All it takes is but to try - Ashley Woodward | Skillshare Projects

Ashley Woodward




All it takes is but to try - Ashley Woodward

All it takes is but to try - Ashley Woodward
2WKCH | 092815 | Calligraphy I: Writing in Classic Modern Script

Assignment Part 3

Wow, It's amazing how much freakish talent there is in this class. I drool over the work I'm seeing. Thank you all for taking the time to check in with mine. <3




Things I learned/discovered/rediscovered this week:

  • Not all papers are created equally - and some that are amazing, are NOT amazing for everything
  • Flourishes are hard
  • Consistent Angles are hard
  • Sometimes following the baseline is less attractive
  • As I've learned before - sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer
  • Acrylic ink is cool - but mine needed some serious watering down
  • It feels good to have finished pieces
  • The accidental Command Q instead of Command A (MAC) in the Skillshare editor will wipe out everything you've written, so that you have to start over. *insert grrr face* - Write in a text editor and then copy to Skillshare for less stress and frustration!
  • I did it!
  • We did it!


From last time to now: After the practice sheets I spent time with the quote, Everything you want is on the other side of fear. - Jack Canfield. I sketched out differerent layouts, some with illustrations. 

I took a couple nights to put it out of my mind and decided in my final pieces I just wanted to use letterforms, possibly with some flourishing. I realized I hadn't considered paper and went to a couple stores to find something inspiring. I left with some really lovely paper: navy blue, cardinal red, warm grey, silver, and some thick white and taupe/grey that reminded me of letterpress paper. I wasn't sure how the ink would work with the letterpress-ish paper - but I wanted to try it out. (Images below)

The thinner paper was great - it took the ink well and was pretty easy to work on. The nib caught on the up strokes, but it wasn't too bad. The silver was a little too slick and baselines still showed after trying to erase them. 

The thicker paper was fun - the white was better, it had a lower GSM (it was thinner and a bit harder) than the taupe/grey. Both took a lot of ink, and you can see that there was some bleeding. The fibers were easy to catch with the nib as well.

The thick white was tied for my favorite with the thinner red paper.

When I finished my pieces my husband had me repeat my favorite one over and over so that I could get the sense of what a commissioned piece might be like. I found that I did really enjoy it, it was soothing and I got to watch Friends (first time - in season 2!!!) and drink wine whilst calligraphing :). When I was done I felt they each had their own personality, but were pretty close - I think with more practice they could be more in sync and I'd get better at flourishes, crossbars, stroke contrast, and I'm sure a million other things. 

All in all I think I've come a long way, I'm really grateful I had this class to go to, that I had classmates who shared their stories and took mine to heart. This has made it possible for me to start and finish something, and give me the courage to continue even afterwards. 

Thank you Bryn, and to the other students who looked, liked, and championed me.

Ashley Woodward


Sketches, process, and final photos below:







Testing the concepts in ink:




All of my final pieces - some I think are super crappy, some I'm really quite happy with!


My favorite - I really liked the final texture in the ink with this piece.


My second favorite - I love this one, but it makes me think of Christmas, so I wasn't sure it was the best choice for the message.


Other photos:







Updated September 28, 2015 ^


All it takes is but to try - Ashley Woodward
2WKCH | 092215 | Calligraphy I: Writing in Classic Modern Script

Assignment Part 2

Thanks to everyone who viewed part 1 of my assignment. To those who liked and commented - it really helped me to keep practicing. There are some really awesome people in this class, I'm humbled by your words and I am inspired by your art and the phrases that matter to you. People seemed to think I should stick around, and I do too - so I'm going to. Again, Thank you! <3


I have decided to move forward with: 
Everything you want is on the other side of fear. - Jack Canfield

Dea A recommended that I do this one based on what I said in the last assignment (read below). To be honest it was my last choice. I didn't like the thought that fear still stood in between me and what I want. But I felt I needed to give it a few days before I decided. The longer I waited, the more I felt I should do it. Just like the first exercise - it will be an excercise in emotion, I know I could write that phrase in each of the ways Bryn had us do.

I've included an animated GIF of my practice sheets and also my layout sketches separately for each quote I was considering. 

Things I learned/discovered this week:

  • My nib kept catching on the paper - even the nice paper, so I gently sanded the tip on a peice of stone. It helped a lot.
  • I am struggling to figure out the best amount of ink to have on the nib. Even when I release the excess ink, the first few down strokes are pools of ink. I wish the flow was more consistent. I tried a different color ink and when it dries the thicker the ink the darker the color - I don't know if this is normal or if it's considered amatuer - you can see it in the GIF when you get to the blue sheet.
  • My arm and hand do actually get tired and crampy. When that happens I try to pay more attention to how I'm holding the pen and if I'm clenching. 
  • Dinky Dips are the bomb.
  • I feel so inconsistent - but I'm really excited for the moment when I realize that I'm not trying anymore and it's just natural. That will be epic!

These are my practice sheets (and a few pages with state names on them for a quick project my mom asked for help on - I thought it would be fun to try out my calligraphy for it)


These are my layout sketches for each quote.






Updated September 22, 2015 ^


All it takes is but to try - Ashley Woodward
2WKCH | 091415 | Calligraphy I: Writing in Classic Modern Script

Assignment Part 1

• This is my first go at modern calligraphy!
• I am a graphic designer, photographer, and crafter
• I am an extroverted introvert (I'm outgoing in public but get my engergy being in intimate groups)


I recently quit my day job and moved across the country on little more than a whim.

My husband encouraged me to deviate from the emotionally/mentally/physically exhausting, moderately oppressive, and unfulfilling paint-by-number life I had convinced myself I was stuck in.

"What if you just quit and we skip town?," he said.

"I can't quit!" I guffawed back, "We have so much debt, we'd never be able to be debt free. You know how much crap I would get from my family? I would be anti-feminist if I let you be the sole breadwinner! And you'd expect me to do all the domestic stuff and I can't stand that all on my own. It would never work! What if I just get another job that is the same story? I can't go through this again."

"So what?", he smirked, "Who says you have to get another job? Who says you have to be barefoot in the kitchen? Not me. And I'm the opinion that matters here - not your theoretical reactions from people outside of our marriage."

"So you're saying that I can quit, don't have to go domestic, and do… what exactly?" I whispered.

"I want you to find out what you love that will love you back." He kissed my forehead and brushed the tears from my cheeks.


One of the first things I did for myself (even before we left) was sign up for Skillshare. "Why wait?" I thought.

My whole life I felt I was broken in some way. I didn't have a singular passion like so many people around me. I literally couldn't decide what I wanted - I loved it all. I recently watched a Skillshare class about "broad-spectrum enthusiasts" and I beamed! I finally had a name for my enthusiastic indulgence in the spirit that is learning and creating. I'm not broken, I'm just different, and that's great!

But I do have a problem. I have severe anxiety that paralyzes me. I can usually start without fear, but then I either give up soon after starting because I'm new to it and not perfect or I give up in the face of sharing my work. The curse of wanting to be amazing from day one. The curse of caring when someone else doesn't like my take on something. The curse of imposter syndrome.

As of today I have enrolled in 65 Skillshare classes (about a third that I have watched fully), have signed up for and left two 2-week challenges, have an additional 82 classes saved, and have completed zero of them.

Learning in a box isn't enough. Seeing/hearing is not doing. Doing is not sharing. Not doing and not sharing is like cutting out 2/3 of what it is to learn. Being vulnerable is part of the process. So, this is my first real project post in respect to myself. All it takes is but to try.


I am considering the following quotes. No order of preference.

Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. - President Snow, The Hunger Games

I am interested in this quote because this series is one of my favorites. I have a real connection internally with the story and I think that President Snow is one of the brilliant voices in it. Although contrary to his desires, it speaks to what I am trying to do - have hope, a lot of hope.

Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it - unknown

This quote showed up in my Google Chrome Momentum extension. I burst into tears and said, "yes, that would do it." It calls deep into my heart and reminds me of how powerful our minds are. When you decide something, you take action on it wether just in thought or in a physical sense. And that changes brain chemistry, it changes how the body functions, deciding that something is worth more than the fear I shroud over it means in a small way, I overcome.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear. - Jack Canfield

This quote is very different but similar to the last one. For this one I see myself standing on the other side of the glass from what I want. And the glass is the fear. I have a hammer in my hand - what will I do?

The phoenix must burn to emerge. - Janet Fitch

My favorite mythological beast is a phoenix. The ability to reimagine is one that I'm living right now. And it hurts.


I am excited to see what I go for, I'm going to have to sleep on it.

Thank you for your time, I hope that if you got this far you at least didn't feel alone.



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