Missy Briggs | Calligraphy | Crafting DIY

M2B Studio - Calligraphy by Missy Briggs

Lefty Calligraphy: You have the advantage

Lefty letteringMissy Briggs

Two well-worn manuals and a dozen websites later, it hit me. Lefties have the advantage.

As a lefty attempting calligraphy, you've already graduated from the green-handled lefty scissors in art class. The ones you had to share with the other left-handed kid. You swiftly maneuvered past the high school right-handed desk of torture. Did they give you any extra points on that SAT for sitting with your left hand unsupported? No. So, you've proven my point. You have the advantage. You're used to a little bit of adversity.

I tell my children this all the time. "My wish for you is adversity." They are currently five and seven, so my point is not yet well taken. Nonetheless, as a lefty, you are used to overcoming the challenges of a world made for the other ninety percent.


Lefty advantage - POINTED PEN

The claim is that lefties have the advantage of proper positioning here. Sitting with a piece of paper that is aligned with the edge of your desk, your left hand (assuming you hold your pen with a straight and not hooked wrist) will automatically place the pen at an angle similar to the fifty five degrees required for the Copperplate hand. You can enjoy the benefits of using a straight holder instead of the crazy pants oblique holder (Insert dancing lady in red dress emoji here). You're welcome.

Lefty advantage - BRUSH LETTERING

You have little to no advantage here unless you are able to write backwards in the same mirrored fashion as DaVinci. The only upside is the brush marker ink tends to dry quickly and your hand will not be marred by ink stains from smearing your work.


The real advantage is this. You didn't know until JUST NOW that a left-handed bread knife existed. You've always thought you were just a bit clumsy and off the mark when it came to bread slicing. And who slices their own bread anyway?

The real lefty advantage is that you're willing to experiment and switch your grip and muddle through until you get this. Learning calligraphy is an amazing skill, and surely not to be missed because you are a lefty. And if you don't believe me, check this out: The best ornamental penman in the world is left-handed. You can see a couple sparse videos of him on YouTube. His name is John DeCollibus. He uses a right-handed oblique holder and has a style all his own. He's a true lefty. So take heart.