Author Topic: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy  (Read 37645 times)

Offline theailahkathrina

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2015, 10:40:24 AM »
Wow. I am so overwhelmed at the post. As a newbie, I also like how you did the lettering. But the notes itself made me confused. But then, after reading the whole post, it made me realize that everyone started with somewhere.

Now I am doing practice on my practice pad (a day per page), and stick quotes and words I have written somewhere I always see it, so that I can study and criticize my work more. Thank you so much, ate Erica! :)
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Offline Meriyou

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #31 on: July 08, 2015, 05:50:01 AM »
So helpful, Erica! As a newbie, it's very important for me this kind of articles in order to improve my calligraphy. I think it's important the practice but the feedback of an expert too... So sad because there are classes but far away from where I live... Still working on and studying on the internet!
Watch with glittering eyes the world around you

Offline Estrella

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #32 on: July 08, 2015, 01:43:52 PM »
Great thread! I learned a lot just by reading this... now to apply it all!!

Offline Saron

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #33 on: August 15, 2015, 05:11:07 AM »
Dear Erica,
As a newbie I am forever questioning if I am going about this in the right way.
I will continue to practice try and take a few courses which are very limited where I live and can be very costly when you find a good one.

Regards

Saron

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2015, 08:13:42 PM »
Your script looks lovely Saron. You can always post in the Kind Critique section for feedback.  :)
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
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Offline ash0kgiri

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2016, 10:45:09 PM »
Hi Erica,

This is such a wonderful post. So detailed and insightful.

Ashok
International Calligrapher & Educator
IAMPETH Certificate of Proficiency - Engrossers Script
www.joyandashcalligraphy.com  |  www.instagram.com/ash0kgiri

Offline Thary

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #36 on: March 27, 2017, 07:26:46 PM »
This hit the right marks for me today. I was just sitting at home yesterday working on a piece and wondering how I would tell if it was good or not. I love feedback and always appreciate it when I get it, so working alone can be hard sometimes. This list is a great way of stepping back from your work and really looking at it with a critical eye if you don't happen to have someone around to help you.

Thank you for sharing, Erica! :D
T h a r y   C h h o m 
Graphic Designer | Calligrapher | Typophile

Offline Tales from the Nib

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2017, 04:47:47 AM »
Great thread, I was just discussing this with a friend.
I think that critique can be given in two ways, when it's friendly and useful it's great, and think that encouragement along with advice goes a long way.
What grinds my gears is when a person you have no contact with, smoothes their ego, by crushing someone else's enthusiasm, I don't care for that behaviour.
I have to say that I dislike my calligraphy most of the time, I criticise the death out of it, on the surface I look calm, I'm like a swan, composed, but underneath my legs paddling like fury, trying to fight against the current of criticism and arghhhhh, why can't I get this right. Typical newbie I guess  :)

Offline [email protected]

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2017, 11:00:52 AM »
@Erica McPhee though this thread is a few years old, this forum is new to me. I'm thoroughly enjoying digging through threads, discovering everything the forum has to offer.  Particularly this post; it's right at the top of my list and I know I haven't even scratched the surface.  You set an excellent example on how to take a critique.  I love that you showed an actual example.  Very encouraging. Though I love instragm for making connections, it's all hearts and smilies...  I need more.  I'm excited to be here.

Offline cejohnson

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2017, 11:19:43 AM »
Erica,

I have printed out these 'Pearls of Wisdom' and placed them in my practice folder.

When I was raising my son I told him when you ask people for their opinion about something you've done, some people will be kind (either constructively trying to help or do not want to hurt your feelings), others may be harsh (either honestly trying to help you or maybe they have some other motive).

Regardless I told him do not ask if you are not prepared for the answer. If you're asking a question with a desired answer in mind, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. Keep the response in the proper context.

Thanks again Erica for providing us with these tips!
"The expert at anything was once a beginner." - Helen Hayes

Offline renaissancewoman

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2017, 11:21:36 AM »
Though I love instragm for making connections, it's all hearts and smilies...  I need more.

@Jennifer M I couldn't agree more about Instagram. I have specifically asked for critique on there before, but all you get are "it looks great!" or heart eyes and smiley faces. That's not always helpful even though it's nice to hear.
Best, Ana
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Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2017, 11:53:22 AM »
Thanks Ladies!

Criticism is one of the hardest parts of "doing" art. Both giving it and receiving it. We are so attached to our work, it is really difficult to hear feedback which is not what we were hoping for. There were times I would get upset but then quite some time later go back to the piece and realize the person critiquing had been spot on. I just wasn't ready to hear it yet.

Some folks have not learned how to give constructive critique either. I had one class in college in which a really large percentage of our grade was based on the feedback we gave other students in the class and every class consisted of people standing at the front of the room with their work while others commented on it. It was BRUTAL in every way - sitting there watching, trying to come up with something constructive to say, being the recipient, etc.! But - it did help me develop a thicker skin and be able to critically look at others' work in search of both praise and constructive feedback for them.

Lastly, the majority of people will have an explanation for every critiqued point given. It's human nature. It's a defense mechanism. And many times, people get upset and take it personally (well - because our art is personal). It is really difficult to hear we are flawed. But listening openly to critique is one of the best ways to improve our work.  ;)
Truly, Erica
Lettering/Design Artist, Homeopath, Photographer, Mom, Wife
Dasherie Magazine | Paperwhite Studio | Instagram | Facebook

Offline ash0kgiri

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2017, 11:28:36 PM »
It is really difficult to hear we are flawed. But listening openly to critique is one of the best ways to improve our work.  ;)

Can't agree enough Erica. So well said. :D
International Calligrapher & Educator
IAMPETH Certificate of Proficiency - Engrossers Script
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Offline AnasaziWrites

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2019, 01:53:41 PM »
However, some of us reach a point where we believe our own publicity and consider our writing to be perfect, often when we still have a way to go. In that situation, this quote from Hermann Zapf can help bring one down to earth. I don't mean this as a depressant but as a gentle counter-balance to the ten points of reassurance.


I really like this quote.
Good or excellent are such relative terms. During the first 6 months or so of my attempt to learn Spencerian were the only moments I thought I was starting to really get the hang of it--not excellent, not even good, but bordering on pretty good. That feeling was fostered constantly by people to whom I sent letters or cards who had never seen good handwriting. I sent a card to a local business owner on the first anniversary of her business and she liked it so much, she put it in a little stand on the counter by the cash register for all her customers to see, and every time I went in there, she said how much her customers liked it, it was so pretty, nicest writing they'd ever seen, and so on. That made me feel good, at least initially, and those comments were supporting a view of my work that I no longer agree with myself. Now, I go in and see that card and cringe. It's really not even pretty good. Dare I say it is pretty bad? Not quite awful, at least.
 This change in perspective has come about in part by studying exemplars of the masters and in part by studying the work of those better than me on this forum. The more I study truly good work, the wider I perceive the gulf between my work and good/excellent work to be, which might be disheartening. But also the gulf grows between my first attempts and my current ones, so encouraging. Sort of like increasing knowledge is an expanding universe. As long as I'm going in a positive direction, it's good. My 2 cents for the day.
@Erica McPhee  @Ken Fraser
And so, here we are, five years later (at least, a few of us).
I still send an anniversary card each year to the business owner mentioned above, having celebrated the eight year anniversary this May. She has all eight cards in a little stand for her customers to see, and recently said she, her staff, and some of the customers wait with eager anticipation the arrival of the card each May. Such a small thing to do to add a little joy to someone's life.
I'll share a couple of things with you I've learned over these years. Five years ago, I judged it (and thus, myself) too harshly. It was not created by a master penman (or even a good one) to a master penman to be judged--It was sent by a beginner using beginning skills to an average person with the hope it would provide a little smile, as a token of gratitude. In this it was, and still is, quite successful. I no longer cringe when I see it.
Was each card better than the last? No, at least in the technical sense. Learning is not linear. There are setbacks along the way. But each was successful in achieving the desired end--to bring a little joy to someone else, and hopefully, to you as the creator as well.
As no one has responded to this thread in two years, let me assure you if you are reading it now for the first time, Erica's points are still valid now as they were five years ago, as is Ken's quote. And as you learn to critique yourself, be also kind to yourself.


Offline Lyric

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Re: Ten Tips to Self-Critique and Improve your Calligraphy
« Reply #44 on: July 22, 2020, 05:58:12 PM »
Oh, we are so good at seeing our flaws! But sometimes, it's not so easy when we are producing a work of art or calligraphy. After all, the work created is a reflection of ourselves in many ways. While it is often easy for us to be critical of our work, it is not as easy to critique it in order to make improvements.

It is easy, however, to be defensive.

THIS is a godsend, Ms. Erica.  I have printed this out for myself.  Recently I have been advised to learn to do just this versus signing up for this one's and that one's "online calligraphy class" on my part-time salary.  It is NOT working.

Thank you.
Cheerfully,
Lyric