Why Your Calligraphy Credit Never Works Out the Way You Plan


As you may or may not know, I am a photographer by trade, calligraphy is just a hobby of mine which I started in order to improve my Japanese. By starting Beyond Calligraphy, I’ve made many new friends in the art of Calligraphy and Sumi-E. Sometimes I get an E-mail or phone call from friends asking this question: “A book company/a person/XYZ Company just contacted me and would like to use my work, do you think I should let them”? I guess they contact me because I am a photographer and lots of … [Read more...]

5 Tips On How To Make Your Calligraphy Sell


Everyone has had a portrait taken of themselves sometime in their life. For most people it starts with that cute baby picture, then the school photos, your wedding day and then your family photos. Rinse and repeat the process.What is the common thing in all those portraits, other than you being in the photo? I bet you cannot see it and since I cannot see your photos, you are wondering what I am talking about. The common thing all your portraits show, for the most part, is you looking your … [Read more...]

What is Shihan and is Ranking Important in Calligraphy?


The title Shihan is conferred upon people who have reached the level of mastery in calligraphy which certifies them to teach. There is much confusion about this title for many reasons including that the title is used in Japanese martial arts as an honorific for expert or senior instructors. The renowned online dictionary by Jim Breen, if one writes “Shihan” in the roman alphabet, gives the following information: 師範 【しはん】 (adj-na,n) instructor; (fencing) teacher; model;Shihan in … [Read more...]

書道 と創造性〜人は書道から何を学んでいるのか〜


私は、ある探求活動の最中にいる。書道 を志したのは遅い。大学で教育を学んでいた頃、日本では不登校の子どもたちが年々増える中、そんな子どもたちが集まる“フリースクール”と呼ばれている場所で、私はアルバイトをしていた。不安そうな眼をして、おそるおそる自分のことを語る子どもたちを見る中で、私は、そんな子どもたちが生きる力を取り戻す方法はないものかと考えていた。そして私は、大学を卒業してから書道を志した。そのとき何故、 書道 を選んだのか、明確な理由はわからない。幼い頃好きだった書道の快感を思い出したからかもしれない。自分の文化について詳しく語れない自分を不甲斐なく思ったからかもしれない。それは直感的な選択だった。それから私はずっと、ある探求活動の中にいる。何故、日本人は書道 を続けてきたのか。書道 から日本人は何を学んできたのか。書道 を通して、今、子どもたちにパワーを与えることができるのか。これらの問いに普遍的な回答はない。あるのは、ただ私の拙い書道 … [Read more...]

When You Discount Your Art, Are You Only Losing Money?


My first solo exhibition was held in a large open architected space. It was easy to see my paintings at a distance and up close, the venue was excellent. I was graduating from Antioch College, the year was 1964. I hung the work, a range of large and somewhat smaller paintings and made a price list with my name and contact information. There was no formal opening nor a reception, just an opportunity for many people to see paintings and find out who made them.To my surprise and pleasure I … [Read more...]

How are Inkstones and Cast Iron Cookware similar?


As a young child I used to watch my father cook and help my mother bake. This explains why I find cooking relaxing after a long day working at the computer. As the primary evening cook in my household, I decided to purchase some iron cookware pans. I was used to them from my childhood. But in talking to my Mother, she stopped me from purchasing them. She said that I could take some of the old cast iron ones they weren’t using anymore. This was great as it saved money, and saving every penny is … [Read more...]

The Art of Japanese Calligraphy


What is the art of Japanese calligraphy at its essence? Descriptions abound, but to see, to feel, to view through the lens of a Madrid photographer and filmmaker captivated by the process is to enter fully into the experience. Music accompaniment with only a few words for identification makes for a ten minute view from which anyone, from beginning student to the most experienced practitioner, can learn something of value and be inspired. Curious minds will be caught in the eye of the beholder … [Read more...]