In celebration of National Handwriting Day I wanted to write a post about this disappearing art. Many days after school, I spent time in my room trying to perfect my script. I was not satisfied with the identity my written words portrayed on the page. A moment in history struck a chord in my mind, Marie Antoinette signing her marriage contract; her hand trailed across the page, an anguished scrawl, leaving a legacy she was not pleased to be associated with, never mind the tragedies to transpire after the marriage. I wanted to be an artist, but my written words were anything but artistic, cramped letters that mimicked the style taught during grade school; I endeavored to do better than Marie.
At the time, the best examples of artistic script to be found was contained in the art of album cover design. From Pink Floyd’s The Wall to Neil Diamond’s Beautiful Noise, these designs inspired me to draw my letters until a flowing script transformed many notebook pages from my practice. This will probably be the only reference in blog history of Neil Diamond and Pink Floyd mentioned as the influences of an artist.
A dear friend in high school shared the gift of fountain pens and nibs, growing my art to Calligraphy, another area I mastered. This art required patiently composed words the curve and flow of each letter paramount.
As new artists emerge, perhaps technology will transform this style into something none of us can currently imagine. The day of email and typed script has taken over the creation of hand lettering and I find myself missing the personal touch of a handwritten note. On occasion, I glance over my mother’s handwritten bits, she is gone now, but those words bring her closer to me again. I rarely get the same feeling from an email or Facebook message.
So I would encourage you, dear reader, take a moment this week to pen a note and send it to a friend. I believe the response will have an immeasurable comparison.
Rabbit Hole of Research:
Toni Tennille (The Captain ‘n Tennille) sang backup on The Wall.
Robbie Robertson, (The Band) produced Beautiful Noise.
I am participating in A Month of Letters on Facebook, send me a private message and we can exchange addresses. Do you have any thoughts to share on the disappearing art of hand writing? I look forward to chatting with you!