This means that Michela Antonello has been awarded Fellowship of the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society on 20 October 2015. Moreover she was given a distinction for her work.
I asked Michela to tell us a little more about ‘going for fellowship’ and to share some practical advice.
Michela: “You are better than you think you are.” Simple, wise words from my Sensei before I entered what was for me a terrifying tournament. And of course he was right – we are so full of self-doubt that we fail to see all the potential we have in ourselves. If you have been approached and encouraged to submit for Fellowship, if you have that spark in yourself telling you that you could actually achieve it – go for it, it means you can do it! Find a mentor that suits your personality, someone you can trust to speak to openly, someone you know will give you constructive criticism to help you move forward. Why not talk to a recent Fellow about the practicalities and the whole assessment experience, which is in fact a very relaxed occasion and a chance to see other candidates’ splendid work.
On occasions that test us, such as a Fellowship election or a tournament, we tend to act superstitiously and don’t tell anybody about it “in case we fail”. I have found that this supposed safety-net that we give ourselves quickly becomes a cage that creates more stress than relief. I wouldn’t say trumpet out loud that you are submitting your work for Fellowship, but confide in a few good calligraphy friends, colleagues, tutors or family. They will understand the pressure you are under and this will help offload your doubts and concerns, as we tend to have a distorted view of our work when we are under stress. Suddenly we see all the faults, all the mistakes – even those that aren’t there! Talking to someone else about it will help you take a more objective view, and realise that actually, you know what, your work is rather good!
Lin: Working towards fellowship is time consuming and takes a lot of emotional energy. And by the way, Michela is a mom of three children aged 10, 12, 13 and she is currently preparing to gain her black belt in Karate. You are such a cool calligrapher Michela and you give the name “calligrapher” a real edge.