Calligraphy Supplies.

It's been years since I've written a post about my favorite calligraphy supplies and I am always getting questions on what to buy and where to buy it. We sell our calligraphy kits as a starter pack that will get you started right away. BUT if you need to re-stock, here's all that you'll need!!

AND I am currently working on reprinting our calligraphy workbook after selling out over the holidays. For those of you who have it, is there any extra info you would love to be included?! Thanks for your help!!

For practicing and draft work, I only use Marker Paper. It is super smooth, won't bleed and is see through so you can trace things or use lines to write straight. 

For final pieces - custom quotes or place cards - I love Bristol Smooth Surface Paper. Be careful not to get tricked by purchasing vellum. It has a slightly bumpy surface and will make your nib splatter.

I also use watercolor paper if I'm using watercolor paints!

For anything that I digitize, I use black Sumi Ink. It's absolutely amazing - so smooth and dries raised off the paper so when you run your fingers over it, you can feel that it was hand done. If you have our kit and need more ink, I suggest buying the big bottle and refilling your small jar. It will make much less of a mess!

When I need a colored ink, I make it myself with gouache paint. I love WInsor and Newton because the pigment is so rich and beautiful. Buy the paint and then use small jars to mix it with a little bit of water until it is the same consistency as the sumi ink

If I am using a paint brush, I will also often use watercolors. You can get tubes of watercolor and make your own palette OR you can get a set that is already dried

Pens + Brushes
For modern calligraphy, there are two types of pen holders.

Oblique Pen Holder and Straight Pen Holder - I tell all my students to try both and see what you prefer. I really do think it is personal preference and how you learned to write as a child.

I use round brushes for all brush lettering. I am partial to the Winsor and Newton University brush. I suggest any size from 000 to 2 for normal writing (you can go larger for big signs and such). Another option is a brush pen!

I only ever use two kinds of nibs although there are thousands of different kinds depending on what look you are going for!

Zebra G Nib is really great if you have a naturally heavy hand. If you don't, like me, you will get a really delicate, feminine calligraphy. One super tip for this is that if you are struggling using this nib - the ink won't hold in the well or releases large blobs - stick it in a potato over night OR run a q-tip with nail polish remover over the nib. The manufacturer puts a coating on the nib to keep it from rusting, but it also causes some issues when you first start using it!

My all time favorite is the Leonardt Extra Fine Principal Nib, which can only be purchased from a speciality store

I use lots of erasers!

And a lightbox. Instead of having to draw on a paper with a pencil and erase the lines, I will draw on a paper and then place the final piece of paper over the drafted piece on top of the light board. Or if I'm addressing envelopes, I can draw out lines on a paper and place the envelope over the lines so that I can easily write straight. It is my very best investment. 

Chicago Calligraphy Workshops.

hannah-hoggatt-photoraphy_0001 We had such luck to have an amazing photographer at our classes in Chicago. Hannah is a long time friend of mine and not only did she lend us her cute apartment, but she photographed all three classes! (AND if you are in Chicago or can get to Chicago easily, she is offering all of our followers $50 off a photo session - this could be for your own portraits (she is one of the only people who takes photos of me that I actually like myself) or family sessions for holiday cards. You can email her from her site and tell her that you're a friend of Be A Heart for your discount!


I so loved being able to relive those days that were so full of joy. It's one of my favorite things about teaching - not only do I get to pass on something that I love, but I get to experience the joy of my students. It's a moment of friendship - some making new friends and some spending time with old friends. It is a time away from our phones and computers and a time to learn something new.





It's not often as adults that we get to learn brand new things. Most of our days are spent doing the dishes, cleaning the floor, folding laundry, sitting at our desks doing the work we are good at. So I think my favorite part of the three hour class is seeing everyone in the first five minutes of using the calligraphy nib and ink. It is so different than using a regular pen so it takes us back to our first years of school in learning how to write.







You can check out the rest of the gallery here!

We have a Modern Calligraphy class in Los Angeles at Makers Mess on November 3rd, Calligraphy and Brush Lettering in Phoenix on the 10th and 11th and then a Calligraphy class in Tucson on the 12th. And if we haven't come to your city yet, comment below with where you want us to go! We are in the process of creating a winter Calligraphy Tour. Or you can buy the kit that is used in the class here!

Fall Calligraphy Classes.

Modern Calligraphy at the Mondrian We are so excited to be traveling with our Modern Calligraphy Workshop Class for the very first time! Check the list below to see if we're coming to your city and gather your friends to sign  up! If you don't see your city, let us know where you'd like us to go.

chicago 25 Chicago 27

 chicago brush evanston calligrpahy class

 indianapolis minneapolis

phoenix phoenix brush


Thursday August 25th - Chicago, IL, Beginner Modern Calligraphy Class

Saturday, August 27th - Chicago, IL, Beginner Modern Calligraphy Class & Beginner Brush Lettering Class

Sunday, August 28th - Evanston, IL, Beginner Modern Calligraphy Class

Tuesday, August 30th - Indianapolis, IN, Beginner Modern Calligraphy Class

Sunday, September 18th - Minneapolis, MN, Beginner Modern Calligraphy Class

Thursday, November 10th - Phoenix, AZ, Beginner Modern Calligraphy Class

Friday, November 11th - Phoenix, AZ, Beginner Brush Lettering Class

Saturday, November 12th - Tucson, AZ, Beginner Modern Calligraphy Class

soda stream

If you can't make it to an in person class, you can still take our Online Modern Calligraphy Class on Skillshare - if you're a first time user, you can sign up for 3 months premium for only .99!

Fall Classes.

_DSC9452(photography by Meredith Amadee)

Be A Heart classes are finally coming to Los Angeles!!! I couldn't be more excited to have been invited by the new studio in my own neighborhood, Makers Mess, to teach four classes over the next two months.

_DSC9497 (photography by Meredith Amadee)

I am totally humbled and honored to be amongst so many amazing makers in the LA area. Check them all out here. And then sign up for classes via these links:

Beginner Modern Calligraphy

October 21st

November 14th

Beginner Brush Lettering

October 27th

November 17th


Full Calendar









I cannot wait to meet all of you!

xx, Erica

Be A Heart Workshops - NYC

I am so so so excited to announce the dates of the workshops that I will be teaching while in New York in the next couple of weeks. calligraphy-styled-hand-lettering

Cultivate NYC Calligraphy Styled Hand Lettering

Wednesday, July 22nd 7pm to 10pm in Manhattan - tickets

Saturday, July 25th 11am to 2pm in Brooklyn  - tickets

My dear friend Kelsea of East Olivia asked me months ago if I would be interested in traveling to New York to teach some classes. Of course I jumped on the opportunity--I still have a deep love for the city. She let me come up with my own final project--a tree slice wall hanging. I keep seeing them EVERYWHERE and wanted to create my own. The workshop will cover hand lettering basics, layout, we'll get to play with all sorts of markers and brushes and then finally transfer everything over to a a cool piece of wood that you can hang in your house with whatever quote you want!


I have found that lettering is SO much about experimentation and it gets really expensive when you have to buy all the pens for yourself, only to find that you like using one of the thirty-five you purchased. There will be lessons and time for practice, not to mention, they are in super rad locations around the city and you'll meet lots of new friends. (After all, Kelsea and I met years ago at a workshop ourselves!)

Cultivate NYC was born out of the desire for more spaces for creatives to connect with one another and to create beautiful things in the world that have purpose. As bloggers, designers and creatives we yearn to not only host events that give us the opportunity to learn a new craft or skill, but ultimately we are driven by the passion for fostering community and connection. We want you to leave our workshops with a new set of friends and something beautiful that you can add to your home or give as a gift to someone that you love.


Brooklyn Craft Company Beginner Brush Lettering

Sunday, July 26th in Greenpoint - tickets will be released shortly, keep checking here

When I lived in Brooklyn myself, I spent many weekends over at BkCraftCo. I offered my calligraphy skills to the sweet owner, Brett Bara and picked up so many new skills from the array of classes that they offer. I told her I would be back in town and we decided to offer a beginners class using brushes and watercolor. It will be a very basic class, two hours of learning and practicing.

I SO hope that you'll join me on one of the dates. They are going to be a great time.

XO, Erica