Progress Takes Time Flourishing Video Comparison


I didn’t get good overnight. In fact, I still have a long way to go. I have more classes to take, more practice to do and more tools to hoard. Last week I came across an old video I uploaded in 2013, I had had some practice under my belt. But not much. I was proud of this work: 


Now that I look back, I cringe. I should cringe at old work. Sure there are some pieces I’m still proud of, but would I keep working on improving if I didn’t find my old work a little cringe-worthy? Probably not. Dare I say that embarrassment feeds improvement? Maybe a little? 

So as one does, I re-did my old video. I’m happy with how it turned out. I’ve gotten better at my filming and editing process. I’ve gotten better at my flourishing and overall technique. But is this the end? Hardly. 

Tools used: 

I think my biggest pet-peeve is when a person or class claims the end or height of learning. You know that’s an utter lie. And if someone ever claims that, you know they don’t know beans about what they’re teaching or doing. Learning and improvement never stops; no matter the discipline or art form. I teach calligraphy. And I love teaching calligraphy. I love getting people started and seeing them run with it and graduate beyond my class to other classes, other disciplines, other passions to create a style that they truly own. 

If I were to critique this piece? I’d say the flourish coming off the ‘u’ is a little awkward. I should have done it off the ‘r’. And I should have written out a baseline guildeline, because I’m bouncing around with a little less purpose than a meandering baseline. And my ink got thick on the ‘sh’ connection. But good grief, I’m getting better.

The other thing is… I had a slew of negative comments on that old video. Someone told me to stop lettering all together, because I sucked. I ignored them, I think because I never got the notification of the comment in the first place (win!). I’ve got a little PSA for you… EVERYONE SUCKS WHEN THEY FIRST START ANYTHING. I was no exception. So what’s keeping you from learning something new? It’s okay to suck a little. It’s okay to suck a lot. Just keep at it. 

Want to see the before in action? Oh yeah….

Want to get better at calligraphy? Let me help you. I teach calligraphy online and in person (in Utah). You can register for my online class right here. I give personal one-on-one feedback to help you with targeted improvements. And my next in-person workshop is April 6th in Draper, UT. Register here.

Don’t get discouraged by slow improvement. With social media and instant gratification we’re used to with everything at our fingertips, it’s easy to get discouraged. Learning a new discipline takes time. And that’s okay. Doing something that’s not perfect is okay, too!! I don’t regret publishing that old video for a second. I put out the best I could do at the time. And I was proud of it! I look at that old video like a badge of honor.

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    1. impossible game says:

      Well, this is my first visit to your blog! Your blog provided us valuable information .You have done a marvelous job

    2. Vera says:

      OMG! Someone told you you sucked on that first video?! I’ve seen people sell work, teach, and call themselves calligraphers with work that is light years worse than the work you did on the first video… which, to be honest, I don’t think is that bad! It is way better now, but that is not bad at all! 💕

    3. Carole says:

      Melissa, I love watching an artist actually do what he loves doing and does so well. Your video (wrong–your recording) was delightful! Thank you for sharing it.

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