Calligraphy in India – An interview with Mr. Mayank Baranwal
Do you like your handwriting? Do you shy away from writing in greeting cards cz of your not so good handwriting? Do you turn back pages of your dairies and wonder how nice is your handwriting? Well I do 🙂 I love my handwriting and I thought that was enough. Until I read this article in The Hindu (HERE) and I ended up realising there is a lot more to do once you have a good handwriting.
So i decided to contact Mr.Baranwal and he was really kind enough to have a conversation with me about pursuing calligraphy in India. Would you like to know more on how to start learning calligraphy in India??
Q: How did you develop interest in calligraphy in India ? I mean a general perception of society is that, it’s mostly girls who have a good handwriting.
Reply: Since when I can remember my school days, as a child, handwriting was one of the paramount concerns for me. My parents created such an environment for me like good handwriting is a trait of a good student. This was the start. Later, in higher classes this came into my practice. The trait was completely imbibed by me as though it was innate.
Q: How much is handwriting different or similar to calligraphy?
Reply: Calligraphy means “beautiful penmanship”. Any beautiful handwriting is calligraphy. Once nuance is that a calligraphy can consist of certain accessories like calligraphy pen, good porosity paper, etc.. For handwriting a ball/ink/fountain pen is sufficient.
Q: How did you learn calligraphy? From books? Online blogs or self-taught?
Reply: I had been practicing good handwriting long back when I started my graduation. It could had been limited only to beautiful handwriting thanks for that one day calligraphy course conducted in my college. That gave me impetus to start calligraphy with the concerned pen. I believe in creating something of my OWN. However i copy initially coz I need to learn things. Once mastered, I try to mix and create something new. Different fonts like lucida handwriting, old english text, parchment, etc., random beautiful calligraphy pics from the web has been useful.
Q: For a beginner who wants to learn the basics of calligraphy in India, what would you suggest?
Reply: For a novice, a ball pen and a paper is sufficient. You may also start with a fountain pen. Find a good calligraphy pic on net and practise that. Once you enjoy it you may purchase a calligraphy pen! Unless someone is a prodigy it takes a little time to develop a skill. Be patient and enjoy it.
Q: What are your supplies and books with regard to practicing calligraphy in India? Any specific books or inks or pens?
Reply: there are different kinds of pen available in the market. My favourite is “flat tip calligraphy pen”.
Q: What are the recognitions received when it comes to calligraphy? Competitions or features in magazines etc?
Reply: In my college i was known for my penmanship. Recently, THE HINDU published my article and works apropos calligraphy-the thrills of calligraphy (HERE)
Q: How easy is it to pursue calligraphy in India in terms of availability of supplies, tutorials or even hobby groups?
Reply: I would suggest that you don’t require anything so special to begin calligraphy. You can watch videos at youtube. That can help. At various places you can find calligraphy institutes and teachers. Nonetheless, I would like you to maintain your originality.
Q: A few encouraging word for our readers to motivate them to try calligraphy in India?
Reply: it is just as beautiful art like any other. Perhaps, my story published in THE HINDU (HERE) would inspire you.
You can also connect with Mayank Baranwal at-
So that was an inspiring story about a calligraphy in India and im sure most of you would be ready to start practicing the easiest fonts already 🙂 If you search on the net there is lot of calligraphy related blogs and “leehkin” is just one of the many calligraphy blogs in India.
Hope you like this new interview series with various artists and crafters. If you want to be featured here, send an email to me HERE and i will get back to you at the earliest.