Tag Archives | calligraphy

Happy Fall – Halloween Exchange is now open for sign ups!

Hi Flourish Friends,

It has been quite some time since I posted an update for Flourish members. If you are receiving this message via email, it is because at some point you signed up for emails via the Flourish Forum blog. 😉

I have just posted the sign-ups for the always popular Halloween | Day of the Dead Exchange. This exchange will work a little differently than previous ones. The lists will be set up according to skill level starting with complete newbie up through advanced.

I know some folks will be disappointed with this so there will also be a “lottery” in that each advanced skilled member will have one newbie/beginner on their list to send an exchange. This way beginners will still have a chance at receiving a more advanced skill exchange.

Sign ups can be found here: Halloween Exchange Sign Up post

Many new members, both experienced and beginners, have joined us over the summer. Although things have been quiet, we’ve watched some great improvements being made and continued to share new calligraphy related finds.

Most recently, generous member SMK (Salman) has begun sharing his fantastic Copperplate tutorials. These are very in-depth lessons with great detail. This is an incredibly generous and exciting offering from Salman and we are very lucky to have him sharing with us and giving so much of his time and experience. Salman’s lessons are in the Tutorial board which can only be accessed once logged in.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve joined us, I hope you stop in to say hi, share with us what you have been up to, and sign up, if you’d like, for the Halloween | Day of the Dead exchange.

Truly,

Erica

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SCRIBE: Artist of the Written Word Review [GIVEAWAY – closed]

John Stevens: SCRIBE: Artist of the Written Word Review

Scribe: Artist of the Written Word | John Stevens

Available at John Neal Booksellers

Many eager learners of calligraphy today do not think twice about spending a couple hundred dollars for an online or beginner’s workshop to gain access to coveted secrets of the craft and trade. But many do hesitate to spend even a fraction of that on a book. However, I believe anyone who loves the calligraphic arts and is serious about their pursuit of learning calligraphy should purchase SCRIBE: Artist of the Written Word by John Stevens. This is especially true for those considering calligraphy as a business.

Not only is SCRIBE bursting at the seams with the gorgeous and diverse work of the mega-talented John Stevens, but the book also contains some of the best narrative about the art form I have ever read. SCRIBE is not a “how-to” book but an impressive portfolio of John’s lifework, interspersed with savory paragraphs of expert knowledge regarding the principles, rather than the techniques, of calligraphy. John endeavors to elevate all forms of this expressive and functional art – no matter the style of calligraphy, the tool used, or a work’s purposeful use.

He jumps in by discussing the word “calligraphy” itself and the word’s inability to express everything that is encompassed by our art today or how it will be influenced in the future as a craft and art form. He implores us to not think in terms of dividing calligraphy by trends, styles, or genres, but rather to realize that quality is what really matters. He states, “thinking in terms of tools or styles is a mistaken idea, as it does not tell us anything about the quality of the form or the work….Comparing genres is different than looking at quality.”

And quality is something John knows. The book, itself a quality publication, is full of amazing contemporary and classic calligraphy: Roman, Italic, Copperplate, and Fraktur, as well as brush lettering, gestural lettering, calligrams, and more. Page after page, John’s work beholds both expertly executed design and true mastery of calligraphy as an art form. Each and every piece is a study of quality work and inspires contemplation of what makes it so successful. And the diversity of letterforms is truly astounding.

However, I am enthralled as much by the narrative as by John’s visual gallery. He gives such incredible insight into form, rhythm, movement, content, design, and implementing the use of calligraphy that I feel I should have paid tuition as well as the price of the book. He writes, “Simply possessing a nice hand such as Italic or Uncial is admirable, but is that the real goal? Practice and study are necessary, yet how to put it all together is the bigger topic…[C]alligraphers are striving toward more thoughtful connection to meaning and intention, beyond the merely beautiful or decorative.”

John speaks in-depth of cultivating an appreciation for the lettering arts and how to expand on the “make it simple” teaching of calligraphy. He states, “If we cultivated the appreciation of form, content, and design from the beginning, then we would move the conversation away from ‘perfect penmanship and pretty poems’ toward a more vibrant expression.” While he is not against beginning and basic classes, he explains in order to develop calligraphy, we need to be teaching at a higher level than where we currently are. His ideal in teaching is “to achieve a fine balance of visual language, letterform development, design with content, and mastery of tools.”

SCRIBE reveals invaluable descriptions of the exercises John uses when teaching the progression from fundamental forms to developing variations. While he embraces the form, beauty, and quality of traditional work such as Italic, he encourages us to move beyond specific historical scripts to create almost endless possibilities of exploration and variation. He also discusses the importance of learning design and how to use the space as effectively and powerfully as we can.

John shares many secrets about, well, everything. In addition to the process of learning, he devotes an entire chapter to the “Working Calligrapher,” which includes creating one-of-a-kind pieces and the intricacies of working with clients, as well as working as a designer, invitation work, product calligraphy, wood and stone lettering, logos, certificates, and how he began his business. He shares page after page of beautiful, inspiring examples of his work. He closes the book with information about Cheerio Calligraphy Retreats and his approach and ideals as a teacher.

Beyond the discussion of modern versus traditional, beyond a compilation of gifted work, this book dives deep into what makes beautiful and quality calligraphy, and how we can both carry on and elevate the craft. I highly recommend you invest both the money to buy it and the time to read it.

Truly,
Erica

– – – – – – – – – -GIVEAWAY CLOSED- – – – – – – – –

John Neal Bookseller and Flourish Forum have teamed up to give away a free copy of SCRIBE: Artist of the Written Word by John Stevens. [GIVEAWAY CLOSED.] Don’t forget to follow @FlourishForum and @JohnNealBookseller on Instagram. The lucky recipient will be was selected on Friday, November 6, 2015, after 11:59 pm.

One entry per person. For Instagram entrants: per Instagram rules, this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 14+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

P.S. SCRIBE: Artist of the Written Word would make a great holiday gift for you and for the letter lovers in your life!

 

—— UPDATE ———-

The lucky winner was:

SCRIBE Winner 2015

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Flourish Friends!

Just a quick note to say hope you all have a fantastic new year filled with fun, family, and flourishing! In honor of new years (and staying up late to wait for my teenager to come home safely), I created a mini-tutorial of Tips for Calligraphy & Design. I also added a new board called, Design & Layout where members can share their design tips, secrets, and examples.

Design Tips for Calligraphers

For all you new members, this is just one of many tutorials at Flourish. If you are a new member, please be sure to check out the Copperplate Tutorial video series in the Pointed Pen Nirvana section.

So grateful to all of the wonderful members at Flourish for answering questions, sharing information, and spreading the love of lettering! 2014 has been a great year!

Happy 2015!

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New 2015 Sharing & Caring Exchanges Announced!

As the year draws to a close, I am relishing in all the new friends made, new knowledge gained, and pure joy Flourish forum members have spread throughout the globe.

It’s been equally as fun preparing for the new year ahead. I’ve updated the homepage with some new colors and a new look. And I’ve published our new Sharing & Caring Exchanges for 2015!

This year’s exchanges were a smashing success and members shared beautiful calligraphy all over the world. In total, we sent over 2,000 calligraphed envelopes and cards! Next year promises to be even bigger with lots of fun themes and opportunities to share our creativity and love for calligraphy.

You must be a member to participate so if you haven’t registered yet, sign up now. Our first exchange, the ever popular Valentine’s Exchange has just opened up for sign ups and our first ever Advanced Exchange, “Mimic a Master” has just opened up as well.

Wishing everyone a very happy New Year with much health, happiness, and success in 2015!

Flourish Forum Calligraphy Exchanges

 

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Fantastic Year at Flourish!

Hi Flourish Friends!

It’s hard to believe Flourish is now one year old! And what an amazing year it has been. We now have over 2,600 members and are growing daily. Our members are amazing. I am continually impressed with the gracious way in which everyone shares and cares here at Flourish, from welcoming new members, to helping with questions, to just being a friend. Calligraphers are the nicest people!

We’ve had a fabulous year with awesome tutorials and even better calligraphy exchanges. Every exchange is such a delight. We know getting beautiful mail is the best way to brighten someone’s day! Our holiday exchange was the largest to date with almost 100 participants! Next year’s exchanges look to be even better with some creative topics and fun ideas!

Now that the year is coming to a close, I hope to freshen up the place a bit in the very near future, so look for updates and additions soon. As always, I welcome any input for changes, improvements, etc. Just drop me an email or PM.

Lastly, if you haven’t ordered yet or you’d like to send a gift to a letter lover in your life, Dasherie Magazine is still shipping right up until the holidays!

Dasherie Magazine | Issue 2

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I wish you all the best success, happiness, and good health in 2015!

Truly,
Erica

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UPPERCASE Magazine #23 – “The Calligraphy Issue”

This is one of those “pinch me” moments.

I am a HUGE fan of UPPERCASE Magazine which is published, edited, and designed by Janine Vangool. Janine is seriously a creative genius. Issue after issue is so incredibly inspiring and so full of creative content. It is really quite remarkable how one person can do all that she does and do it so well.

So you can imagine how excited I was to see Issue 23 was scheduled to be “The Calligraphy Issue.” But you can’t imagine how over the moon I was to be asked for a feature. I am incredibly humbled to be included among some of the calligraphers I most admire.

I highly recommend you purchase not just this issue, but a full subscription. And as a sweet deal to all you letter lovers out there, Janine has offered this fabulous discount. Use the discount code, “letterlove” for $15 off subscriptions until October 31st. You can purchase here.

Erica McPhee feature in UPPERCASE #23

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2,000 members and growing!

Hello Flourishing Friends!

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted. We were busy moving our home and my studio the past couple of weeks. It took over a week to get internet and I still don’t have a phone line for some strange reason. But we are making do. My studio is yet to be set up or unpacked but hopefully that will happen this week. Thus I feel very discombobulated and out of sorts.

In any event, things are moving along at Flourish. I have posted a poll for the upcoming Sharing & Caring Exchanges for 2015. Please vote if you would like to participate in exchanges next year. We already have 54 members signed up for our upcoming Holiday Exchange! This is our biggest exchange yet and promises to be lots of fun!

We now have well over 2,000 members and we are approaching 21,000 posts! How is that for a great first year?!

I am hard at work on the next issue of Dasherie which will be ready to ship in late November. It is bursting with awesome tutorials and so much gorgeous calligraphy! I pinch myself that I get to see all this beautiful lettering in one place. Once on its way, I will be refocusing on Flourish and hoping to implement some new changes and tutorials for 2015. As always, I welcome any input and/or suggestions on how to make Flourish even better.

Happy October!

 

 

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Dasherie Magazine and Flourish Forum on Martha Stewart American Made!

Hi Flourish Friends!

So Dasherie Magazine has thrown its hat into the ring for the Martha Stewart American Made award! Please click on the badge link below to visit our page and share on Facebook and Twitter. Like the video on YouTube and help Dasherie become a finalist for the grand prize! The more shares and likes, the better our chances! Share with all of your friends and family and ask them to share and like, too, if you’d like!

Like us on Facebook!

Follow us on Instagram!

Follow us on Twitter!

Don’t miss the video and read about Flourish Forum in the Martha Stewart profile! 🙂

I just want to take a moment and say thank you for all of the amazing feedback and support for Dasherie and the Flourish Forum. This is a dream come true for me and it would not have happened without the amazing people in the calligraphy community and all of my friends and family. From the bottom of my heart — thank you for your support!

Martha Stewart - American Made 2014 - Nominee Badge

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Dasherie Magazine now available for preorder!

Hello My Flourish Friends,

We now have almost 1,500 members in our calligraphy community! Flourish is a wonderful place to talk about calligraphy and get support from calligraphy friends. Those friendships are reaching far beyond calligraphy to become what I am sure will be life long bonds for many. I am both humbled and thrilled to have created this place for us to gather. But it is the wonderful people who have really made Flourish flourish! 🙂

With that, I would like to apologize for not being more present on the forum the past couple of weeks. As most of you know, I have been working literally night and day to prepare for the release of my new calligraphy magazine, Dasherie. Many people have asked what Dasherie is all about so I would like to share more with you.

Dasherie Magazine is a new print magazine and is the only magazine dedicated solely to the art of calligraphy and hand lettering. Our debut issue features over 25 artists and over 100 images of beautiful calligraphy. Dasherie provides inspiration for artists and a fabulous reference for brides and other event planners looking for fine hand lettering ideas and products to make all the details extra special. So it is both a showcase and a way to connect those looking for calligraphy with those who do calligraphy!

Dasherie is unlike any other calligraphy journal or magazine. It is a “style” magazine along the lines of other bridal or niche magazines like sewing, scrapbooking, or the arts. It is a 100 page, 4-color, printed magazine filled with high quality images of the finest calligraphy offered around the globe. We also feature full length articles with Artist features, DIY how-to’s, and more. I’m sharing a sneak peak below of one of our spreads in the first issue featuring the beautiful calligraphy of Joy Fairclough, of Studio French Blue.

So share the news with all your letter loving friends! I hope you will pre-order yours today and enjoy it with me!

Truly,

Erica

Dasherie Magazine | For Hearts that Love Letters

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How far we’ve come!

Now that the video tutorials for pointed pen have wound down, I have been concentrating on bringing Dasherie Magazine to the calligraphy community. The first issue is overflowing with gorgeous calligraphy. If you love letters, this is a can’t miss issue. I will be posting more details about how to purchase the premiere issue very soon.

In the meantime, the wonderful thing about procrastinating now is that I can still be doing my job by procrastinating on the Flourish Forum! The forum has now welcomed over 1,300 members! And I would like to take the time to say thank you to all the wonderful letter lovers who have joined our community. This is an amazing group of generous and kind people and I am truly blessed to call you all friend.

Flourish has had 9,300 posts! We are welcoming almost 10 new members every day! Hooray! This surely demonstrates calligraphy is alive and well! With so many members and all the wonderful posts it is no longer possible for me to keep up and respond to every post. This is a good thing as this community is about all of you – not me! But I would like to let you know if you have posted and I haven’t responded it is solely because I haven’t had time to yet. I do hope to be able to continue reading every post even if I can’t respond.

I’ve been working on my Pangrams that Make Sense series. This is number 4 in the series. Having a 16 year old in the house, I came up with this ditty which still makes me giggle! The style is a pointed pen variation created by Mike Kecseg. Mike’s copperplate variations are really one of the forerunners to the contemporary/modern calligraphy movement. If you ever have an opportunity to take one of his classes I HIGHLY recommend it!

Pangrams that Make Sense, #4

Last but not least, thank you to all the fabulous members who continue to greet our newcomers by posting hello in the introduction board. Even if you just say a quick ‘hi and welcome’ it means a great deal to newcomers to feel recognized and welcomed by the group. And a very big thank you to all our “regulars” who are so kind and respond to questions and posts with enthusiasm.

Things are flourishing at Flourish!

Truly,

Erica

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