It has been way too long since I posted something here. I have been working on classes I have been teaching. I have another one to teach this coming Thursday. I have also been getting re-involved with The American Red Cross Disaster Services and have been helping in their planning and structuring. And sundry projects. I apologize to you my readers that I have not been spending enough time working on the blog. In fact I’ve even done some projects that I simply did not take pictures of that I could have shared here, and am pretty unhappy that I did not. I hope you forgive me and in return, let’s talk about inspiration.
Inspiration. Sometimes it is hard to become inspired. As calligraphers we may search for inspiration but have a hard time finding it. Inspiration is about what inspires you. If you wait for inspiration it will come rarely. If you search for inspiration you will find more of it, but even then you can’t count on it. How about inspiring yourself?
When I was a kid I used to tell my mother, “I’m bored.” My mother’s response was very interesting. “Being bored,” she would say, “is an insult to your own intelligence. If you are bored that means you aren’t smart enough to come up with something to do on your own.” You can guess how often I told my mother I was bored after hearing that a few times. I learned to come up with things on my own. Its own problem because children don’t always come up fun things to do that are allowed or safe, but at least I wasn’t bored anymore.
Being inspired is a bit like being bored. It is an insult to your own creativity if you can not come up with something to do for the art you are wanting to do then YOU are not being creative. Don’t blame anything else. Instead own the responsibility of being creative.
Yes, inspiration happens and when it does you probably should stop what you’re doing and take notes. Seriously. Carry a pad of paper around and a pencil and a pen. When inspiration strikes write it down, sketch, take notes. Revel in the inspiration. Write down the date, time and place it happened. This will help your brain recall the inspiration with greater accuracy. And that means you will do a better job of translating that inspiration into actual project usefulness.
What inspires me as a medieval calligrapher? The work of other scribes. It lets me see how other people do things in different ways. That helps me to stay out of ruts and try out new things. Medieval manuscripts are another source of inspiration. There are thousands upon thousands that are available online that it would be a travesty not to make use of them. And yes, myself. I push myself to see things in new ways, try new things, try old things in new ways and most importantly, to just sit down and start working on practice pieces, projects and fun stuff.
What are some manuscripts that I look to for inspiration regularly and never fail to inspire me in some way?
Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta You can DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE!
The Book of Kells Free to view online.
The Codex Manesse You can DOWNLOAD IT FOR FREE!
And lastly the pictures of took of Medieval & Renaissance 29 from Tours France 1450 – 1499 written in Batarde.
Inspiration comes in many forms. Sometimes you wait for it. Sometimes you search for it. Sometimes it comes to you when you least expect it. But in the end you are responsible for your inspiration and if you can’t find it and it doesn’t come to you, then you must make it for yourself. Art is not just a noun, to make art means you are an active participant in the creation process.