Dialogue for the A-ha! Moment
I’ve recently noticed how I use my relationship with time to crack the whip to get something done, even though I’m always running late. I constantly pressure myself to “GO” and to “get it done” and “do it NOW!” Some of this pressure is due to working in very tight deadline work environments in the past, but ultimately, this approach short-circuits the creative process as the focus becomes one of getting something done within a certain time constraint over being open to the unexpected in creative expression.
We’re hard-wired to use time as a means of survival. To make money. Not that there’s anything wrong with putting pressure on. But after my latest experience with designing a birthday card which I wrote about in the last blog, I’ve noticed how I’ll wait until the last minute to get something done as it forces me to focus. At times, walking this tightrope can result in innovative solutions. But what usually happens is that the pursuit to meet deadlines takes precedence over creativity. In fact, we set ourselves up to sabotage!
With this realization, I gave myself permission this week to take all the time I needed to work on my monthly calligraphy envelope. I belong to the West Coast Calligraphy Society, and with this membership, I signed up for the monthly envelope exchange, where I receive a list of 12 names to send an envelope once a month. In turn, I receive a monthly envelope from someone on the list. I’ve had envelopes from South Africa to Great Britain and Mexico. Some envelopes I receive are breathtaking, while others are done with minimal effort. My envelope design this month is to going to a calligrapher, Anne Thompson from Victoria, Australia. The process starts with having a blank piece of paper before you while searching for a solution as to how to solve this month’s challenge. The more effort one puts into the project, the more learning takes place as one plays with assorted pens, inks, colours and envelope choices and layout options.
Warming up: Vrooomm, Vrrrooomm!
After some sketching with my pens, I now remember I’ve been wanting to experiment with scripting. As Anne’s first letter is A, it commanded attention. I started by warming up with my pens on paper. Initially I thought I would just write her first name, but after loosening up, I started to get a feel about where I wanted to go with the design. Using graph paper, I figured out I could include her last name to the design. I also decided to work with green and blue ink and everything in between. I had found some pipettes which calligraphers use to draw their ink. I enjoy dipping different coloured inks into the pipette to get undulating colours in the letters. In an effort to create a flow in my work, I experimented with drawing my letters directly with the pipette, forgoing the calligraphy pen altogether! This would prove to be a challenge as one does not have the same control. Instead of pushing a pen, one is squeezing a tube. But the more I practised, the more it was beginning to flow. As a maverick calligrapher, I was looking forward to meeting with my calligrapher clan to find out if this was how calligraphers created script fonts… or was there another way?
After numerous envelopes (I buy my envelopes in bulk for this reason!), I thought I created the final envelope – so finished the address and went to bed just after 1 am. However, when I looked at the envelope in the morning, I felt the calligraphic style I used to create the address did not match the name, so back to the drawing board I went. Three hours later, I created the end result. What a journey!
Now looking ahead to next month’s envelope as I get to work with the recipient’s name “Marguerita” who resides in Haydock, Merseyside, Great Britian. Stay tuned!
Laurie Kingdon | Creative Director | 778.839.3755