Obstacles of Illumination

The scriptorium workshop enabled me to see the difficulties of creating a narration of an illuminated letter. As mentioned in class today, in order for artists to illustrate effectively, they have to learn and understand the context of the story they are trying to exemplify through visual depiction. Since I did not have a story behind my letter “H”, it was difficult for me to add any surrounding detail beyond the lines of the letter. I chose this letter because it is my last name initial. This selection made me feel as though I needed to define myself and incorporate symbols of who I am. Summarizing one’s life or a creating emblems that are personal representations of themselves is no simple task. Similarly, as we talked about with Don Quixote, interpreting stories and illustrating scenes in a way that resonates with intended audiences and accurately depicts the author’s theme is a unique skill. This process of creating an illuminated letter allowed me to appreciate the creativity, patience, and reflection that illuminators and illustrators demonstrate in their art.

One Reply to “Obstacles of Illumination”

  1. I think it’s very interesting how you focused so much on being able to find some meaning to put into the decoration of your illuminated letter. The way that you felt you needed to make the letter part of a story, and specifically the story of your life, puts a lot of emphasis on the connection between art and its ability to act as an expressive medium for emotions or narratives. This made me think of how much that idea contrasts with some art movements, for example Donald Judd’s minimalism. He tried to do almost the opposite of what you felt like your art should do; he wanted to separate art from emotion and other outside meaning, instead having it take its significance from its own existence and how this existence affected the surrounding environment. Do you think one of these philosophies is more important or more worthy of the title of “art?”

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