Last week, I took a Calligraphy workshop. My handwriting isn't what you'd call nice -- but most folks call it "ahhh, how interesting." Um...thank you? Often, they have to ask me what it says, too. I'm not good with physically artsy things. Give me a keyboard? Sure! I call that art. But I have no clue what to do with pens and brushes, or wire and clay.
My friend Michelle puts down the most incredible words using calligraphy. She teaches workshops as Greater Joy Design, and I finally decided to be brave and give it a try!
This was her beginner class, a Valentine's Day themed event with all materials and encouragement provided. Calligraphy is a lot harder than it looks, and I was definitely not naturally good at it. But I took my time, tried hard, and saw rewarded with a few pretty beautiful looking letters! Of course, when you are first doing anything new, there's a lot of mistakes too.
Michelle was patient, an excellent explainer of how-to, and I loved her thoughtfully-prepared lesson packet handed to each of us at the start of the class. The most beautiful thing, though, was how supportive everyone was of each other. I loved listening to the art-studio-owning couple on a surprise Valentine's date, and the older sisters who'd driven a distance to take this workshop together. The whole class, although with a tendency to save harsher words for their own little mistakes, cheered each other on all throughout the workshop. It was a good reminder to be as kind to ourselves as we are to strangers.
Getting out of my comfort zone pushed other pieces of my brain. This week, I've been inspired to begin the long process of revising my first novel: Magic Ungrounded. I wrote it one cold November in 2017. It needs buckets of work, and I'm excited to dive in with all the extra insight I've accumulated since then.
I think that Art inspires Art. The Calligraphy class, and conversations between participants, inspired a a new plot-development for the novel. Sorry, I'm not going to give it away (just yet).
Yesterday, my friend Kayla and I took Chester on a gorgeous winter walk at Governor Dodge. Being surrounded by towering trees, overlooking the calm frozen lake, heaving up (and sliding down) slippery hills, admiring lichen and moss, marveling at the ancient beginnings of limestone cliffs -- all of it felt like being immersed in a GIANT piece of artwork. If art inspires art, then Nature always inspires my inner artist.
Today, I'm grateful for friendship, the feel of sunshine on my skin, and pushing myself out of my normal routine. You never know what little choices like these can lead to!
What inspires YOU? I don't care what sort of things you create -- from mosiacs to afternoon lunches. The world streams in, swirling in our minds, then turns into something a little bit like magic. And we, in turn, let that magic flow out into the creation of something new. It's one of my favorite things about being human. How about you?