Published: 23rd August 2019
This Chennai-based youngster is teaching us how calligraphy not just improves handwriting but is also a meditative tool
"I have been falling in love with calligraphy more and more daily. Also, I think that it is extremely therapeutic for me," says Niranjan
I don't know about you, but my handwriting usually looks like 'a mosquito fell into a pot of ink and crawled all over the paper'. Or at least that's what my lovely friends say. So for me, and others sailing in the same boat of terrible handwriting, calligraphy is a good option. But it was only after talking to Niranjan P that we realised that it could serve as a meditative tool too. "What I do is teach modern calligraphy, which is free from the strict rules of traditional calligraphy. One can add their own touch of creativity to it," says Niranjan who is a Telugu born in Chennai and brought up in both Chennai and Mumbai. And it is this fact, of making calligraphy your own, that fascinated us. "I used to be a graphic designer so colours and text are somethings I dealt with daily. I felt drawn to words more and hence, I stepped into the world of calligraphy," he says.
Niranjan is self-taught and has taken courses through Skillshare
Niranjan has been in and out of Hyderabad conducting workshops where he teaches the curves and strokes behind modern calligraphy to a packed audience. But it took him a while to realise that words, fonts and typography are his calling. After completing his degree in Karunya Institute of Technology and Sciences, Coimbatore and a brief stint at SPI Cinemas, Chennai, he quit it all to pursue calligraphy. Instagram opened up several avenues for him, including the opportunity to design the chalkboard menu at Stuffles, an eatery in Chennai. "Since April 2019, I have conducted over 20 workshops in calligraphy," says the youngster. And why these workshops click is because, "Participants require no pre-requisite knowledge. So all one has to do is turn up and indulge in the meditative process," says Niranjan, who supplies brush pens, art books, worksheets and lamination sheets as a part of the workshop so that participants can continue to pursue this art form at home.
Looking at you: Niranjan practices four hours a day | (Pic: Niranjan P)
"Just open an Instagram account and keep posting your work and you'll get noticed," says Niranjan about finding a space of one's own in the field of calligraphy. Niranjan himself gets DM requests for place cards, wall murals and more. It's a struggle but not entirely impossible provided your work stands out, he believes. And we believe that the future seems brighter and full of possibilities for Niranjan. "I want to take calligraphy to those parts of India which might not even have the right stationery," he says.
Some of Niranjan's work
Beauty in lettering
Follow these Instagram accounts, as recommended by Niranjana, to get your calligraphy fix
For more on him, check out instagram.com/niruscalligraphy