April 2018 (TBD) – NSA Bethesda USO
What types of are workshops are offered?
As of right now, I have a workshop for an Introduction to Brush Calligraphy that focuses on how the process and practice of brush calligraphy aids in improving mental health symptoms. I am affected by anxiety and other mental health issues, which, I have found this practice to be a form of comfort and support, like that of art therapy.
I have a few others in the works as well, so if you are looking for some ways to decorate your home, stay tuned! Lots of fun coming up!
What is offered and included?
You’re going to learn the basics of brush calligraphy that will also translate to other forms of calligraphy! My favorite tool is the brush pen, so that is what we’ll focus on, but you can also use a pointed pen, dip pen, or even an actual paint brush using these concepts!
I am a lefty, so this is great for other lefties who are looking for some tips and tricks about how to avoid that dreaded hand smudge that we all know and fear when we’re doing anything by hand!
And of course, we’re going to learn about how brush calligraphy can help those of you who might have symptoms of anxiety or depression. My focus is on the military family community, but everything translates!
You’ll also get your own tools to take home and use to practice after the workshop is over! Each participant will receive:
- Brush pens that include brands like Tombow, Sakura, Pentel, etc. (These are the big brands we love!) and are particularly wonderful for beginners! Each workshop will provide at least three pens.
- A work book full of instruction and goodies, including access to digital practice sheets you can download and print off for continued practice!
- A take-home item—often seasonally inspired—that you can display proudly in your home or office! Or give to someone you care about!
- A new skill that you can use when you just need some “zen-time” (This is always how I describe lettering for me)
- Access to a Facebook group for other calligraphers and letterers to bounce ideas off of or ask questions!
I am located in Bethesda, Maryland and generally stay around the Maryland, DC and Virginia areas. When you sign up for the interest list, you will let me know some ideal locations for you! However, I’m also looking at doing a few online instruction opportunities.
How much is it and how long do the classes run?
It depends on the location, however, my normal rate is anywhere between $25 and $50 and that depends on location or demographic. I do have discounted rates for military spouses, service members and veterans*. This also includes costs for materials (listed above).
The class is about 2.5 hours as we go over basics through your final piece. I like to have the classes smaller (approximately 10 people) so that I can aid you individually as we go through the class together.
*Events at the USO are free for members of the military, wounded, ill or injured service members, spouses and caregivers. Please sign-up with the USO to reserve your spot!
How do I sign up?
Sign up for my interest list here! This way I can do my best to tailor times, dates and locations to those interested!
I’ll put up more information when workshops dates are available!
My story and the dream (literally) that started it all!
A year ago, I received news about a loved one that really shook me. This news led me to becoming a caregiver in addition to a full-time job and full-time grad school. There was never a moment I didn’t want to be there for my father, but I also couldn’t ignore the fact that three very time-consuming events in my life were taking their toll on my emotional, mental and physical well-being.
Years before I had begun to seek therapy for anxiety issues I was having during my undergraduate years. I always found it was extremely helpful to talk through my issues with someone to find new tools for my proverbial tool-box in coping with things I felt I couldn’t go through alone. Prior to returning to therapy recently, I found one of the things that helped ease some of my anxiety symptoms was that of brush calligraphy. Until a dream, it had not dawned on me that others might be experiencing the same issues and could use brush calligraphy as well!
When I say that this idea came to me in a dream, I am being COMPLETELY serious. I am a brain injury educator by trade, having provided education to service members, veterans, families and even providers on tools and resources on traumatic brain injury (TBI), both combat and non-combat related. When I went back to become a manager over our education network, I started missing that instruction aspect, providing people insight on topics that I am so very passionate about. Symptoms like anxiety, depression, and irritability can occur following TBI’s–even those mild in severity like concussions—and having had a number of concussions in my life, I can relate.
One night, I dreamt that I was doing an Introduction to TBI presentation with a coworker of mine and in it I was also teaching about brush calligraphy. This dream stuck with me for a few days before I started really planning out in my head how it could possibly work. Taking a chance, I posed the question to a few friends who thought it was worth a shot and here we are!
Disclaimer: I am a public health professional with a background in psychology and brain health, but I am not a licensed physician. What I teach you in this course is what I would teach you as a health educator: non-pharm ways of coping with some symptoms of mental health through a creative outlet.