Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Did Try To Be Patient...

I've been trying for the past couple of weeks to be really patient about my upcoming calligraphy classes, but I can't take it anymore.

I am so excited! I've always liked to print. When there's a sign that needs to be printed, I always volunteer (my office's Halloween tombstones come to mind here, pictured below in not-so-high quality). The dawn of the cheap personal computer printer means that most people type everything. As I gripe about how much is typed versus how much is handwritten, I'm typing! But I love to print things by hand. I love to think about each letter, how the letters should fit together, how the letters should look when all joined up as one word, how each word should look when placed near other words to form a sentence, which words should be biggest and boldest for emphasis, which should be small but clear to lay the groundwork for the most important words.

Untrained artists spend their lives developing a unique perspective when they approach their art. Formal classes don't detract from the skills of an untrained artist, they allow the artist to grow and develop a new perspective. I owe a lot of my crafting and home improvement know-how to the design courses I took in college and after college at the University of Maine at Augusta. These courses taught me to approach creative situations with various perspectives, instead of just my own.

And now, I'm getting ready to do this with my printing skills as well. The calligraphy course promises to teach the basics of roman and italic fonts (with serifs, I'm sure, to use some old copy editing jargon). I'm not exactly sure why I want to study calligraphy so badly. I will be honest and say, I've never dreamed of a career of addressing people's wedding invitations. And I think it will be very difficult for me to stay within the strict confines of the various fonts, to stay as close to the pattern as possible. I've always been one who prefers to color outside of the lines, and I'm hoping that, given the basic font types from my calligraphy class, I will be able to develop my own unique way of printing, with a classic backbone but with my creative influences woven into the print. Perhaps my unique font will be marketable, perhaps not. The important thing to me is that I'm trying to enhance one of my favorite skills. And isn't January the perfect month to try to grow?

I've decided to post a writing sample at the top of each of my calligraphy entries. Hopefully you'll see marked progress. And the class doesn't start until January 28. Everyone needs lessons in patience . . .


  1. Let me ask you this: what kind of copy editor puts a glaring error in her blog headlines? Answer: Me. So this really has nothing to do with your calligraphy post(which sounds totally cool by the way), but I figured you of all people would sympathize with the shame and embarrassment I'm currently feeling after realizing I used the wrong "guilds" in one of my titles...thank goodness for instant after-the-fact editing!

  2. you took crafting classes? at a college? people can do that?