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A Year of Calligraphy: Day 030

Troy Cloth & Paper

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Found some new exemplars to base my drills off of. Kind of starting over again. I'm going to really work at these drills for a few days I think before moving on to letters again. I think I kind of rushed it a bit the first few weeks of this challenge. Now I see a little better what it's going to take to get proficient at this Coppwrplate thing! 

FYI- I decided to not post as frequently to the blog. I'm realizing a lot of these posts are super monotonous, and I don't want to clog up the blog with 365 very similar posts. I'll definitely check in every once in a while with some milestone posts. BUT if by some chance you have been following along, I will still be posting every day to my personal instagram: @taylorgillis. Feel free to follow me on there to see my daily progress.  

Later! 

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 029

Troy Cloth & Paper

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Morning practice today. It's Troy Night Out, and I will be printing 100 posters commemorating the Russell Sage centennial tonight! 

I switched up the nib today from the Nikko G to Hunt 101. I was getting a little tired of the Nikko! I like the thicks and thins with the 101, it's a little more sensitive. 

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 027

Troy Cloth & Paper

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After working on words and phrases the past week or two, they look so-so, but they are definitely a little sloppy. 

I realized I need to take a step back  and I need to make a point of incorporating drills into every session. I keep reading that practicing drills is the most sure fire way to build that muscle memory and make the best progress. 

So tonight I did a full page of drills, and then some muniscule practice.  

TNO Artist of the Month: Ben Karis-Nix

Troy Cloth & Paper

Super excited to kick-off the new year with a TNO Print Off! poster! This time last year we were just thinking about the idea of starting this little project, and didn't have enough time to pull something together for the month of January. It's amazing what a year makes - we now have artists scheduled six months in advance! So much talent in the Capital Region!  

No better person to ask for this special TNO than our friend, Ben Karis-Nix! 

What did you want to be when you were a kid? 
I wanted to be either a scientist, rock star, or an artist. All practical pursuits. Unfortunately, I can’t even calculate tips so my youthful astrophysicist aspirations made way for studies in archaeology (more digging, less math). Then I toured in a couple rock bands through my 20’s. Threading through all that, though, was a lot of drawing. I did a lot of field drawing for my archaeology professors in school, and designed posters and t-shirts for my bands. Eventually, I started to focus more exclusively on design, illustration, and printmaking, and that’s where I’m at now. 

Favorite artist?
Hmm… boy, I’m not sure if I have a favorite artist, but I really love sci-fi and science illustration from the 60’s and 70’s. It’s very romantic. Although litereral in scientific sense, sci-fi/science artists from that time often rendered images in an abstract, painterly style. Like this work from Rick Guidice portraying Voyager 1, for example: 

Favorite thing about Troy? 
Troy is fascinating mash-up of wonderful things - technology and the arts, the old and cutting-edge, and the people that live and work here are an exciting community to be involved with.

What inspired you for this month's poster design? 
For the Sage Anniversary print, it was fun to try and make a true-to-life illustration but then reduce it to just 2 bright colors. 

Few people know that you...
I have no more secrets... it's all out there. 

Favorite thing to listen to when you're working? 
I have trouble listening to music and working at the same time for some reason! Even driving - when I turn on the radio in my car I lose track of where I’m going. I seem to have only one operating channel in my brain that works at the exclusion of everything else!

Any exciting/upcoming projects? 
Yes! I have a comic project in the works and a line of science & nature inspired prints called 1AUprints that I’m developing. For the print line there’s a new Facebook page and website if you’d like to check it out! 1auprints.com  and Facebook.com/1auprints 

Thanks Ben! Can't wait to get them fired up on the press and chat with fellow RSC grads! 

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 026

Troy Cloth & Paper

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A couple more random quotes. I'm getting to a point where I know what I'm doing wrong but just can't correct it. But as they say, knowing is half the battle. Looking at what I wrote after each session, I can plainly see the flaws. That's good, that's where I want to be. I don't want to be satisfied yet. I have over 11 more months to perfect this! 

Troy Cloth & Paper

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I broke out my new mini tripod tonight and took a little video, but my blog app won't let me upload it for some reason. I also got some gouache today so hopefully soon I plan on experimenting with color a little bit. We'll see! 

A year of Calligraphy: Day 024

Troy Cloth & Paper

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Felt a little more in control of the pen today. I think part of building up the necessary muscle memory is just being relaxed and lettingn the pen flow, instead of tensing up worrying about making a stray mark. I felt more relaxed today. 

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 023

Troy Cloth & Paper

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Mets geek here! Still excited about the Cespedes signing from last night...not just the fact that he signed, but the fact that it could very well be for one year and won't tie up. Bunch of money down the road when they'll need to start trying to sign their young pitchers.  

Anywho, back to calligraphy. This one came out a little sloppy, but overall I feel like I'm making teeny tiny incremental progress al most every day. Still working on the same old things like slant, and squaring off the tips and bottoms. The bottoms I'm having an easier time squaring off than the tops.

 

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 022

Troy Cloth & Paper

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I got my practice in early this morning while listening to some Beatles. 

I feel like taking a step back and taking a few days to work on drills and letterforms has definitely helped. Still far from perfect but I feel a little more comfortable putting words together. 

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 019

Troy Cloth & Paper

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Sooooooo I think these posts aren't going to be too exciting for a while. I'm sure any progress I make will be so gradual that there won't be too many sudden breakthroughs. But I think the fun and purpose of documenting this every day is to look back and (hopefully) be able to see progress from the beginning to the end of the year and even month to month. 

Even in this photo, I'm noticing the difference in slant from the a to the l. It's weird to know these things are happening but not be able to correct them as they're happening. It's all in developing that muscle memory!

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 017

Troy Cloth & Paper

It was kind of a busy day today for a Sunday. Is ages to sneak in some more drills. Really trying to work on my o's and maintaining consistent slant. Tomorrow I should have a little more free time to practice so I'm going to resume putting together some actual words. 

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 016

Troy Cloth & Paper

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Nothing too exciting today. Life has been a little hectic the past couple of days but I've at least a mangled to squeeze in some time for drills. I'm realizing just how difficult it's going to be to find time to practice every single day, but I'm determined! 

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 015

Troy Cloth & Paper

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Drills tonight! I've been practicing words a lot lately and noticing inconsistencies that I haven't been able to fix. I figure the best way would be to regularly practice drills and try to get to the root of the problem a little quicker. 

Happy Friday! 

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 013

Troy Cloth & Paper

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Started working in numbers today, incorporating them into dates. Still using the Nikko G. It is a pretty easy nib to work with. 

Busy day today but still managed to squeeze in 20 minutes or so of practice. That's my goal, at least 20 minutes a day.

A Year of Calligraphy: Day 012

Troy Cloth & Paper

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Got to it nice and early this morning. Calligraphy, tea, and waffles...nice way to start the day. Still working on names. Tomorrow I'll be starting on numbers, then combining them into dates and addresses.  

Its funny, the more I practice, the more I realize there is to learn. It really takes a lot of practice. The more you write the more you notice needs to be improved. But they're little things that I probably wouldn't have noticed a couple weeks ago, so I think maybe this is a sign of progress - developing. Finer and finer eye for detail. 

Incidentally, I got a boatload of new nibs in the mail today! Don't know when I'll have time to try them all out...messing around with the Nikko G tonight. Very smooth writing nib, I see why lots of beginners work with this one.