“Judging your own work can be harder than judging someone else’s,” says professional artist Francesco Fontana. You know the words. The ones telling you “You made a mistake.” “You did that wrong.” “What were you thinking of?” That’s your Censor. We all have one inside our heads judging every stroke. But to learn scribal arts – or any craft for that matter – you have to find a way around your Censor. You want it to be helpful. To critique your works without judging them. Critiquing yourself is different than being judged in an SCA A&S competition like at the coming Calontir A&S Championship and Tri-levels Event. And it’s not about whether you like your finished work or not. When you critique yourself turn off your inner comments. Things like “Oh, No! I painted outside the design”. Instead turn each into “I can scratch that mark off later. No, biggie.” Or “Oh, well, that’s not much. I can fix that little detail.” Remember flubs were period too. Self-criticism isn’t meant to be negative personal talk. That steals your energy and dead-ends creative paths. You want self-critique to turn nay-saying thoughts into helpful cues. To turn your inner voice into a learning guide that knows higher skill levels are challenging. As a scribe when I’m involved in a project I’m picky. But there are times I like my work too well. Whatever your ability anyone can learn and improve. The important […]
Scribal skill improvement comes with experience over time. There are ways to gain experience without a deadline.
How many times have you sat with your SCA friends listening to stories about their experiences and creations? Did you wonder where they got the idea to do such a thing? How they even began to figure it all out? One way to create distinctive life experiences – SCA or otherwise – is to have a Life List. I had never […]
Calendar fragment with wishes for the new year. Printed in Basel between 1480 and 1490. ow in the British Museum The New Year is fast approaching. Just two days away. As I do most every year at this time I reflect on the last year. I encourage you to do the same for your SCA life. You’ll want to consider both things that went well for you and things that did not. What inspired your SCA creativity and what depleted your energy? And how well you used your hobby time? After pondering those questions I consider what I learned last year. And, what I did with what I learned. And finally, I consider how I might do things differently in this new year. For the future I set goals. One long-term goal that I chop into several that are shorter. Last year my SCA goal was to better connect with the SCA scribal community. Then M. Aidan – the current Calontir Minister of Arts and Sciences – chose to take within the scribal community all Book Arts, not just the skills used for making scrolls. So I expanded my goal slightly to connecting better with Calontir’s book artisans. As with many SCAdians, the reason for this goal was my restricted budget. I wanted a way to connect and support Calontir scribes that didn’t involve kenneling my two dogs for extended periods. The kennel cost limits my participation. You may have limiting budget factors too. Most of us […]
At Lonely Tower’s scribes gathering recently Ly. Kristin asked what the basic illumination skills were that she should learn. Kristin is an accomplished preprint painter with wonderful skills, but she wants to take it a step further. How does she know what skills she should learn? Where would you look? A great starting place is this archived article “A Guide For The […]
One of my favorite modern scribal-related blogs is Lindsey Bugbee‘s The Postman’s Knock. In her January 16th post she gave five creative goals to work toward this year. Lindsey’s five goals are perfect for SCA scribes. They fit us to a tee. So I’m describing them for you here. Don’t dwell on mistakes or mess-ups. Keep the joy in your scribal […]
I read recently that learning calligraphy refines one’s temperament. Well, mine certainly needs refining. But why should you learn calligraphy besides you feel it in your “bones” you want to do it? These are a few reasons I have. Calligraphy is not expensive to learn. It’s a silly reason if it’s your only one. It’s an important factor if you already are […]
“Is what I’m doing good enough to be accepted?” I hear this question often. Sometimes more than once from the same person. I’ve even asked it about my own work. It is one reason some scribes stick to AoA or baronial level scrolls. The scrolls are needed, but they’re also less intimidating because the designs are usually done by another […]