Author Topic: How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?  (Read 185 times)

Offline Krapprot

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How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?
« on: January 10, 2017, 11:43:49 AM »
I'm just beginning my exploration into Copperplate and Spencerian.  I'm also a diehard coffee addict who relies on the leaded stuff.  I find decaf to be pointless.   Is it possible to develop any degree of precision and finesse with these lettering forms while humming on a good caffeine buzz?


K

Offline Bianca M

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Re: How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 12:05:28 PM »
I find that if I'm totally wired, I can't find my rhythm, my patience, my steady breath, my ability to take the time needed to perform well.  But some caffeine is just fine, of course.  The right amount can help with all that I just mentioned... I definitely need a bit of it to help me focus! 

I think that if you're in a caffeine zone that makes you want to put an exclamation point on everything, you may be over-the-limit for a nice, steady rhythm (and you might be shaking a little, too- some people do, some people don't, right?).  But, I don't think you have to shy away from it.  :) 

...aaaand I'm off to make an espresso.

Offline Jamie

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Re: How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 12:32:58 PM »
On a single cup of coffee I'm usually good - even if it's like two cups covering the course of the day.

However. If I drink enough to take me past awake into hyper territory OR if I had caffeine of any amount and it's starting to leave my system, I get bad shaky hands and calligraphy becomes nigh impossible. It's not even worth it to do practice.

Offline garyn

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Re: How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 01:20:55 PM »
I agree, I think there is a balance.

Some people need some to get their system going. 

But after a certain point it becomes too much.  Like when your hands are shaking from too much caffeine.   That was me long ago, a few years after college; 6 cups before lunch and another 6 after lunch, for months.  Then one day I noticed that my hands were shaking, and I could not keep them steady.  Ah ... too much coffee.

You have to make the call where your body starts to react to the caffeine in a way that will affect your writing, then stay well below that.  Example, if you start to shake and get fast breathing at 4 cups, cut back to 2 cups on days when you are writing and the day before.  And maybe space it out, 1 cup at breakfast and the 2nd after lunch.

gud luk
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Offline Rednaxela

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Re: How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 07:25:50 AM »
Coffee kills my fine motor skill. I stopped drinking it altogether because of this.
-- Alexander --

Offline garyn

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Re: How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 01:48:43 PM »
Coffee kills my fine motor skill. I stopped drinking it altogether because of this.

Awww, killjoy.
Then I can't play with my Espresso Machine :(

Well maybe 1 cup a day 3x a week would be OK.
Gary

Offline Bianca M

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Re: How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 02:37:21 PM »

Awww, killjoy.
Then I can't play with my Espresso Machine :(
[/quote]

Lol... Isn't it the truth, though, that we all handle it differently?  Our tolerances vary so much.  Right now I am practically a sloth even after a double espresso (it certainly is no substitute for sleep). I used to drink a pot of coffee and a few diet cokes every day (also college), and then about two years ago after a healthy cup-or-two a day habit, I couldn't even have a sip of coffee or tea.  My body totally rejected it.  Thank goodness those days are (pretty much) over- how I missed coffee!  But I do have to be careful because anything slightly over my limit and I can say goodbye to my envelope addressing plans.

Offline Rednaxela

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Re: How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 03:29:38 PM »
Agree, we're all different. Personally, I find it surprisingly easy to live without, and I like the additional benefits, such as sleeping better. But YMM certainly V.
-- Alexander --

Offline Andrea K

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Re: How well do caffeine and precision lettering mix?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 12:59:39 AM »
I might have a solution.  I do botanical art (watercolor and graphite), which also demands tee-tiny precise work.  I find that after my mandatory and beloved 3 mugs of super strong morning coffee my detail work suffers.  Okay, it's impossible.  So, rather than give up my coffee altogether, in the morning I study my subject, make my notes, prepare for painting.  I leave the fine line and detail work for the afternoon, during which time I go caffeine-free.  For myself, decaf isn't pointless because I love the flavor of coffee.  But I do understand the energy that one gets/needs from coffee.  There is a point where my body switches its "interpretation" of caffeine from energy to jitters LOL.  I've looked at other artists' pieces, and admired the clear control of lines and thought to myself, "Wow.  That's afternoon work!"

Anyway, good luck!  You'll find your balance. 
"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." — Oscar Wilde