blending happening. For the “this is super neat”, I mixed in a dark green marker with the red in the middle of writing: before writing “is”, “s”, “er”, and “n”. It varied in colour each time. I think I will definitely try blending again but maybe with better quality markes and a bowl like the video suggests.

Learning Project #9: Always Have Hope!

Hi everyone! This week, I will be sharing a quick tutorial on how to continue to have hope — something I’m sure we could all use as we approach the end of the semester. I decided to show you how you could letter the word hope. I find that sometimes just doodling keeps my hands busy when I need to read or listen to something that I’m studying, and I often find myself just writing out random words in various ways. If you’re anything like me and need to keep your hands busy, maybe you could do what I do and leave a little hope everywhere!

What’s a word that inspires you when you’re stressed out or facing challenges in your life?

I would love to see your attempts in the comments if you try this out!

Learning Project #8: Procreate-ing Lettering

This week, I decided to broaden my horizons and try something new. I treaded on a bit of a different path! It still has to do with calligraphy, but digital calligraphy instead. I got inspired by Instagram user, @ipadlettering. She uses an app called Procreate to do lettering on her iPad. Now, I don’t have an iPad, but the app intrigued me and they had a “pocket” version for the iPhone, so I decided to give it a try. This was the result of me using Procreate Pocket and my finger, rather than an iPad and an Apple Pencil like @ipadlettering!

For both of these videos, I used the iPhone’s screen-recording feature as I did the lettering. Now, one aspect of this is that you can choose to include sound or not, which is great if you want to talk over a screencast of what you’re doing on the phone! For this purpose, I did not need to, so I kept the audio recording off.

The first was a practice go, and I tried lettering the word “love” while listening to Lana del Rey‘s song of the same name. I’ll post it here so you can listen as you watch!

The second was the title of a song called “Naive Spin” by Aaron Lansing. I used the album art as the background and allowed the words to come through.

I really enjoyed this digital calligraphy, as mistakes are so easy to correct! On the Procreate app, you just tap with two fingers to “undo” a move. Even using just my finger felt effortless. Also, much like using pens in real life, the app is intuitive and makes the strokes thicker as you add more pressure. As well, I liked how easy it was to document what I was doing on my phone; I can definitely see the screen-record feature coming in handy if I, say, have to explain to someone how to use an app.

Do you like this kind of calligraphy? Would you like to see me do more like it? Let me know in the comments!

Learning Project #7: Skill-sharing on Skillshare

 

This week, I wanted to venture out into the website I found at the start of the semester: Skillshare. I had originally found this class which focuses on hand-lettering. Unfortunately, I realized that to access full features on Skillshare, you have to have a paid membership. Due to being on a student budget, I ended up watching the initial free video and then going into the completed project examples in the class for inspiration.

This was a completed project in the course by user Stephanie:

Stephanie Danni’s Final Skillshare Project

I decided to recreate it with my own spin using the lettering I’ve practiced!

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My take on Stephanie’s Quote!

This brings into question the idea of online classes and their merit. The Open Education Database states the following benefits of online courses:

  1. Variety of programs and courses: From traditional four-year universities to completely online career colleges, higher education today offers a variety of options for students. This means that no matter what students study, from nursing to neuroscience, they can find the courses or programs they need online. Students can also earn every academic degree online, from a career certificate to a doctorate.
  2. Lower total costs: Online programs prove a more affordable option than traditional colleges. Though not all online degrees offer less expensive net tuition prices than traditional colleges, associated expenses almost always cost less. For example, there are no commuting costs, and sometimes required course materials, such as textbooks, are available online at no cost. In addition, many colleges and universities accept credits earned via free massive open online courses (MOOCs), the most recent advance in online education. These free online courses can help students fulfill general education requirements.
  3. More comfortable learning environment: Commercials that feature online students studying in their pajamas only skims the surface of one of the benefits of online education: no physical class sessions. Students listen to lectures and complete assignments sent to them electronically, with no need to fight traffic, leave work early for class, or miss important family time.
  4. Convenience and flexibility: Online courses give students the opportunity to plan study time around the rest of their day, instead of the other way around. Students can study and work at their convenience. Course material is always accessible online, making special library trips unnecessary. All of these benefits help students balance work and family commitments with their education.
  5. More interaction and greater ability to concentrate: WWhile contradictory evidence about the rate of online student participation versus participation in traditional courses exists, one thing remains certain: Online courses offer shy or more reticent students the opportunity to participate in class discussions more easily than face-to-face class sessions. Some students even report better concentration in online classes due to the lack of classroom activity.
  6. Career advancement: Students can take online courses and even complete entire degrees while working, while in-between jobs, or while taking time to raise a family. This academic work will explain any discontinuity or gaps in a resume as well. Also, earning a degree can show ambitiousness to prospective employers and a desire to remain informed and prepared for new challenges.
  7. Continue in your profession: Even if someone wants to complete a degree, it may not mean they want to leave their current job. For most students today, increasing college costs mandate that some students continue working while in school. The previously mentioned flexibility of online programs enable students to keep working while also pursuing academic credentials.
  8. Avoid commuting: During snowstorms and thunderstorms, colleges may cancel classes to avoid putting commuting students at risk of dangerous driving conditions. Rather than miss important class sessions, students in online courses can always “attend” by participating in discussion boards or chat sessions, turning in their work on time, and watching lectures or reading materials. Many students also find substantial savings on fuel costs with no commute for classes.
  9. Improve your technical skills: Even the most basic online course requires the development of new computer skills, as students learn to navigate different learning management systems (LMS) and programs. The participation skills students learn within their online courses translate to many professions, including creating and sharing documents, incorporating audio/video materials into assignments, completing online training sessions, etc. Some schools even offer students free laptops or iPads.
  10. Transfer credits: For college students who want to attend summer classes, but live too far from their colleges and/or work summer jobs, taking online classes from an accredited college and transferring the credits to their primary college can be beneficial. Students can earn college credit while still enjoying their summer vacation or fulfilling the responsibilities of their seasonal employment. Similarly, if a college or university does not offer enough open sections of a required course, students can take the course online at another college and transfer the credits.

On top of these reasons, websites such as Skillshare allow people to take classes that can help them pursue their hobbies and interests, not just academic subjects. This can be a great way for people to look into courses that may not be offered in their local communities; rather, being offered on the global, internet community. There is also the matter of allowing people to be the ones doing the teaching! Skillshare allows people to set up their courses in whatever way they’d like, and is flexible for both the students and teachers.

Here is a YouTube video that explains a little bit more what Skillshare hopes to achieve:

And, since it seems like I’m practically endorsing this website at this point (I promise I’m not! Still on that tight student budget, haha!), I thought I’d do a little Skillshare-inspired calligraphy this week. Do you know of any other websites like this one that allow exploration of skill development? Let me know!

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Learning Project #6: Staying Grateful

So, I’ve found that my learning project has been weirdly tied to my emotions. The more I practice writing, I find myself wanting to write out quotes and sayings that reflect what I’m going through in my life. Perhaps that’s a little strange, and too-much-information when it comes to sharing, but it’s been nice to use calligraphy as a way to escape from reality and de-stress. It is actually quite calming! The effort and care I put into each letter requires all of my attention, so it makes it quite easy to forget my worries.

This week, I was feeling sort of emotionally drained. I put on some calming music by Sleeping at Last, and sat down to write. I came across the quote, “Start each day with a grateful heart” and immediately realized how I have to be appreciate of everything that happens in my life, the good and the bad. In my religion, we say the phrase “Alhumdulillah” whenever we want to thank God for something, and I realized that I have to stop thanking Him for just the good experiences and also thank Him for the bad ones; they always teach me something, and I often learn more about myself. So this week, that is what I wrote as I sat in my room to just have a nice, peaceful moment.

 

Here is the playlist I listen to when I am having these peaceful, relaxing moments!

Learning Project #5: Breathing and Learning

This week was pretty tough in terms of my personal life, and I found it hard to carve out time for the things I should have been doing for school. It has definitely set me back a little bit, but I’m learning to focus on what I can change in the future instead of dwelling on the past. So, going forward, I’m trying to be a bit more positive and focus on the things that matter.

Although this is a learning project post, it has less progress in terms of my calligraphy and more in terms of my mental health and learning what I need to do to take care of myself. So in a way, I’m still learning — just something a little bit different than what I expected to. As teachers, we will often find ourselves under stress, time restrictions, pressure, and the weight of not just our lives and problems but our students’ as well. It is essential that we make time for ourselves and take breaks when we need them. We have to learn to take care of our well-being in order to serve our students and colleagues in the best way.

I recently heard the new(ish) Ariana Grande song, “breathin”. I really took the time to listen to the lyrics and they helped me overcome this tough time so much! Because of this, my calligraphy this week is inspired by the things I learned about what I can do to nurture myself and my mental/emotional well-being in this fast-paced life. I hope you can take something away from this week’s unexpected lesson.

My sister talked me through some of the stuff I was experiencing and reminded me to continue to strive on my path to be kind to everyone, despite how they treat me. It was a great reminder and inspired this practice piece.

Lastly, to be happy, I must choose to be. It’s okay to get rid of negative things in your life if they affect your state of mind!