I’ve been working on this “big project” for months now. I wanted it to be just right before putting it out there. I finally set my date to launch and made it happen.
As those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning know (you still with me?), I learned about calligraphy when I was in grade school. I never had any other friends that were interested in lettering like I was. I spent hours writing my name in different styles of cursive. I practiced italic and blackletter with my Sheaffer calligraphy kit and wore out many an Elegant Writer calligraphy marker.
Other than a graphic arts teacher in high school, I didn’t meet anyone else who loved calligraphy like I did until I was in my early 20’s! In 1993 I saw Maria Thomas’ spencerian invitations in Victoria magazine and went over the moon! I had to learn this style of calligraphy! Maria directed me to Michael Sull who kindly sent me the manuscript of his yet unpublished Learning to Write Spencerian script book. I taught myself spencerian just in time to do my own wedding invitations in 1994!
It was a few years later! when I finally met other letter lovers who had started a guild in Maine. Over the years I would go on to take many calligraphy workshops with some fantastic calligraphers. Once in FL, I joined two more fabulous guilds! I also enjoyed many conversations on the email listservs of Cyberscribes and IAMPETH.
However, over time, I couldn’t keep up with the emails. Calligraphy took a back seat to studying homeopathic medicine and fast forward, here we are in 2013! So while calligraphy is everywhere – on Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram, I once again feel disconnected from other calligraphers. I decided a forum would be the perfect environment for calligraphers to share their work, their knowledge, and connect with others. Unlike in a listserv or even facebook or instagram or pinterest, in a forum, all members can post and see all the comments in one place. The topics are organized into categories and can be easily searched. References can be easily located and archived for quick access. You can see the photographs right in the post with the person’s commentary. And you don’t have to receive notifications, you can go to the forum at your leisure.
On Facebook you must go to one person after another’s wall to make sure you aren’t missing anything as their posts don’t always show up in your feed. Also, you could post something and half your calligraphy friends might miss it because it flies through their feed or they aren’t on at the right time. Additionally, posting on a wall in FB, your post goes to the upper corner and doesn’t stay on the wall where it can be easily seen. And while I *love* seeing all my friends’ beautiful posts on their blogs, it is also difficult to keep up and I miss out on seeing some beautiful work! Blogs, FB, Pinterest, Instagram will always have their place! But I wished for a place where we could all share and see everything all in one spot. A forum seemed like the most logical solution.
Additionally, it seems calligraphy is EVERYWHERE! It is at an integral turning point. New letter lovers are popping up left and right! To me, it is important the legacy of calligraphy maintains the integrity of the lettering arts going forward. This can only happen with the help of talented and skilled lettering artists sharing their knowledge with others who are eager to learn. I encourage anyone and everyone to learn, practice, and flourish!
So I decided to embrace my motto – Be Brave. Love Life. And I opened The Flourish Forum. I hope you’ll join me there!