Calligraphy: A Scribe's Notes Art Blog
I was at the counter of an instant printing place and I stood up for some reason, not looking, when I went to sit back down, there was someone in what was I thought was still my seat. So there I was sitting in a strangers lap, totally embarrassed, but he was laughing and we struck up a conversation. Ballet Teacher? Is that so? I started lessons the next week.
I cross-trained for a few years but finally I gave up ballet to study calligraphy in earnest. I was involved in a local guild and we were having Peter Thornton in for a workshop. I volunteered to send out the flyers. I had no idea who Peter Thornton was, but I had seen some of his work. Just before the workshop I got a call from a gentleman asking if there was room in the workshop and I said there was. He asked about Peter__™s background and qualifications, which of course I had to make up because I hadn__™t a clue. After I had given him the sales pitch the guy broke into hysterical knee slapping laughter. It was Peter. I was busted and embarrassed, again, but we had a great workshop, even though he teased me for the next two days, he thought it was so funny.
In 1995 I attended a calligraphy conference in Trenton NJ. There was a week long class offered called Non Traditional Tools in a Traditional Craft. This was good timing, I wanted to incorporate more contemporary calligraphy in my graphic design work. Walking back to the main gathering room after the first night__™s opening lecture, I was fumbling in my purse for matches and dropped a pack of cigarettes. (That__™s one of the ways we stayed thin enough to dance, I don't recommend it). The man walking behind me picked them up, handed them to me and asked for one. I had cigarettes and no matches he had matches and no cigarettes. He asked how I was finding the conference so far and what classes I was taking. I told him I was going to be studying with some guy I never heard of named Michael Clark. You can guess the rest. I have a real knack for putting my foot in my mouth. I have had many more excellent teachers over the years, and too many stories to tell here.
If you remain open to possibility and abandon your sense of fear, all things are possible. Pay attention, the synchronicity is there. The universe sent me these teachers exactly when I need them. Alex taught me much more that ballet steps, he taught me about the visual line created by the body. He had many memorable quotes but the one I remember most fondly and use the most often is ___A good dancer never blames the floor.___ Peter taught me practice and patience and the dangers of comparing myself to the person sitting next to me. Michael taught me to experiment, to see, to build a relationship with the letters and revere their form. Form, line, focus, discipline, dedication; dancing was just like lettering and lettering was just like dancing and on and on the connections go.
So, when you are looking for a teacher and you are ready, one will appear. Take my advice; if you have to, sit on them.