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Messages - Starlee

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2023 Exchanges / Re: Love Letters 2023 Valentine Exchange
« on: March 10, 2023, 05:14:26 PM »
Receiving your exchange in the mail @Erica McPhee was such a treat! One I will cherish. You went above and beyond with this one.
I really enjoyed this exchange as well. I saw this bear online but without a pattern so I 'reverse-engineered' it, which was fun. Uploaded the design to my Cricut and then assembled.
No where near as time-consuming as your project Erica, but it took enough time as well. Thoroughly enjoyed myself though! My motivation was my nieces. I made a much simpler version for them. :)

What an awesome field to get into Sybille!

I agree with you. Methods of learning calligraphy can be used to help improve handwriting. So many excellent points already covered. Another I would add would be to teach them to self-critique themselves in a kind and patient manner; to learn to identify their poor habits (e.g., u and n looking the same, not closing the o, etc.) and work to correct them.

Another thing to keep in mind is why the person is coming to you for rehabilitation in the first place. The points you outlined definitely apply when the issue is mental in nature or from lack of knowledge. But if they are there because of physical inability, then all the studying of proportions and repeated practice will not help if the physical issue is not also addressed. And if there is a physical component, the type of physical issue will influence even that approach.

As for the comments about differences between handwriting and calligraphy, I have terrible handwriting...but I can also have excellent handwriting. I don't think it's just a matter of being unwilling. Handwriting is tricky because we write under all sorts of contexts and moods. How I write a reminder note to myself vs a birthday card to my niece or a thank you letter to someone will all look very different. Also, if I am angry, happy, sad, distracted, rushed, sick,....theses are all extra factors that will show up more easily in handwriting. With calligraphy, we train ourselves to suppress these things as well as our personal quirks in order to 'stay true' to the letterforms. The awesomeness of handwriting is that we have much more freedom in how it looks in the end....but often that freedom is taken too far to the point of illegibility. Also, intent matters. The end goal of calligraphy is typically not a grocery store list but rather a piece of art. Even in practice, being able to (eventually) make some form of art is usually the driving desire. Now, we could open up the old can of worms: is Spencerian really calligraphy? But even when writing Spencerian in modern times, the person is most often using it to make a desirable final product. With handwriting, desirable product isn't always the goal. Sometimes it's more important to get the thoughts down. If possible I try to use typing when those moments pop up now.

A final comment on neuroplasticity vs rehabilitation. My dissertation was on neuroplasticity; I cannot resist. I often hear the two terms used interchangeably, when mean different things. Neuroplasticity can be a part of rehabilitation. But rehabilitation can also involve other compensations or modifications to get around the problem. And @jeanwilson, you so so right, it is very hard to convince people that the brain can change. It does.... on a daily basis, whether you want it to or not. This is why our habits, behaviours, and actions are so important. Our brains change for better or worse depending on our choices.

2022 Exchanges / Re: Secret Santa?
« on: February 19, 2023, 08:30:43 AM »
It was a blast Erica! I received 4 as well and sent 5 myself. Would happily participate in something like this again!

2022 Exchanges / Re: Secret Santa 2022 Sign Ups are now OPEN!
« on: November 12, 2022, 01:54:48 PM »
I agree....unless we try a hand we are not used is likely we will know who our sender is. I don't mind though. This is going to be a fun exchange! :)

Completed/Past Exchanges / Re: Halloween/Day of the Dead 2022 Exchange
« on: November 09, 2022, 06:42:50 PM »
Ah thank you Aries! Always a happy day when others enjoy your work. Now that I have seen yours, I am all the more anxious to receive it!

Spencerian Script / Re: Handwriting Analysis & Personality Mood Study
« on: October 15, 2022, 01:21:03 PM »
So neat. Thank you for sharing!!

2022 Exchanges / Re: Secret Santa?
« on: September 11, 2022, 08:26:52 PM »
I LOVE this idea!!! I would be down with something like this :)

2022 Exchanges / Re: Stuck on You Exchange Sign Ups are Now OPEN!
« on: July 01, 2022, 07:48:29 PM »
I LOVE stickers! Excited for this one!

Completed/Past Exchanges / Re: 2022 Sun Moon & Stars Exchange Results
« on: June 30, 2022, 05:40:23 PM »
Thank you for sharing once again Michael! It is much appreciated. :)

Completed/Past Exchanges / Re: 2022 Flower Power Exchange Results
« on: June 24, 2022, 05:16:49 PM »
Such nice work! Thank you for sharing Michael!

Spencerian Script / Re: Handwriting Analysis & Personality Mood Study
« on: June 22, 2022, 06:29:54 PM »
@jeanwilson I like Star :)

Spencerian Script / Re: Handwriting Analysis & Personality Mood Study
« on: June 19, 2022, 12:51:43 PM »
@jeanwilson I would absolutely LOVE to take part in this!

I really like that the number of people will not be known. The more, the better to have a proper sampling. One page letter (short paragraph of a minimum of ~3-5 sentences) would work nicely as a single sample.

3 pieces from each person would be ideal. Text need not be the same, but I think capturing a similar intent/feeling behind the submitted pieces should be consistent among those participating.

1) Letter to a favourite person
2) Letter to the Queen
3) Letter to someone with whom they are frustrated but have to correspond with anyway

To help with consistency, we could request each person to imagine the person they are writing to for a couple of minutes before beginning to write; purposely invoking the emotions associated with that person (suggest they keep letter anonymous though, or writing with classifier names, like Mom, Son, Bestie, Snuggleuphagus, etc.

Sent mine in the mail about a week and a half ago...I forgot to take pictures! Hope everyone receives and enjoys!

Spencerian Script / Re: Handwriting Analysis & Personality Mood Study
« on: June 19, 2022, 10:04:57 AM »
@Zivio So happy you liked my post! The field of personality psychology is outside my expertise, but with my understanding now of the brain after readings over the years, I agree that the issue of assuming personality extends into other metrics, including various personality tests…even the famous Myers-Briggs. I am guilty of taking them though as they are fun! I also like them because they motivate me to self-reflect in ways I might not otherwise. That said, I take the tests with a grain of salt. Like IQ tests and the concept of ‘intelligence’, so too has the concept of personality become much more fluid in recent years. Many scientists recognize now that humans simply cannot be categorized neatly into boxes. It’s interesting because in my field, we struggle with this concept in cell biology as well. We are constantly classifying cells into different ‘states’, but now my field is shifting and acknowledging that a cell’s tissue environment plays a huge influence on its responses, as much as its genetic makeup. This notion can be extended to human personalities, which will be reflected in the outwards traits we show, including our writing.

@jeanwilson I would have loved to take on your challenge, but now I am biased knowing your plan. Lol! I definitely think personality can sneak in to a certain extent in calligraphy, just not as much as in handwriting. This is evident since some calligraphers often end up developing a style that is recognizable by others over time. However, I find that that is more a reflection of their artistic flair. That said, I can easily see how a calligrapher’s mood and other traits can become evident. In those instances, multiple exemplars from the same person would be required as you assumed Jean. In addition to the variance issues I describe in my reply to @Zivio, I think an additional challenge with calligraphy is needing to take into account the skill level of the calligrapher. Strokes of a new calligrapher will often be shaky, uncertain. A person new to calligraphy tends to focus on the strokes and learning a new tool, often to the point of ignoring their own style. I think an analysis of this type would only work on calligraphers who have reached a skill level such that they have that ‘automatic’ freedom with the pen that only comes with repeated practice over time. This isn’t an issue as much for handwriting analysis as it is typically done in adults, who have already had years of practice by that point. However, given the decline in the use of handwriting, that advantage might be on the decline…

@Erica McPhee Thank you! I love playing with my pen and especially love when my work is well received. Still...I only consider myself a practiced hobbyist at best. Perhaps when I retire and can devote the time I need to up my game. I have a ways to go yet though!

I too love this thread! I love the delicate precision of the first but the bold expression of the second exemplar. Which I use would depend on the spirit of the piece being created.

The last part of your survey really got me excited. I love this topic. I studied handwriting analysis in high school. Then, I thought for sure, you could tell personality traits from handwriting. Now, a couple of decades as a neuroscientist, I still think there is some logic there....but with some caveats. Handwriting reflects your state of mind. A scribbled note to ourselves will likely look very different from a carefully crafted thank you note to the boss vs a letter to friend. In addition, our thoughts and emotions are reflected in our handwriting. Where my mindset has shifted, is that instead of thinking the traits I perceive in the sampled writing (open, reserved, expressive, attention to detail, etc.) are immutable 'personality traits' of the writer as I did in high school, I now think it more a reflection of the individual's state of mind at that time. For example, a lot of mistakes can signal an otherwise normal person is distracted and thinking of other things than the act of writing (speaking from experience on that one....)

I don't think this applies to calligraphy as well as the whole point, expressive forms aside, is to typically stay true to the letterforms. And I have to confess, I think I am a terrible calligrapher. I am terrible at separating my feelings from my writing. As a result, I struggle with consistency despite my now 5+ years of practice.

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