I typically roll my eyes at the “national [insert random object] days” but with one like handwriting, I guess I can’t help but indulge in the silliness of honoring this special day.
I looked for some quotes about handwriting to letter for this post, the only thing that really struck me were a few about it being a lost art and to think about how important handwriting used to be. There was a day when letters were the only form of communication, I mean that’s crazy (and kind of awesome).
I was then lead to think about my journey and love for lettering. How did this happen anyways? That I have created a job partially dealing with my handwriting? If you would have told me this years ago it would have been confusing and funny. Years ago when I was lettering my name and the names of my friends over and over on wide ruled paper instead of listening to my teacher in class… I guess that’s how it started. I remember getting boxes upon boxes of new markers all the time. I had all the fun crayola ones. I’m not sure when I had time for this in class but I made tons of “signs” for my friends all the time. I was constantly writing my name on a page underneath the paper I was taking notes. I was a cheerleader and would always be asked to make signs for the games, our hallway, any school event really. Heather would do it with me, which is just hilarious because she is designing stationery these days as well (hi Paper Please!) To make a long story short, fast forward all those years (while keeping in mind that every stage of my life that involved me being in a classroom, there was doodling involved) and “modern calligraphy” started popping up around the web. It was funny to me that people were “selling their handwriting”. I thought, I know and love this, I could do that. With the help of some friends passing on a few small jobs, I tried my hand in professional handwriting. Over the past three years I’ve written and written and written some more. Through many trials and experiments, my writing grew into something I love. Something I am proud of and excited to share with others. It…is…mind-blowing!
I’m going to wrap this up with a story. For the majority of my life grandparents have lived out of state. For as long as I remember, my grandmother has sent me (and many others) handwritten cards and letters. They didn’t mean as much as a child but as an adult calligrapher it is truly a prize. She still loves to write letters to this day. She writes A LOT of letters. When I visited them early last year she made a comment about being proud of me for writing and making handwritten things. She mentioned that schools once taught penmanship and today most people don’t even know a true cursive alphabet. This year for Christmas, she gave me a book filled with some photos, letters I had sent her as a child, and then pages upon pages of her handwriting telling her story. Tears filled my eyes as I opened such a priceless gift. Something I will always treasure. I can’t wait to finish reading it and then visit them again to hear more stories.
Leaving people notes and sending letters is so special and personal. I’m thankful I will always have something written from most of my family members and my close friends. Step away from the e-mail today and send someone you love some snail mail. Your handwriting doesn’t have to be perfect, just meaningful.