I remember as a kid we use to practice our printing and then as we got to the third grade, we were introduced to cursive. When I was a senior in high school, I was forced to learn typing on an actual typewriter (not a word processor). I remember all of the whiteout on that first paper. When I held it up to the light, there were more dark spots than typed letters on that paper. As technology progressed, I was glad that I had taken that typing class because then when computers and word processors became rampant, I was actually a good typist. That sufficed for a long time until texting became the new norm . . . Oh Jeez, what is next????? Oh, I know what is next! Now, I don’t even have to type anything with my fingers!!! I can actually talk to my phone and it writes the message for me . . . spelling everything correctly! (that’s a whole other conversation . . . wouldn’t it be best just to call?)
Likewise, we use to send actual cards to our friends for birthdays and write actual thank you letters to our grandparents for that spiffy new cowboy hat. Then as I got older, it got more convenient to send dear ol' granny a typed up page from my computer . . . at least I signed that before I put it in the mail. Now, if granny were alive and knew what a cell phone was, she'd get (maybe) at "Thx 4 10 gal hat"
I have noticed how over the years my focus on penmanship has changed. In kindergarten we use to take our time and try to make the perfect T and make sure our small "j"s had the sharpest fish hook and the dot was placed just over the dashed guideline. When I got the star from Mrs Heijny, I was happy as could be. Then cursive was the next challenge . . . it was like learning a new language and I was the type of kid that wanted to see how fancy I could get. I messed around with calligraphy a bit and boy did that get wild . . . I look back at some old homework, and boy, it would have taken a cryptologist to figure out what I wrote - I didn't even understand it - but it looked fancy. Now, when I write, I noticed that my writing is a mix of print and my personal label of cursive (I have a copyright on it so you can't call it your own) and upper and lower case letters. I think back to all of the serial killer movies and how the detectives try to decipher the hand writing . . . so much they can tell from a swoopy "z" vs a capital "A" that has the middle line going just a bit too far down and to the bottom right . . . "yeah, this guy must have killed a bunch of dogs when he was younger because his As are like daggers". So, no, am not interested in my handwriting being analyzed.
Anyway, the point of this treasury is getting back to the basics of writing. All of the wonderful artisans and artists on Etsy made me think of this last night. On the matte of each image, I write the image name, my company name, and where the photo was taken. Also with each photograph print or canvas I sell, I enclose a hand written thank you note to each of my clients. Depending on the conversation with the client, it may include my story of the piece or I may write about the image as a gift for Aunty Jenny and how I hope she likes it. Whatever the message, it is a sincere note from me to the purchaser. My art is personal to me and when someone invests in one of my pieces, something about the image is personal to them. In order to link the two personal experiences, a handwritten note is my glue.
Now, I haven't sold so many images that this is an overwhelming ritual. I hope that I get busy enough that it will become difficult, however, until that day when I am so overwhelmed that I have to ship that chore to India, I will continue to write that note.
Below are some of the treasure on Etsy that help me keep in perspective how important and personal a hand written note is to help maintain social grace. And when the electric grid finally shuts down, i'll still be able to communicate without a keyboard (real of virtual).
Oh, by the way, my kids know the imporantance of a hand written thank you . . . I know once they leave the nest, they will forget about it because I won’t be there to nag them. But hopefully they will find this post sometime in the future and they will pick up the art again.
To see the etsy treasury this belongs to, follow this link: http://www.etsy.com/treasury/MTE4NDMyNDN8MjAzNjkzNTk3MQ/the-art-of-writing-and-not-by-keyboard
To see my etsy storefront, follow this link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AbeytaPhotography