Repeating Yourself, Again
What do you do when you have a short-notice scroll assignment? If it’s a made on site “combat” scroll the recipient gets what you have in your head, or what you can pull from a brief satellite hook up. You’re not able to do lengthy research.
If you’re home there’s another resource you could quickly use. Copies from your own earlier work. Your portfolio. But don’t forget those old scroll designs you’ve saved. Favorite manuscript images, motifs, and tracings you used before. These can be wonderfully inspiring and useful.
In the Middle Ages, workshops did the same thing. They repeated figures in the same story to illustrate different moments. They often used them on other books within the same workshop.
Be cautious about mixing styles. You’ll want to stick to the motifs and layout that’s found for the location and era you want to recreate. But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel if it isn’t necessary.
For future use you can make them more useful if you already have created extra copies, especially of repeatable motifs. Enlargements or reductions of specific areas may also be helpful. Later you just pull them out and arrange them in a new way. Lay them on your paper, add others, move them around until your muse strikes.
As you accumulate your own patterns they become an infinite inspiration store for future works. So appropriately reuse, reorder and repeat yourself as often as you like.
Each time you create a scroll for a time and place you’ve not done before save several copies of the motifs you use. Put them in a paper-folder labeled with the era’s name. This is particularly helpful if it’s for a Russian or Norse/Viking persona. Create your own design cache. You’ll be ahead in planning when your next assignment appears.
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