The In-Depth project is now in full swing, and I am giving more thought about what my presentation and final project will look like. I had lots of time to practice calligraphy over Spring Break, however, my recent trip to Cuba and the school catch-up afterward has taken up so much time that I have not practiced at all for the past 1.5 weeks. So, when I met with my mentor this Sunday, I was a little rusty with my traditional Copperplate Script. Due to this, we spent some more time writing out full-size sentences and poems to practice complete Copperplate Script with connections and capital letters.
After that, I had an introduction to Modern Calligraphy. One of the main differences that I noticed between traditional and modern calligraphy is that there are not nearly as many rules surrounding letter shapes and variations. When practicing Copperplate, when I asked about what variation of a letter I should use, most of the time the answer depended on a variety of rules that were established by the previous and next letter I was writing. Letter shapes were also very strict, with a letter that did not perfectly follow the proportions and design of the script considered ‘wrong’ by traditional calligraphers. However, when asking about which shape, connection or variation of a letter I should use in Modern Calligraphy, my mentor’s usual answer was “that’s up to you. Whatever you think fits best aesthetically.” This was an interesting new concept for me that was fun and creatively challenging to explore. Nevertheless, the Modern Calligraphy script that I was exploring was her own personal script, so I didn’t have the freedoms I will have when I create my own script.
When meeting with my mentor, Liza Child, I was able to analyze some of our conversation with the six hats. Here is a conversation that shows all of the hats:
This example happened when I was writing the word ‘lemon’ and I didn’t know what type of L to use to start it off. There are two different variations of the lowercase letter L, one with a loop at the top and one without a loop.
“What type of L do I use here? There are two different types and I don’t know which one fits best”
“Remember to look at the other shapes in the rest of the word and find which type of L fits the other shapes best. What L do you think would work best?”
Me, after some time to analyze the word:
“I guess the E in the lemon comes right after the L and would look a lot like a small loopy L. I think it would be better if I used the regular L without a loop to differentiate between the L and the E. It would also help complement the loop-less shapes of N and M in the lemon. Would that work?”
“Great job! Try to use this type of analysis and figure out what type of letter to use yourself for the next word.”
White hat: I ask, “What type of L do I use here?”. I am asking a question that asks for a factual answer.
Red hat: Liza says, “Great job!”. It is Liza’s opinion and feeling that I am doing a great job. She does not back it up with any evidence.
Black hat: I ask, “Would that work?”. I am asking if this suits the design of the word. I am also giving my mentor the ability to point out places where I could be wrong.
Yellow hat: I say, “I guess the E in the lemon comes right after the L and would look a lot like a small loopy L. I think it would be better if I used the regular L without a loop to differentiate between the L and the E. It would also help complement the loop-less shapes of N and M in the lemon”. I provide multiple insights on why the non-loopy L would work better than the loopy L in the word design of ‘lemon’.
Green hat: Liza says, “What L do you think would work best?”. Liza is asking for my ideas on what L would work best in the word. She is also letting me think creatively about the design of the word so I could gain a better understanding of how word design works.
Blue hat: I say, “There are two different types and I don’t know which one fits best”. I ask for advice on which L would work best in this scenario. This shifts the focus of the conversation on word design and analysis to pick a good letter variation. It completely sets the tone and purpose for an entire conversation.