The hand of Artsynibs.


Modern Calligraphy – what a vague name for a script. I shan’t attempt to label my form of calligraphy as that, but follow in the footsteps of my predecessor. Hence, this shall be titled The Hand of Artsynibs.

It draws inspiration from the Ladies Hand (a style of Spencerian script) and the English Roundhand script (also known as Copperplate), two calligraphic styles I adore. On top of that, my calligraphy journey is greatly influenced by one of Britain’s most celebrated calligraphers – Rachel Yallop.

The Hand of Artsynibs never quite achieve the voluptuous oval nor uniformity as you see in the English Roundhand. Neither does it resemble the “casual-ness” in a typical Modern Calligraphy style. That was when I knew; I’ve found what is uniquely Artsynibs.


Nib: I swap between two nibs, depending on the surface I’m writing on. For the most part, I use the Leonardt Extra-Fine Principal. It never fails to achieve that delicate hairline that makes the heart flutter. On rougher surfaces, my weapon of choice is the indestructible Nikko G.

Nib Holder: Whilst I alternate between both straight and oblique holders, my preference is still for the former. Personally, it’s what works best and stresses you out the least.

Ink: 3 types of ink that are always on my desk – Diamine Jet Black ink, Kaimei Japanese Black ink, and Walnut ink.

Paper: For practice, I use Paper One or Rhodia pads. For commissioned work, I write mainly on handmade paper.


I’m most comfortable with a 5mm x-height, working with a proportion ratio of 3:2:3. Occasionally, it stretches up to 7mm but for anything larger than that, I use a brush.

I’m never quite a fan of flexing my nib too much. I prefer a more streamlined and thinner style, which I feel, lends an air of elegance. However, in certain cases where I work with a larger sized artwork, it can make my writing a little too thin for legibility.


I would say that The Hand of Artsynibs is delicate and simple, but a bit of a rebel at times. The general letterforms are consistent but the loops may change, depending on the day’s mood.

Despite the above, here are some thing things I keep in mind whilst writing:


• ‘d’ and ‘t’ are shorter than the rest of the alphabets with ascender loops

• Their stems thin out gradually, instead of maintaining a consistent shade


• The exit stroke usually points upwards, making it look as though it’s floating


• Try my best to aim for consistency in the slant – entrance stroke, stem and exit stroke



Consistency in angle, spacing and symmetry are still very much the core of the Artsynibs style. Having clearly broken innumerable traditional rules, I don’t attempt to label this as English Roundhand or Ladies Hand. Yet it is one that appreciates both, and has taken a bit of a mischievous turn.




Joyce Lee is a modern calligraphy who works under the pen name Artsynibs. She began her artsynibs journey in Manchester, UK.

Today, she continues her journey as a calligrapher in the sunny island of Singapore, and she is a member of the Scribblers Collective.

Scribblers Collective