My fellow calligraphers, many of whom I have met and admired from The Society for Calligraphy, are my inspiration. I see these talented and creative men and women as adventurers of their craft, constantly coming out with beautifully creative answers to the challenge of a white slate. Or black. Or blank. To which my response is often I can do that, or I want to try that.
Challenges are my motivation. (By nature, I’m passively competitive. Only when I’m confident do I show up, or participate, or speak, which grows with age and blurs into habit. I am confident, so I do show up, and participate, and speak up.) A word, or phrase or verse, dares me to illustrate it. Inanimate until calligraphic life is breathed into it! The motivation of many artists is to communicate that which presents itself as a challenge.
Example. Pick a verb. How about to antiquate. The obvious is to use a weathered type or letterform. What pushes the illustration to the yet-undiscovered level? That’s the challenge. That is the motivation.