Balancing interests

When I first decided that Chinese calligraphy was something that I wanted to continue doing and learn extensively, I pretty much thought that was where my interests would stay. There is already so much to learn about Chinese calligraphy, and so much to practice to understand the nuances of each script.

Little did I know that my interests would expand to Chinese hard pen calligraphy, English calligraphy, and even possibly watercolor.

With English calligraphy, I thought I had tempered my interest by limiting myself to brush pen calligraphy. That did not last long, since I have added pointed pen and broad edge pen. I also realized there are English calligraphy workshops very near me, so instruction is not hard to find.

At the same time, I need to learn how to balance all these interests. When it comes to classes and workshops, Chinese calligraphy will always take precedence. I think the best way to go about this is to take workshops and classes with an eye towards Chinese calligraphy. I need to start thinking about how a new skill can enhance my Chinese calligraphy works. Calligraphy and art can be addictive!

How do you balance all of your interests? Are you ok with limiting your knowledge about one thing so you are able to learn more about something else?

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4 thoughts on “Balancing interests

  1. It’s cool to hear you’re into all manners of calligraphy and art! My obsession started with Japanese calligraphy too, then spread from one thing to the next: Spencerian cursive, calligraphy, flourishing… It’s easy to get carried away.
    Honestly there are two ways of looking at it all. If you have something you want to accomplish in a short period of time, prioritizing is a necessity. You may have to cut out one thing or another until you’ve attained some goal or a certain level of proficiency until you can bring all your hobbies back into your life. I myself am struggling with that right now as I’m going to move back to the states and try and work as an artist starting next summer. I need to improve my art badly, so I have to cut out so much else and focus, if only for a time.
    If you don’t have a time limit, then taking it all slowly and chunking each hobby a bit every day with the goal of mastery years down the line is my preferred method. You won’t master anything any time soon, but taking it slow will allow the fundamentals to soak in.

    The problem of too many interests and too little time is something I think about several times a day. To the point that I envy people with no hobbies…

    1. I think that’s the thing about calligraphy – there are so many different types and styles that once you start, there are so many other things on the horizon. And they’re all very cool things to learn. I am lucky that I do not have deadlines and can take my time mastering things. But the thought of wanting to learn all these things and having little time to do so can cause headaches. It’s probably helpful to step back and realize it’s not a bad thing to want to learn so many things – that’s what keeps life interesting!

  2. I don’t balance my interests, honestly. I kind of go all in for a while and then drop off again. That used to bother me. I thought it showed I wasn’t really interested. But I don’t feel that way anymore. Now, I just go with it, enjoy it as much as I want or can. Then move on, because something new is interesting.

    Shodo (shufa) has been different for me this time because I am going to lessons with my daughter. And consistency is important for her. That has meant more consistency for me, too.

    1. I completely agree that a key factor is consistency. If I think about it, there are some things I stopped learning simply because something happened that made continuing it not ideal, like some shift in scheduling. However, with calligraphy, I have been able to consistently take classes. And even when there are no classes, it’s pretty easy to practice at home and save some work to bring to the next session.

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