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Profile of Cari Buziak, by Renate Worthington


Scanning artwork into a computer. Marketing ornate Celtic and medieval masterpieces world-wide. Creating a dummy font to work on layout using a computer. Manipulating colour. Digitizing a book illustration. What would the early scribes have thought of this?

Twenty-seven-year-old Cari Buziak is a calligrapher-artist/illustrator of the twenty-first Century. She founded Aon Celtic Art and Illumination three years ago. Check out her website : You will find Celtic logos, instruction on drawing knots and gilding, knotwork designs for Irish dance dresses, Cari's own line of Celtic clothing designs, decorated plates, bowls and sculptures, book jackets, re-created manuscript pages, CD cover designs, illustrations for games, rubber stamp designs, greeting cards, commissioned Celtic and fantasy works, and dozens of ornate prints and posters.

Cari spends about twelve hours a day painting, working on her projects or doing various aspects of her business: updating her Web page or doing mailing for people who have purchased items from her on-line.

She works in whatever medium provides the best result for the project: acrylic, pen and ink, watercolour, coloured pencil, egg tempera, gold or silver leaf, or her Macintosh computer. Often working on four or more projects at once, Cari manages her time very efficiently, meeting deadlines and dealing with clients all around the globe.

Mainly self-taught, Cari learned a few painting techniques from her husband, Derek Mah, a graphic artist. Inspired to try Celtic art after taking a calligraphy class, Cari continues to explore her Irish heritage by studying early scribes' methods and techniques. She is a member of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, the feature article writer for The Celtic Ray (an on-line Celtic magazine), a member of The Irish Cultural Society, and the Regional Director for Central Canada for the International Society of Folk Harpers and Craftsmen. (She plays a wire strung Celtic harp named Meghan).

Currently, she is working on an illuminated manuscript of The Lady of Shalott, an animated movie, a children's book, and she is weaving a tapestry. She would like to learn to speak more Irish, and to do some archaeology. Cari says she needs a clone to do all the wonderful things in which she is interested.

Two of Cari's broadsides are presently touring the world with Alphamark, a traveling calligraphic exhibition. There are no borders, as far as her work is concerned. Nor does there seem to be any limit to her imagination, enthusiasm, and artistic scope. The quotation by Alberta Einstein: "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition by mediocre minds" is relevant to Cari's spirit and endeavors. In spite of well-meant advice as to other career choices, she continues to follow her dream.