Friday, August 15, 2014

Don't Quit Your Daydream

In fourth grade, my teacher required all students to purchase a real calligraphy set from the art store, complete with ink cartridges and pen.  The thought of a public school teacher doing this today is laughable, but "back in the day," classroom teachers had a little bit of freedom in what they could add to their core curriculum.  That's why my sixth grade teacher could write and have us perform a musical, that's why my fifth grade teacher showed us how to prepare fried calamari, and that's why I was introduced to calligraphy in fourth grade.  In retrospect, God aligned me with a succession of teachers that encouraged and honed my artistic aptitude (though I'll pass on the calamari, thanks.).

In college and the years following, I used my amateur penmanship skills to serve many friends and ministries.  I addressed hundreds of envelopes as wedding gifts.  I penned banners and scripture cards and dabbled in graphic design.

And then, I moved across the country to a place where no one knew about my artistic skill.  No one asked me to create anything for them, and that was okay with me.  I was planning a wedding...I was establishing my home...I was beginning a family....I was caring for babies....and the creative side of me fell by the wayside.

I had actually forgotten that I was capable of making pretty things (though I'm proud of the two beautiful children I made every day) until a friend reached out to me out of the blue.  He is a former radio personality who has gone into full-time ministry and I've done several projects for him in the past.  This time he asked for a scripture piece to put in his new office.  I actually wrestled with the project, unsure if I could even DO that anymore.

What that little request prompted took me by surprise.  I did some sketches, played with watercolor, restocked my art supplies with the basics, and soon I was craving some time at my desk!  I joined a calligraphy community online, began watching copperplate tutorials, and have been doing daily drills to refine my formal scripting skills.  It has all been like a huge exhale...removing the dust from skills that became dormant somewhere along the road, and setting some pent-up creativity free.




Perhaps I could make a living at this in the future, perhaps not.  For the time being, I'm going to keep that vision alive and move toward it.  The possibility of doing something I love full-time seems too good to be true.  But I've witnessed so many friends make their dreams happen, I believe it can be done!  Keep your eyes open for more projects in the future!



15 comments:

Chris said...

Keep up the awesome work! It's pretty darn cool. I'm glad the kids get to help out as well with the painting. They love it!

Carrie Stavenger said...

Jealous of your talent! I also wouldn't mind if you wrote me something pretty and sent it to my doorstep. Just sayin'.

Karen Shogren said...

Keep us all posted!!

Crystal Matthaei said...

You are awesome!

Brandy said...

Maybe one day we can have a photography/art studio combined :)

Rachel said...

I love this so much and totally want to follow in your footsteps!! Everything you've made is so beautiful!

Joy Baer said...

I also like this art form but it is almost a LOST ART for sure as most public schools do NOT even teach penmanship because of ipads.

Dee Stull said...

I LOVE doing calligraphy! It is so relaxing and a lovely art form...let's keep it going..

Valerie Goforth said...

Cursive writing is going by the way side in most schools. Because of this scientists are doing current studies of how learning to write cursively affects the brain. What they are finding it amazing and proving that cursive writing needs to be brought back.

Angela Sluder said...

Love this, Jamie. Thanks for the reminder to not forget about the things I loved to do in the past!

Nicole Van Patten said...

Awesome! So cool!

Jeannette said...

Beautiful work, Jamie! I think beautifully printed words are SO powerful!

Mary Gotta said...

Wow! You're truly talented--love it!

Toby Bowker said...

You are more than welcome but I don't think I can take the credit, God put all of that creativity in her for a reason and sharing it with the world (prophetic statement) was never going to an opinion that could be denied. It's going to happen! It is a beautiful gift. #AnnointedArtist

Franse Mathews said...

I love this skill you possess! I always think of you when I see beautiful script. Plus, I still think our wedding invites were the prettiest ever because of your special touch. Glad you are back at your game. You are one of the most gifted people I know and love