For the last few years, we’ve been running Callivember (which was inspired by Inktober and adapted for Calligraphy and Lettering lovers), but since many people copied the concept and there became 1 million challenges similar to those, we decided to change the name and the concept of it. There is no more Callivember (30 days challenge in November) from now on there are Calligraphy Masters Challenges that will be ongoing during the whole year having a weekly prompt or topic on which every Calligraphy, Lettering, or Sign Painting artists can attend.
When does it start?
Calligraphy Masters Challenges starts officially on the 10th of June 2021 and you will have a week between each new challenge. However, for the first one, you have only 2 days (counting from today) and on the 10th you have to submit your first entry, 2nd on 17th, 3rd on 24th, etc.
How can you enter the challenge?
Follow the prompt list posted on Calligraphy Masters Challenges and create a piece in Calligraphy, Lettering, or Sign Painting according to the topic for the specific week. Take a picture or record a video of it and upload it on your personal or artist’s Instagram profile (has to be public, private accounts can’t enter) tag @calligraphymasterschallenges and use #calligraphymasterschallenges21 + the specific hashtag for the week – example for the 1st week: #cmcrespecttheartists. We prefer handwritten and hand-drawn pieces, but from now on digital work is also allowed. However it digital work will be reviewed and presented in its own category with other digital works. By digital work, we mean Calligraphy, Lettering, and Sign Painting is done on Procreate or similar apps and still, no Graffiti and Typography are allowed.
Why do you have to take part in the challenge?
There is no reason for you to take part in the challenge other than to have fun, practice, experiment, and in the best case learn and grow your skills. Challenges in the past have revealed amazing artists and some of them end up in the Calligraphy Masters Crew. The challenges are a great way for you to push yourself and your skills, find other points of view and ideas for your Calligraphy and Lettering.
It’s a great way to connect with other people in the community and to have fun together. By attending constantly to the challenge you can gain exposure, new friends, and new audiences.
As already mentioned the goal of the challenge is not to win something, but for you to have fun and grow as an artist. However, those of you who are most consistent, daring, and growing naturally will gain benefits like being featured on the main profiles of Calligraphy Masters, attend podcast episodes, react to challenge entries, and win different supplies and rewards for taking part or even being offered to join Calligraphy Masters Crew.
By taking part in Calligraphy Masters Challenges you will gain NIBS (points) and the more NIBS you gain the bigger your chance is to get a reward.
For each picture you upload on a topic you gain 3 NIBS (this doesn’t mean 10 pictures on 1 topic will bring you 30 NIBS) For each video you upload as entry, you will gain 6 NIBS. For each comment on CM Challenges, you will gain 1 NIB, for each share in a story and tagging CM Challenges you will gain 2 NIBS.
You will be allowed to have 2 entries per topic (different styles or ideas). Each time you are featured on CM Challenges you will gain 5 NIBS, each time you are featured on CM you will gain 9 NIBS and each time you reach a video on CM Youtube Channel you will gain 14 NIBS.
It’s good for you to keep your own track of your NIBS because it will take some time before a system is made for properly keeping track of the NIBS of each person participating in the challenges. Every month or two the people with the most NIBS will get special rewards. (not gonna reveal anything, because those are just bonuses and the main purpose of the challenges is FUN and GROWTH of your skills!)
Prompt list and topics:
Calligraphy Masters Challenges
10.06.21RESPECT THE ARTISTS – Write “Respect the artists” in a script or style of your choice or make an artwork that expresses the idea. This challenge is inspired by James Lewis’s “#OURTIMEHASVALUE” but it’s taken a bit further.
With your entry, you need to express how important is for non-artists and for other artists to respect others’ art. ( We don’t work for free, We don’t beg other artists for likes, follows, or to check our work, We don’t copy and steal other ideas)
17.06.21 NIBS THE PODCAST * – Simply write NIBS, NIBS PODCAST or NIBS THE PODCAST. The best one will become the logo of our latest PODCAST – NIBS THE PODCAST (with hosts Milen1st and Paul Antonio). You can create a logotype, icon, or a mix of both. *THIS CHALLENGE BRINGS YOU 3 EXTRA NIBS on top of all other mentioned. AND 36NIBS FOR THE TOP 3 ENTRIES.
Submit your entries From 00:00 on 10.06.21 to 23:59 on 17.06.21* TOPIC HASHTAG: #CMCNIBSPODCST
24.06.21CALLIGRAPHY IS NOT LETTERING – Write it or express it the way you see and understand it.
Submit your entries From 00:00 on 18.06.21 to 23:59 on 24.06.21* TOPIC HASHTAG: #CALLIISNOTLETTI
01.07.21ALPHABET A-Z – Write a whole alphabet starting from A to Z with a script of your choice. Since you are allowed to have 2 entries per topic, you can make 1 alphabet with Capitals and 1 with lowercases, you can do 2 alphabets in differents scripts or you can make each letter in different scripts. It’s up to you! It’s important to be beautiful and creative.
Submit your entries From 00:00 on 25.06.21 to 23:59 on 01.07.21* TOPIC HASHTAG: #CMCALPHA
08.07.21REMAKE YOUR OLDEST – Find the oldest picture or video of your Calligraphy, Lettering, or Sign Painting piece and remake it with the skills you have today. ( for the post on this topic you have to upload both the old work and the remake as 1 post)
Submit your entries From 00:00 on 02.07.21 to 23:59 on 08.07.21* TOPIC HASHTAG: #CMCOLDVSNEW
15.07.21HUSTLE, HUMBLE & HAPPY – You can write 1 of the words, you can write 2 or them all. You can express the words with a sentence or a quote.
Submit your entries From 00:00 on 09.07.21 to 23:59 on 15.07.21* TOPIC HASHTAG: #CMCHHH
22.07.21 FACE CALIGRAM* – Create a FACE Calligram of yourself, a friend, loved one, or any other person in the world. You can find a video below with the basics of how to create a Calligram as well as some examples of face calligrams. 1 or 2 two weeks before the challenge there will be a dedicated tutorial for it and add in this article. *THIS CHALLENGE BRINGS YOU 3 EXTRA NIBS on top of all other mentioned. AND 18NIBS FOR THE TOP 3 ENTRIES.
Submit your entries From 00:00 on 16.07.21 to 23:59 on 22.07.21* TOPIC HASHTAG: #CMCCALLIFACE
Here are two videos to help you learn the basics of Calligrams in some shapes, soon a specific video will be made and added to this article about how to make Face Calligram.*
Things to keep in mind
Please do not DM Calligraphy Masters Challenges with questions or request to share or feature your work. It is up to our team what we like and share, we don’t have to share any of the works! We share what we like and what we believe is worth sharing. Your focus as always should be on your own work, improving it, and having FUN with the challenges.
From now if people use the challenges hashtags, tag, or mention CMChallenges profile in work that’s not related to the challenges, the person will be kindly warned 1 time (if following us) and by doing so a second time his or her profile will be blocked. If the person doesn’t even follow CM Challenges and just tags, mentions, or uses any of the challenges hashtags he or she is gonna be directly blocked without a warning. ( a lot of people abuse this way and more than 100 are blocked just in 2 days)
This comes because if the rules as explained above and in the RULES Highlight are not followed or abused, it becomes very hard for the team of volunteers running the account to find all entries, organize, like, comment, save and share becomes a very hard task. No one is being paid for doing all this work, that believe me is a lot, and they don’t deserve to be disrespected by people hungry for fame and attention.
From now on entries for certain topics are receiving NIBS (points) only if they are submitted in the required period. You can submit earlier or later, and sometimes you still might end up featured, but without gaining NIBS.
This is still a new format of a challenge for us all, so there are rules that might be changed/deleted, or added on the go. If you have any suggestions or ideas on how the challenge, the process, and the rules could be changed to benefit everyone and make it an even more exciting and cool challenge, feel free to DM us at Calligraphy Masters Challenges.
Please Keep a track of your own NIBS and how much they are, once the current topics are over we’ll take a break of 1 or 2 weeks to count all people’s NIBS and if we make a mistake you will be able to correct us.
One of the most frequently asked questions I receive on a daily basis is, ‘How do I get featured on Calligraphy Masters?’There are no tricks to this it is a straightforward path. Below are something you need to know, understand and apply if you are serious about being featured. This is broken up into sections so you can find them easily, reread them and think them through at your leisure.
A little background – CM was built as a source of inspiration, knowledge, and calligraphic entertainment. The aim was to get posts in front of you which would surprise and motivate you to want to carefully practice your craft, to get better, and to be proud of the work you do. What CM was not developed for was to help you gain followers with little or no accuracy or for that matter, responsibility to the craft.
Featured on Calligraphy Masters
WHY DO YOU FEEL YOU WANT TO BE FEATURED ON CALLIGRAPHY MASTERS?
Ask yourself ‘what is the reason you want to be featured on CM?’ Be honest with yourself. If your reason is to gain followers, this immediately puts you at odds with my intention. I know seeing others being featured seems to boost their following on many social media channels, but you need to consider how this might have happened, also consider what you might not be seen in the background of this post. Over the past seven years, I have had many inquiries from followers who wanted to be featured, most being new accounts, beginners, and long-term practitioners but the issue is the quality of the work is not sufficient enough to warrant a post on the CM feed. What you MUST remember is simply because someone is featured does not mean that post will generate traction and therein lies the headache, there really is no guarantee a windfall of likes will follow, nor might there be a boost in followers but more importantly, a poorly performing post will negatively impact on CM and its engagement.
Invariably, when a post does well, it is because of the skill of the artisan executing the work which drives the likes and this may result in a boon of followers but it is about the craftsmanship employed in the post. It is not magic. It is these skilled practitioners I do not hear from, asking me to feature them, because they are not thinking about the fame, the likes, and the followers, they are doing it for the craft, for their love of the craft. Asking for your work to be shared, to be liked, or to follow you is usually done for all the wrong reasons, for the hype and fame and not for the art. These signs are easy to spot and instantly make what you are asking distasteful.
Please understand, I am not saying this to be hurtful, but I feel I need to be both blunt and honest. How conscious are you of the accuracy of your work, of the skill level you are at? If you are producing work for the love of it because you want to learn, to get better, to share the craft, and to help others, the followers will come, it may take some time but it will happen, you just have to be patient. Equally, there are many highly skilled craftsmen who deserve a bigger audience and they don’t seek to be featured, why not suggest them, instead of pushing yourself forward? I do not know everyone, and I cannot be aware of all the work out there, but I would LOVE to help those talented artists. Think about how their work would influence and benefit others.
A great way to build your connection with CM and help me to get to know you and also to really concentrate on improving your work is to get involved with our challenges at Calligraphy Masters Challenges.
Calligraphy Masters Challenges
HOW TO GET FEATURED – WHAT TO DO!
So, how do you actually get featured?
The easiest way to get featured is by simply using the CM hashtags – #CalligraphyMasters #KeepWriting There is also a specially dedicated hashtag to those of you trying to get featured #CalligraphyMastersShowroom
Tag @calligraphymasters in your posts and your stories, be consistent, be patient. I say, ‘be patient’ but there have been times people have rigorously followed the above, they post daily and tag CM daily, and I must confess that it has frustrated me seeing their posts daily, but then I think ‘I told them to be patient, so I need to be patient too’ and over time I watch the consistent posting and I can see them gradually improving. This for me is one of the great joys, to see you getting better, this then allows me to feature your work, not because of your patience in waiting but your patience in improving.
Turn ON posts and story notifications for CM. Engage with the page, share the work on your feed or in your stories, comment on the posts. Commenting on posts will always get my attention, especially if your comments provide information on the post and help others. You will find that it will also gain your followers as you will be engaging with the community.
Your SKILL LEVEL is the key to getting featured. Look at your work, I meant REALLY LOOK AT IT. What is lacking in the work? Why is it not better? Are you aware of how to get better? How to improve the work? What is your level of accuracy like? Is the work consistent? This is up to you, it is your responsibility to produce work to be proud of, beautiful accurate work. The only way to do this is with care and patience.
And of course, it is a huge plus if you create content exclusively for being featured! Original content, rather than a repost from another site, or from another artist, will always grab my attention. I have some additional information on creating original content which I will be sharing soon.
ON the matter of hashtags, think about what you are doing. Personally, I will never feature someone who has a huge list of hashtags tagging over 10 influencer pages. This shows they are seeking ONLY to get featured, and it doesn’t matter by whom, it is not about the craft, it is about the fame. If you choose to tag CM because that is where you want to be featured, then only tag CM. It is this kind of loyalty I will repay.
WHAT NOT TO DO?
DO NOT email your work stating ‘please share my video’ or ‘please feature me’, it will only anger me and ensure your work will not be featured.
DO NOT email your work without much as a ‘Hi my name is…, how are you today?’ This only shows you are taking me, as a person, for granted.
DO NOT email your work without a reasonable email stating your name, who you are, what the attached project is, and what tools and materials you have used.
DO NOT ask in ANY of the comment section on ANY CM feeds on being featured.
Under no circumstance should you contact my personal IG, Milen1st, to ask me to look at your work, to like it, give feedback, feature it, or share it. Milen1st is my personal account, as an artist, it is my personal expression page, only a person who has no respect for me will do this. Be aware this not only applies to my personal feed but to other members of the CM Crew. Contacting team members on their social channels and leaving messages on their feed asking to be featured on CM is not proper etiquette, it shows a real lack of respect. This behavior will ensure you are never featured on CM.
ONCE YOU ARE FEATURED:
Yeah! You are finally upon CM, congratulations, but it doesn’t stop there! Once your post is featured it now becomes your responsibility to check on the post, comment, to at least say thank you, and most importantly, ANSWER any questions which arise from the post. It is important to interact with the followers and help clear up any confusion so they might be able to attempt what is shown in your post. This is key to your post as it will generate followers for you. Traffic to and on the post shows the algorithm why it needs to ensure your post gets air time.
This information is for being featured on the CM Instagram and the CM Facebook channels. It may lead to you being featured on YouTube as well, but there are different rules for that which I will publish shortly.
As CM grows, I will need to adapt, alter and add to the rules on how to get featured so please check back, intermittently, on this article.
I hope this article helps further your understanding of how to proceed with getting featured here on CM. Please feel free to share this with your friends and colleagues.
If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to leave a message in the comments below.
What are the criteria which the winners are chosen?
What are the rewards?
Best entries in the challenge.
Whats the #SpeedballTextBookChallenge?
At the end of last year, my friend Max Juric from Lettering Daily contacted me to see if I was interested in a collaboration with him and Speedball for the launch of the 25th Edition of the Speedball Text Book. The aim was to create a challenge and giveaway with 3 rewards to the best entries. It was a no-brainer I immediately agreed. First, because I enjoy developing collaborations in our communities and second, I like to take every opportunity to giveaway some products to our audience.
On the 14th of February 2021, we launched the giveaway participants had to “Create original artwork for the prompt “The Art of Letters” and share it on social media. The aim was to have anyone, at any skill level use any kind of lettering technique or style be it calligraphy, lettering, sign painting, etc. – we hoped for as wide a range a range of submissions and as diverse as the instruction found in The Textbook!”. We opted to target it as an upload on Instagram and using #speedballtextbookchallenge.
Then something crazy happened! I have a challenge account – “Callivember” and I’ve done other collab challenges with Lettering Daily before, usually there are always some artists that stand out and make cool entries, the rest is mostly amateur work. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about that! In fact, I encourage as many beginners as possible, not to be afraid to enter these challenges nor to be stressed about their skill level. There are normally so many entries for the challenges but choosing winners tends to be easy as there are always those who really pour their energy into creating the pieces they post. This time, however, it seemed like everyone chose to buckle down and plan their pieces and not just post the first thing they did. You can see the amount of time and planning which went into each piece.
Max and I sat down to look through all the submissions and were stunned at the depth, variety, and sheer beauty of the pieces, this has made choosing the winners extremely difficult, by hugely enjoyably on our part.
What are the criteria on which the winners were chosen?
In every challenge, the criteria for choosing winners should be the best and most skilled entries are awarded the prizes, but since there were a lot of skilled and popular artists who entered as well, Max suggested picking the winners based on the effort they put in because as there are lots of not so highly skilled artist. We opted to look at effort, considering not only what was presented to us but, also, by the amount of accessible tools that entrant might have access to, this being considerably less than what more established artists would have.
It is a bit complicated to explain exactly how the decision-making process worked based on participant effort, but hopefully, when you see the entries we picked as the winners, you will understand.
What are the rewards?
25th Edition of The Speedball Textbook, signed by each of the three co-editors
Speedball Calligraphy Collector’s Set
Arnhem Paper Pad (8.5”x11”)
25th Edition of The Speedball Textbook
Speedball Calligraphy Storage Set”
Arnhem Paper Pad (8.5”x11”)
25th Edition of The Speedball Textbook
Arnhem Paper Pad (8.5”x11”)
Best entries in the challenge.
Here are my top 50 favourite entries.
I’ve arranged the entries in descending order, you will find my favorite at the bottom of the page. If your entry is amongst the first few rows, please don’t feel disappointed, this is still in the top 50 submissions out of more than 500 entries over, only, five days. Also, please remember, the choices are based on my personal preferences and what resonated with me.
The challenge is now over, rewards are being sent to their new owners!
However, if you want to continue trying you hand at the challenge, we would be more than happy for you to do so.
There is a MASSIVE BONUS for you doing this!
If this post reaches 500 shares, Max and I will make a video to review of all the entries, both from the 5 day challenge and the subsequent entries. This video will give you a more in-depth insight in the our decision-making process and why we chose the entries we settled on.
If, however, this post gets 1000 shares we will make a new challenge with even more prizes and bigger rewards!
What happened and why was the web site gone for such a long time?
Changes around Calligraphy Masters
How can you help?
Calligraphy Master Website is back up!
Here is what is happening but more importantly how you can be a part of it.
What is the idea behind the website?
There is so much to tell you about what has been going on but let’s start with the fact that the website is back up and running. I started Calligraphy Masters back in 2014 because I was looking for information I couldn’t find and thought it would be great to have homemaking that material accessible so others could find content without having to go hunting.
It was a long road working out how to build the website to make it helpful, useful, and most importantly interesting. Coming to the realization that I wanted something which would be a portal for News, Tutorials, and Interviews from the Lettering, Calligraphy, and SignWriting world was the idea behind the structure of the website. The basics aim has always been the same but now with a larger platform for handmade letters where you can find not only news from the industry but also explore podcasts, videos, merchandise, challenges, giveaways, new artists, find workshops locally and internationally, hire artists for specific projects & events and find free resources on your calligraphy and lettering journey. This is by no means easy or simple, but I’m not in a hurry and am always open to new ideas and suggestions as to how I can improve and grow the site and the CM brand.
Why was the site down for so long?
I was so busy building the content for the site, putting it up, finding more content and interactions with artists that I completely forgot to back up all the work. I had assumed that as it was online it would always be there. Unfortunately I was wrong and learned a very difficult lesson the hard way. There was a technical glitch with my ISP and I lost everything. As you can imagine this came as a shock to me learning all of it was lost and that I need to rebuild everything from scratch. This affected me personally and I had to take a step back to re-evaluate the situation and how to approach it differently.
It was at this point when I was talking with Paul Antonio, who is not only one of the team members, but also one of the members I am closest to, told me something which surprised me. Paul and I speak nearly weekly via video call, he pointed out to me that I cannot do this all on my own, that he himself realised he could not do it on his own with his Facebook Groups and asked for group members to help. They jumped to keep things running smoothly so he didn’t have to do all the work, just make the content they all use so frequently. It is from this he suggested that I reach out the the membership and ask them for assistance. Paul said ‘you have helped and continue to help so many people on their calligraphic and lettering journeys that people will jump to help you, not to mention, they will get to work with some amazing content creators and in some instances, people who inspire them in their own work!’
So here we are, and here I am, asking if any of you would like to help with some of the support needed to run Calligraphy Masters. I have identified 7 key areas where help would be greatly appreciated
The running of CM on Facebook and Instagram managing posts, replying to comments, directing questions to the relevant person, pointing out tools and materials, that kind of thing
Video Editing for the YouTube Channel
Audio Editing for the Podcasts
Website – technical web assistance, coding, etc,.
Content Managing – innovative ideas on pictures, videos and articles
Content Creation – writing articles, locating events, workshops and news
If you, or a friend you know, might be willing to assist and you fit into any of the above-listed categories and you are happy to lend some time please email me at [email protected] and I will send you more detailed information on the process, set up and running of the Helpers Group.
Changes with Calligraphy Masters
I have also been looking at some directional changes to the way I feel Calligraphy Masters should operate. It’s been 6 years now. Calligraphy, Lettering and Sign Writing have all changed in that time, but so too have I. The vision I set out with 6 years ago is something I also needed to reevaluate and with accepting that I need assistance also came the space to think about what I want for CM.
My aim is to leave a lasting legacy, a mark on the world of calligraphy with a portal which will truly make a difference in how people interested in calligraphy, letteringand sign writing connect with each other. To do this, I realised I needed adjust my approach to CM and what it stands for. With the ever changing algorithms in social media, I feel it is time to to build better, long term relationships with you, the audience, but to focus more on those of you who are keen to really learn, those who want a deeper understating of how to improve your skills in the lettering arena.
Calligraphy Masters cannot simply keep reposting content, we have to start generating our own original content by working with artists in different ways. This will start with what will be posted on Instagram and how that content will be divided between the CMTeam and its followers, and how you can get involved in a more connected way. I am currently working on this strategy and will share it with you in the coming weeks.
The Calligraphy Masters Team will also undergo some juggling around and restructuring of the team into different groups. Here are some of the groups I am thinking about
1)Current team members – people I work with on projects, products and events
2)A new core who will assist with generating original content for the various social channels
3)A satellite group who will help with managing the different accounts
4)An editing team for articles, video and audio
I know it is a lot to take in but I have been quiet about this for a little while as I was coming up with a plan of action but also internalizing it myself so that I can move forward with something I am happy to see Calligraphy Masters grow into. If you have any comments, suggestions or are willing to help in any way please contact me on [email protected] I look forward to helping you on your journey and connecting with you.
All the best Milen
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