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calligraphy and design


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Never saying never

Katherine Ross

I never thought I'd actually blog - where will I find the time?! and who cares?! - but here I am, bloggin' away. The reason being is that I'm doing something else I never thought I'd do - teaching a workshop. 

There's a major distinction between these two leaps I'm taking - between blogging and teaching. I never thought I'd actually blog because I never gave it much thought at all. I never thought I'd teach a workshop not because I never gave it any thought - I gave it a ton of thought, probably too much thought, I am a crazy person who thinks about calligraphy workshops - but because I didn't think I could. 

 Genellynne Rivera

Genellynne Rivera

Of course I could teach a workshop, as in, make an announcement, find a venue, alert the mailing list I keep of people who've been like, "why don't you teach a workshop already?!" and then there you'd have it - a Script Merchant workshop! But on what? How would I even begin? There's so much to say, and the most important foundation you need to start with is something I don't feel comfortable teaching. 

Traditional script. Engrosser's, Copperplate, anything with a pointed nib that takes discipline and foundational strokes and rules, lots of rules. Learning a traditional script first is something I think is so important. You have to learn those rules before you can break them! But while I learned them and practiced them, I never perfected them. Or came even within a mile of perfecting them. And you can't teach what you don't know! 

 Some early, under-developed Copperplate skills. This? I shouldn't really teach this. 

Some early, under-developed Copperplate skills. This? I shouldn't really teach this. 

 But THIS. I know this! I can teach you how to make it weird, so to speak. 

But THIS. I know this! I can teach you how to make it weird, so to speak. 

So I couldn't feel comfortable teaching a workshop on Modern Calligraphy without teaching a workshop on something like Copperplate first. And I couldn't teach that because I am no Copperplate wizard, that's for sure. And what's worse (or actually better? I had so few resources when I started so the community has improved exponentially) is that there are already plenty of great Modern Calligraphy workshops out there. I don't have something unique to say about Modern Calligraphy in general, and therefore I don't have a workshop topic. UNTIL

Enter the Modern Calligraphy Summit. This solved every. single. issue. Need your students to learn the basics of Copperplate first? Okay, Younghae Chung of Logos Calligraphy will do that for you. Want to teach a topic more specific than "Modern Calligraphy" and more tailored to your own creative process? Okay, your class can be all about intentionally (and egregiously) breaking the rules, and that's your favorite thing EVER so you can feel REALLY EXCITED ABOUT IT. Want to reach a larger audience than just those who can travel locally? Okay, we'll set that up for you, too. Here's a videographer. Here's a platform. Here are 6 other teachers who will increase the value of the workshop tenfold. I couldn't have planned it better! No but really, I couldn't have - thank you, Ashley Lurcott. 

So, Breaking the Rules. That's my course, and I encourage you to sign up! Early bird rates are on sale until tomorrow, August 30th, at midnight. You will be able to sign up again in January at the regular rate, but saving money is a no-brainer. Because there are a ton of other teachers and courses and I can't imagine how you'd walk away feeling "meh" about it. There's your ringing endorsement! YOU WON'T FEEL MEH. 

Is there more to say? Absolutely. I'll attempt some future posts once I get over the initial shock of having written one at all. :)