A colleague brought Zentangle to my attention today, just a few days after I gave myself a thorough education in the art-form. I experimented with using it as borders and initials of calligraphic panels on scrap paper, and I think it could also be done in repoussé metal work.
I was experimenting with Zentangle as a form of anxiety control. Tomorrow is the first annual New England Design Symposium, for middle schoolers. I’m running it, as you may have gathered from some of the videos and entries on this blog. I’m nervous about the success of tomorrow, so much so that I’ve done more than a little prayer and intercession to the angels and saints for success.
Today, in a related mystery, a wrapped present arrived at my door. It’s a book on the art of calligraphy and illumination. I think it’s a present from my mom, but I’m not actually sure yet. I’ve been thinking about making a calligraphed version of Frater RO’s procedure for evoking angels into a crystal, and a manual of spirits and their “portraits“… I should probably check in with him about it, but it’s for my own use, and maybe as a one-of-a-kind thing it will be ok.
The making of this book appeals to me, in part because it’s a magical project, partly a magical project, and partly a design challenge. But mostly I’m interested in the reality that at the core of design work, as at the core of magic, as at the core of education, is the impetus to learn and know.
As Aristotle wrote, “all people desire to know, and the proof of this is the delight they take in sensation, and above all the sense of sight.” RO writes today that joy comes from being a creator and setting goals and meeting them.
I’ve advanced (a little way) the project of making American education more rooted in design – the act of creation as a method of learning and critical thinking. I want to do more, but little steps. In the meantime I’m intent on being more of a creator and designer myself.
My mother says that the only question of any importance to her any more is this: “what are your projects? What are you making?”
I’m going home. To make art. Magic. Beauty. Wonder. Learning.
How about you?