I’ve always been fascinated with Illuminated Manuscripts – those ancient scrolls and books with arcane and exotic hand painted letters. It’s easy to get lost in manuscripts with those large first letters full of endless twists of decoration and bursting with people, animals, and creatures of no known origin but a monk’s imagination.

Secluded away in the Scriptorium, (the monastery rooms dedicated to that craft), the scribe’s task was copying letter after letter after letter, hour after hour, with precision and faithfulness to the script, with only the flourish of a serif as relief. The hope of adorning the page with some glory of creative freedom had to be pined for, dreamed of, and fought for. And imagine, if your patron requested not only color, but that it be done with gold paint? Jealousy and envy were no doubt common sins among the talented, and no doubt competitive, holy brethren.

Who doesn’t look at these collections of Ornate Letters and zero in on their own initials? How many times do you feel cheated – your letter doesn’t have the cool animal or exotic decoration? Who wants that as a Monogram? The hope is finding one you at least like, if not love. Birds, O.K.; Lions, neat!; a really fabulous twist and curl of decorated cord? All right. And to discover that any of your letters has a Dragon? Holy Grail!

But how often did that happen?

That was my mission: Everyone should have their own Dragon.

More info: zoolnart.com

Dragon Letter A

Dragon Letter B

Dragon Letter C

Dragon Letter M

Dragon Letter X

Dragon Letter Z

Hic Sunt Dracones – the whole Parade of Dragons