Making Letters Dance 

This week Ken Nishimura is leading a Style Writing/ Calligraphy workshop open to all ages at Diverse Art in Kakaako http://www.diverseartcenter.org (MWF 5-7pm). Today’s students included two ten year-olds, one recent college grad, and two young professional graphic designers from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Ken started with the fundamentals: ABCs, straight letters with a chisel-tip pen on white paper. The objective was to write the alphabet using the same exact line heaviness for each letter. It’s easier said than done!

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The second step was eliminating negative space, in other words, using the least amount of white space between letters without them run into each other. The last step was, as Ken’s said “making the letters dance.” Usually, Ken has students work on step one for weeks or months until they’ve mastered their writing instrument, but for the sake of satisfying three wide ranging levels of experience with this art form, he introduced all three steps and had us practice each one so we could all get a taste of where style writing, or calligraphy, can take us once we’ve mastered the fundamentals.

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