masgrimes masgrimes

171 posts   204,295 followers   64 followings

David Grimes  Dreaming in Script. Portland, usually. Amateur archivist. Teacher. Full time script writer.

Still alive. 🌿
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I’ve been spending some time working on a few different things that have been hard for me to find the time for with all of the different projects on the table. Keeping up with Instagram had me running in the same little hamster wheel. No time to improve, gotta churn out another post.
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It’s so strange to feel a resistance to being a novice with something, but it’s an important part of pushing myself as an artist. Sometimes, I feel like because I’ve spent so much time on certain script styles, that I expect myself to have improved across the board. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the idea that it’s okay to be good at some things and not-so-good at others. I’ll figure it out.
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Here’s a little design that shows a very distinct style of penwork in tribute to a Mr. Edwin Leslie Brown—one of my favorite historical penmen.
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I’ll be in Concord, NH to give a talk in just a few days at White Mountains Community College about redirecting addictive tendencies into productive pastimes. After that, I’ll be heading up to Rockland, Maine to see the town in which Brown lived, worked, and contributed to the Penmanship profession for a half of a century.
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I hope one day to be able to mimic his effortless style with a bit more grace, but for now, I am still learning!
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Talk soon, friends! If you’re in New England and want to meet up, I’ll be there most of next week. 👍🏼
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#designingandengrossing #ELBrown #calligraphy #textlettering #engrossing #penmanship #momentswithletters

Morning everyone! Happy weekend. :)
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Im very excited to announce that I’ll be attending CalligraFair 2018 in Monrovia, CA, On October 13th and 14th as one of the speakers this year alongside @drjmvitolo, @piecescalligraphy, @logos_calligraphy, and other incredible artists and vendors like @yokepencompany and @paperandinkarts.
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Tickets are $10 to register (it was free last year, so be warned and tell your friends!) which should help cover the costs of tables, chairs, and other small event costs. One registration gets you a spot for both days. Thank you @smittenonpaper for lending us your beautiful shop space again this year!
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My demo will be on Saturday morning, bright and early, but I’ll be hanging around the event for the next two days in the study room and doing what I can to help the incredible, wonderful, talented organizers (@anintran, @piecescalligraphy, @bypriscillalee) with whatever they need. So YOU should come say hello and let’s talk about script!
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I’ll be talking about Broad Pen Title Designs and going through some basic techniques around selecting an exemplar, shading and filling styles, ornament, layout, and Engrosser’s Text. I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!
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Info can be found at http://bit.ly/CalligraFair
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#calligraphy #calligrafair2018 #textlettering #engrossing #adart

“What nib is that?”
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One of the most common questions I get asked, and I almost never reply...
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Some of the other calligraphers on Instagram have taken up arms against the nib pricing epidemic, and I’ve mostly kept myself quiet on the subject. For those of you who don’t know, calligraphers sometimes like to use vintage nibs that aren’t in production anymore, and the prices for those have been skyrocketed by a couple of influential people saying these were ‘#dreamnibs’. Nothing malicious, but the effect was much the same and now there are fewer to go around to professionals that prefer them and that upsets some people.
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I don’t much care what anyone wants to spend on a nib. There are times when I would have gladly paid $20 for a nib, there are other times, when I’d rather use a $2 alternative. I don’t think we should shame people for buying nibs they can afford. I spend money on all sorts of stupid stuff. That’s the nature of the market. There are almost always affordable alternatives.
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But the other edge of the argument is that “no nib is going to make you write better”. To which I’ve always scoffed. Some nibs are better for different things. Some are great for their spring, some for their flexibility, some for their bluntness, and others for their sharpness. Each unique calligrapher likely has a nib that they write best with, and it takes some experimentation to find what that is. It DOES matter, but it’s kinda a path you have to walk yourself.
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In a call with my good friend Marcus, we were discussing the topic and he said that he’s taken to replying to the question “what nib is that” with “seven years”. Because in actuality, most people asking the question are asking because they like the effect of the nib, which is a product of the penman (and his/her skill), and not the qualities of the nib itself.
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All that so say, I feel off when I see people advocating that no pen point will make you a better calligrapher. That’s simply not the case. You just need to find the point that works best for you. 👍🏼
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Cheers @ritchiewei for the stylish new pen case. Now we match blue and green from across the Pacific! Can’t wait till the leather breaks in a bit.

As the last of my summer guests is here for a few more days, I was very excited to put this little video together.
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@ritchiewei has been a white whale for me for the last several years. I kept hearing about how good this guy was at Engrosser’s Script, and I knew if i was going to take my study seriously we had to meet. I knew I needed to be pushing myself, and Ritchie has quite the rep for being very skilled with his pen. I’d say he’s one of the best, and not lose any sleep.
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I’m so glad that it came into reality this last week, because I’m learning so much about myself and about Script. It’s very nice to be around someone as thoughtful and hardworking as he is, who maintains his humility. We’ve been speaking candidly about our work and laughing when we practice things we aren’t so good at.
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This exercise, where the pen is traded from one person to the other is favorite of mine in workshops. This time, it was me who was trying to adapt my style to match Mr. Wei’s. I think it came out pretty well, and you can certainly see the effort being put to forge our two distinct tastes into one.
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Thanks again, @ritchiewei! Glad to call you a friend. 🤙🏼
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Music by my other buddy @justice_der, seriously cant get enough of his vibe lately.
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#calligraphy #engrossersscript #dreaminginscript #asmr #masgrimes

Headphones recommended. 🙃
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I’ve been working on a lot of projects lately that I haven’t felt are ‘instagram worthy’...which is such a silly notion.
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I ve been itching to post something, to write something, to connect with you guys, but I’ve felt this writers block pressing into me like some overdue bill. I went to several of the creators that I follow to see what they had to say about creativity on demand, and growing as an artist, I wanted to understand how to overcome this pressure to build each new thing better than the last.
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What I found was that many people think that being good at what they do is the product of them doing it over and over. The most common advice given to beginners in everything from painting to playing the guitar is simply to “get started”. There’s a dozen famous talks on YouTube about how everyone ‘sucks at the beginning, but you get over it’.
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I’ve said these same things to students and friends hundred, maybe thousands of times.
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But what if the secret to becoming better at something isn’t ‘just getting started’? What if it has more to do with asking yourself WHY you want to do this thing. What if intention outweighs sheer repetition? Which is better, in the grand scheme of things? Which creates a craftsman, and which creates an artist?
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I don’t attribute my successes to a long career as a calligrapher. I attribute what little I’ve gained to a thoughtful approach, and consistent, enthusiastic effort. Repetition has its place, but it falls after strategy and motivation.
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#calligraphy #lettering #typography #asmr #create #criticalpractice

I’ve been a bit more quiet than usual, as I’ve been working with the students from Dreaming In Script to make our way through the various strokes of Engrosser’s Script. It’s been nice to focus on writing and interacting with individual people as they figure this stuff out. It’s not hard, but it does take dedication. :)
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Here’s a little technique I’ve picked up in the last two months regarding the connection point for a lobed r. I’ve always struggled with wanting to use this form, but hadn’t decided on a ductus that worked well for me until I started to look more at the artistic writing of C. W. Norder. I feel that this exit stroke is an elegant solution to a complicated problem, and it’s quite easy to comprehend from a spacing standpoint too.
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This is the first time I’ve shown a time lapse of ink drying either! I think it’s quite fascinating to watch it fall into the page before I return to add the ruled crossbar for the T.
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Guitar track is a cover by @justice_der , who I can’t seem to get enough of lately. 🙏🏼 .
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#calligraphy #dreaminginscript #engrossersscript #roundhand #gaplife #oddlysatisfying

Last weekend, I had the rare opportunity to spend time with a lifelong friend and simultaneously preserve the collection of a historical penman named S. E. Bartow.
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This is the third time I’ve gotten to work on a project like this, and each time the takeaway is similar. There’s this feeling of being amongst the scraps of paper collected throughout a lifetime of work. Seeing the things that these Penmen chose to save: letters carefully folded and tucked away from friends and colleagues across the country, designs that never made it past sketches, dilapidated scrapbooks with little clippings carefully dissected from a favorite magazine, glued into little arrangements of inspiration and antiquated wonder.
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And being among these little pieces of paper, you can almost hear the scratch of ever nib employed across a thirty-year symphony conducted with wood and steel. I can feel the same struggles that I encounter in my own practice. I can see the same little snags, the moments of hesitation. The telltale signs of the seconds when the brain starts to think too much and the line suffers.
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And I’m just standing here over the sun-faded scraps of a tiny portion of the forest of paper that must have slipped across this gentleman’s desk, and I’m overwhelmed with admiration and simultaneous awareness of how much work there still is to be done.
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The past few years have been eye-opening to me. I’ve come to realize just how marvelous it is that I’ve managed to find such an amazing community of teachers, colleagues, and students, all working towards the same goal in an age where sending a message around the world is a simple as opening FaceTime.
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We’re all a part of this tree, planted centuries ago, that branches outward with each welcome greeting offered to a shy newcomer and every moment of earnest encouragement passed to a pupil by their instructor.
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And in the spirit of nurturing our collective being, of tending our flock in which we are all simultaneously sheep and shepards, I can only encourage myself to seek moments of pure admiration and genuine appreciation for a life well lived and a pen well worn.
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#calligraphy #lettering #penmen #uncial #dreaminginscript

What a feeling.
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You all can’t know how much it means to me to get to share this stuff with you. Script is one of the most important things in my life, and I feel so ridiculously blessed to be in the position I’ve been put. When I first started learning calligraphy, I was in this weird transitional phase of life between my first view of the world and my second, current view. I remember feeling the high of the first time I got any amount of recognition for my work, and it felt exactly like it did yesterday.
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It’s a dangerous thing, recognition. Last time I let myself get caught in the momentary stillness of my own shadow and I believed for just a second that I was somewhere I wanted to be.
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Now that I’m older, and have so much more perspective on how far I have to go in this beautiful, romantic art, I know that no amount of recognition will take me there. The only thing that will is dedicated, passionate work.
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So I wanted to say hello the seventy-eight thousand new faces following along since yesterday morning. I’m David. I’m so happy you’re here, and I’m so happy that I know there is still so far to go. Thank you for joining me in this process of finding out what I’m meant to be and what I’m meant to leave behind. I promise that I’ll continue to grow and challenge myself and bring forward as much beauty as I can for as long as I can.
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I hope as time goes on I can get to know some of you more personally through comments, messages, and emails. I’m sure so many of you are wicked talented and filled with wonder. Always feel free to tell me about yourself. I love reading people’s stories.
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Just thank you.
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Strings in the background by @justice_der, give him a listen. :)
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#calligraphy #engrossersscript #lettering #dreaminginscript #maslovespink

A couple of years ago, a lettering artist here on Instagram asked for people to tell him about their hometown, and he’d pick his favorite and post a picture of it hand-lettered. I told him I was from a little town in southern Arizona called Willcox, and out of hundreds of comments he picked mine. I felt so special.
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Willcox was an quiet place to grow up. It’s definitely a small town. Though I suppose it feels bigger now that I’ve left than while I was there. A few years after I graduated the high school burned down, and they replaced it with a new, taller building. I’ve never been inside.
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When I think about that place, on the Interstate 10 in the middle of the desert, I’m reminded of all of the summers I spent working with Dad on one house or another. Stretching barbed wire fence or digging post holes. I smile, thinking about the summers that I was a lifeguard at the city pool. How much I enjoyed the diving boards. The curiosity of the first box tortoise of the rainy season.
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And when I moved to Portland, and left that desert behind, I felt invigorated by the change of climate. I’d never seen trees like this before. Within an hour I can see the largest ocean in the world.
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Some years after leaving, my mind began to call Portland home and visits to old Willy were just that—visits.
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Part of me wants to believe I’ll return some day and raise a family of my own. Maybe when the school doesn’t seem so tall and different, or the drought has ended. Or perhaps it’s better to keep it simple and sacred...within my memory.
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Where did you grow up?
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The Last of Us cover by my friend Marcos Kaiser. Headphones highly recommended. The bass is stellar.
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#calligraphy #lettering #textlettering #maslovespink #again #itsjustaphase

Anti-advice from Elbert Hubbard set in a neglected French Roundhand. 🖤
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Really feeling all of the support the last couple days. Thank you to each and every one of the 200 of you that have already joined the Wait List for the online course. I’m so excited to get to share Engrosser’s Script with you, and I’m so proud of the course that has come from all of the input and thoughtful conversations with so many of you. .
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#calligraphy #lettering #frenchroundhand #antiadvice #dogoodworkinyourownway

INKSCAPE in a casual Uncial hand.
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When you think of the word ‘ink’, what types of liquid mediums would you allow to pass within that category without feeling the need to say: “Actually, this is _____.”?
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As I’m sitting here typing this, I can hear myself responding to a frequently asked question: “What kind of pink ink is that??”
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I almost always say something along the lines of “Actually, this is gouache, which is a type of highly pigmented watercolor.” —but if you look up the definition for ‘ink’ it reads: a colored usually liquid material for writing and printing...That would include gouache.
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We have plenty of umbrella terms in the calligraphy world already. But under this definition everything from coffee to acrylic paint would be considered ink.
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This topic is obviously best suited for someone that prepares inks professionally, so I won’t go into the different types of inks that can be made from various components. Instead, from a calligraphy perspective, I’d like to pose the question: what are the boundaries of what you are willing to consider “ink” as a calligrapher, or as an observer of calligraphy?
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Strings by my buddy @hvettermusic.
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#calligraphy #lettering #typography #inkmaking #thisiswalnut

@bhbeidler has been a constant source of inspiration and encouragement the last few weeks, and when I woke up this morning thinking about his work as a book maker I knew I was hooked.
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It’s incredible how much crossover there is between different disciplines of the artisanal realm. People that work with their hands in high detail have this kindred flame and you can always see it in craftsmen when you meet them. Brien is an incredible artist. His attention to detail and meticulous planning on each of his posts makes me think that there are still plenty of places to seize efficiency in my own workflow. His work is definitely not something you want to miss.
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He’s been taking an engraving class the last few days and he told me yesterday that he’s coming for Engrosser’s Script next. Can’t wait to see him smashing it. 👍🏼
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@bhbeidler
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#calligraphy #lettering #typography #engrossersscript #dreaminginscript #complimentsbymas

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