The First Post

I used to sell my calligraphy service online for wedding place cards, invitations and wedding vows. I didn’t really do this for very long – a couple of years or so… and I stopped offering this service because I felt I wanted to do more with my calligraphy skills. I found it sad that the great craft of calligraphy was now reduced to featuring on little bits of card… peripheral… only used to enhance something other. I wanted my calligraphy to be ‘in yer face’, so to speak… I wanted it to take centre stage. So I spent a lot of time thinking of ways to make this possible… actually I spent years thinking of ways to make this possible. I thought about what it was that initially attracted me to calligraphic forms – what was it that made me want to write calligraphy? I realised that I practice calligraphy because it panders to the perfectionist in me – the desire to write a perfect ‘S’; the dedication it takes to write an aesthetically perfect sentence; the obsession needed to write something over and over until it looks right. I like spending time on things; I like being very involved with my work.
Once I had pin pointed why I loved calligraphy, my issue became how to make traditional calligraphy look clean and contemporary, as I am not a fan of anything I regard as too twee, and calligraphy can often fall into the twee camp. To solve this problem I looked at the work of other calligraphers I admire – such as Denis Brown, John Stevens, Barbara Calzolari, Anne Elser – probably my biggest inspiration – and many, many others, and then I looked at what commercial lettering artists were doing… I find commercial lettering artists just as fascinating as calligraphers and I am amazed by the time and effort they put into their work i.e that they will spend so much time drawing words, when it takes me seconds to write them. I became interested in commercial lettering after selling words written in calligraphy to a design studio, the design studio then manipulated my words into advertising copy; I can’t show any of that here because I have signed a confidentiality agreement, but the process got me thinking…
My conclusion to all my thinking and research is the work that I am doing now, work which I will be sharing on this blog. All my current work is a combination of calligraphy skills and hand lettering techniques. Not strictly calligraphy… not strictly hand lettering, but a hybrid of them both… basically I am making paintings of my original calligraphy!
None of my work is photo shopped – not that I disapprove at all – it’s just that I want my work to be on paper or on a surface… [to be real?]…to exist in its own right and not just be an image reliant on a digital process. I see working on paper as a challenge, and I like a challenge.

william blake calligraphy quotation

A truth that’s told….
A quote by William Blake

calligraphy experiments

First draft and final piece together!!!

12 thoughts on “The First Post

  1. 63mago

    Hello Ms Scarlet,
    it’s all new and smells fresh! I am very glad that you are at it again, I feared you would stop to write online all together.
    It’s exciting! Thank you for telling me where I can find you.

    By adding the light grey shades you made the Blake text three dimensional, a floating text. Ich freue mich auf Deine anderen Arbeiten!


  2. wendy house

    Beautiful Willaim Blake quote, and beautiful execution of the words on paper. If I didn’t work in an open plan office surrounded by windows I’d wan to hang it on the wall above my desk..


  3. Palimpsest

    Goodness, this is gorgeous. My work-space (on the landing) gives me a view of the large bit of blank wall above the loo door, and stairs on the half landing, it would be wonderful to put something like this above it. If I ever get any money I will commission you.


  4. Ria

    So, I just discovered your blog and I worked my way through your posts. I absolutely love your writing style, and your calligraphy (but you already know that!).


    1. Scarlet

      Hello and Welcome, Ria – Pensieve! [I wish I had thought of that name!]
      Thank you, this blog is a bit of a hodge podge, but one blog is easier than two, despite the muddle 🙂


      1. Ria

        Thank you for the warm welcome, Scarlet! And for approving of the IG name. I’ve gotten mixed reactions about it, but I’m too attached to let go now. Ha. Looking forward to reading more of your creative writing and for getting a front row seat to your work. Your Flickr account is a gold mine! ❤


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