A place for Drachenwald's scribes to hang out, learn, discuss and critique each others work.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Lost of inspiration

I have totally lost my inspiration for illumination. Longer I take time to finish my scrolls, more I get frustrated. It feels i can not do anything right. I hope I am not the only one with this kind of moments and I wanted to ask what you do when you feel frustrated/pissed off/lost of interest etc?

A bit happier note, I finally got 4 sheets (about A4) of Pergamanata and I have to say it feels totally different to paint. In a way i like it more than paper and in a way I don't. I have some mixed feelings about it. But i might continue to use it, after all, most of you seem to think it's better7more professional option than paper.

I hope I will be able to send soon pics from my new 4 scrolls.


Merlyn Gabriel said...

When I lose my inspiration, quite honestly, I do something else.

I love working on scrolls but it is easy to get burnt out and sometimes I think it is also easy to get frustrated by reaching too high, too fast. This, as an art form, requires a hell of a lot of patience and for someone like me who wants the instant gratification of getting perfect the first shot around this was a VERY hard lesson to learn.

So what to do?
Well, I stop when things don't work. There are good days and bad days and some days things just don't go the way I want them to, I take that as a sign from the muses they want a day off. It's not good to tick off your muse so I walk away from the table and go have a cup of tea, I write or I go out for a walk or god forbid, I even do some house work.

That being said, there are things which also serve to inspire...
I surf the net looking for scribe's work from other kingdoms and am ALWAYS humbled by what I see. If I ever get the idea that I am as good as I can be at this craft all I have to do is look at the works of others and I know that I have a VERY long way to go still which is nice. Something to strive for.

I look through all my illumination picture books. Nothing so nice as just looking at pictures and thinking about the possibilities...

Or I take on an assignment for someone I truly hold dear which often bounces me back into Give me more work mode...

I think that it can be hard to feel inspired when you don't get to talk with other scribes face to face, when you don't get to see what other people are doing, or hear HOW they are doing... ( which was part of the reason for setting up this blog.

Mostly my advice is , if you are having a bad muse day, walk away from the table and go outside.

Inspiration is cyclical.


Melisende Fitzwalter said...

In no way are you alone. I get it too, and seem to go in phases lasting a few months. I tend to alternate with embroidery and am getting the itch for that right now.

So I need to finish the two scrolls I am doing and then launch back into embroidery. I guarantee that by the time another few months are gone, I will be itching to get back to scrolls!

I agree that looking at work by others - including other kingdoms can be a very good spur to get back into it, as well as provide inspiration. I created a facebook group called SCA Scribes - and many members from different kingdoms are uploading pics of their scrolls and they are breathtaking!

Aryanhwy merch Catmael said...

I'm still new enough to illumination not to have gotten burned out by it, but something which I always find inspirational is to look at my first attempts and compare them to where I am now. If you have pictures of scrolls that you've worked on in the past, why not dig them out and look at them and marvel at the improvement? I know that in my non-SCA academic life, looking back at things I did 3 years ago and seeing much I've learned since then often reinspires me for whatever my current paper is.

Nerissa said...

If you're not happy with the work you're doing, it could be one of a few things.

Maybe you're not happy with one part of the artwork. Practice this thing a few times so you will be really happy with it. Once upon a time I set my apprentice Homework, to paint 5 miniature faces (after I showed her how to do it). She hated doing the homework, but her faces were much much better afterward.

It's good to know when to stop - when you've been hunched over your artwork for too too long, and you feel as if you might be about to make a mistake soon because you're tired - that's when its time to stop and come back to it later. Sometimes if you're not sure about an artistic decision, think on it overnight.

I have to feel in the "right" mood to do my best quality illumination - and I need no distractions. Llistening to classical music helps me stay in the right mood!

I am really a big procrastinator, and I need to have a block of time (a few days or a week) set aside just to work on a scroll at home.

Also, if you're not enjoying it - do something you really want to work on. There's always time to come back to the scroll later (so says the procrastinator!)

- Nerissa