I’m a Beginner Again

This past May I finally took a calligraphy class and I’m showing my beginnings with you.

This past May I finally took a calligraphy class.

Joanna (thank you — kisses) alerted me to a small workshop by calligrapher Christie Jones of Bedsidesign and I immediately signed up.

You see, I’ve been wanting to learn for years but everything else was a priority. I’m proud of myself for making that first step but I must admit, it feels a bit odd being a beginner at 42.

I don’t really know why I feel that way.

I was an beginner at web design in 2008 and somehow that seemed much more natural. It was an evolution along a similar, familiar work/career path.

Practicing my magiscules.
Practicing my magiscules.
Magiscules detail.
Magiscules detail.

Maybe it has to do with the tools?

As silly as this may sound, using a nib and ink feels more scary than using a computer to design. Calligraphy has permanence. Once the ink hits the paper, it’s there. There’s no command-z!

But the process, the creation of each part of a letter and watching the ink bind with paper is magical. It feels more tangible.

Still, I have so many moments when It feels awkward starting from scratch. I get frustrated and impatient.

  • When am I ever going to get to a place when I can write words?
  • When will I ever get the pressure of the ink to be consistent?
  • When, when, when?

15 minutes

Christie reminded me that practice doesn’t have to be for hours; that just 15 minutes a day is a good place to start.

  • Set a timer for 15 minutes and JUST practice. Write a’s over and over, b’s over and over etc. Practice one word, one sentence, all lowercase, all uppercase, mix it up. This helps steady your hand, figure out ink issues and get into a groove.
  • IF you get into a groove, continue. If you are getting frustrated, or distracted, stop. It’s better to have 15 minutes of FOCUSED practice time VS. an hour of frustrated haphazard practice.

Practice and share. Practice and share.

Capital Ds. Hard!
Capital Ds. Hard!
Capital Es. They started to look funny.
Capital Es. They started to look funny.

I recently finished reading Austin Kleon’s book Show Your Work and this truly resonated with me: “Look for something new to learn, and when you find it, dedicate yourself to learning it out in the open. Document your progress and share as you go so that others can learn along with you. Show your work, and when the right people show up, pay close attention to them, because they’ll have a lot to show you.

So, here I am showing my work, my progress even though I believe it to be oh-so-dreadful. It isn’t good enough.

What was it that Ira Glass said?

I’m going to take his advice to ‘[not] quit’ and apply his encouragement to ‘do a lot of work — do a huge volume of work.’

Going through the alphabet.
Going through the alphabet.

So, here are my beginnings.

What about you? Have started something new recently? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments!

A Book Maquette Collaboration with Photographer Matt Eich

At last, I’m posting a few photos and details of a maquette I designed with Mike Davis and photographer Matt Eich.

At last, I’m posting a few photos and details of a maquette I designed with Mike Davis and photographer Matt Eich.

I asked Matt awhile ago about sharing some pages from the maquette and he gave me the go ahead but you know how it is, something else comes up that requires your attention toute suite and that blog post you were supposed to write moves down the list.

But now that Matt has announced the maquette in his newsletter, I felt motivated to share.

I hope he does find “a home” (publisher) for The Invisible Yoke.

Below are stacks of the printed and bound maquettes. (Thank you Christina!)

I’m DYING to hold one in my hands!

Photo by Conveyor Arts
Photo by Conveyor Arts

Here are some of the book details:

  • Roughly 7×9 in size
  • Binder’s board, Foil stamped
  • Red Gaff Tape for the binding
  • Mohwak 80# Superfine Ultrawhite Uncoated
  • Typeface: Pitch by KLIM and available at Vllge.
  • Printed by Conveyor Arts
Proofs, proofs, proofs!
Proofs, proofs, proofs!

And a few pages from the book.

The maquettes are available for purchase from Matt:

Five copies are made available for sale with an 11×14 limited-edition print, five copies will be sent to select publishers in the hopes of finding a home for this work. Send me an email (studio@matteichphoto.com) if you are interested in acquiring one of the five copies available.

PS: Matt has an exhibit of the work at The Half King (an amazing space with a yummy salmon dish I might add 🙂

The Invisible Yoke
July 15, 2014–August 30, 2014

The Half King, 505 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011

Get some food, a drink and view the photos.

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Thank you ASMP & Photographers

So I just finished my first webinar with ASMP about content strategy for photographers.

And I have some people to thank because I could not have pulled this off.

Thank you, thank you

Judy Herrmann (amazing voice and support for photographers) for holding my hand through this process. ASMP is lucky to have this woman running Business as unUsual

So I just finished my first webinar with ASMP about content strategy for photographers.

And I have some people to thank because I could not have pulled this off.

Thank you, thank you

Judy Herrmann (amazing voice and support for photographers) for holding my hand through this process. ASMP is lucky to have this woman running Business as unUsual

The photographers who took their time to answer my questions about workflow, strategy, marketing and sending me images of their work. I truly wanted to share so much more of what you shared with me but time goes fast and I wanted to at least mention all of you instead of editing any one of you out!

So, a major big thank you to: 

And those of you who attended the webinar … It wouldn’t have been a webinar without you.

Content strategy is no small endeavor. It can feel huge but it is doable.

Please, say hello and let me know if you’d like more!

 

All This Ending Leads to More Beginnings

Technology almost always democratizes art, because it gives us better tools, better access and a quicker route to mediocrity …

Technology almost always democratizes art, because it gives us better tools, better access and a quicker route to mediocrity … And so, when technology shows up, it’s easy to imagine that along with the old school becoming obsolete, the new school will be populated by nothing but lazy poseurs … all this ending is leading to more and more beginnings, isn’t it? It’s not ruined, it’s merely different.

— Seth Godin

Sometimes I get in a funk when I think about the time that gets sucked up keeping up with technology and how it has rapidly changed so many aspects of our lives and the ways we make a living.

But it doesn’t last long.

Why? 

It’s empowering to be able to think of an idea and then to execute it.

We can create things and we can create experiences. 

Just. Like. That.