Some themes emerged and merged this week, involving writing, cursive and sketching as nearly-lost arts:
- Lamenting the lost art of cursive: After writing about the retro script logo from the Pearl brewery in San Antonio, Texas, in Pearls of Wisdom, in Cursive—which led to my lament that cursive is fading from schools’ curricula—the feedback from a former teacher was sobering:
- Pick up a pencil and sketch: Stop taking iPhone pictures and start sketching what you see (in another find from Jane Somers). Philosophers’ Mail makes a thought-provoking case for a return to a skill we once all used, pre-photography: drawing. Artist John Ruskin, circa mid-1800s, was a drawing proponent and camera opponent who believed everyone was an artist:
‘A man is born an artist as a hippopotamus is born a hippopotamus; and you can no more make yourself one than you can make yourself a giraffe.’
- On putting pen to paper: Austin Kleon‘s popular Twitter comment struck a chord:
“I’m not a Luddite. I just think paper and pen is a superior technology”
- And Kleon’s follow-up photo, sharing Magritte’s cursive, was so right: “Look at Magritte’s cursive! So boss.” Such style, from an era (unlike today) when cursive was the only option:
- Researchers reminded us The Best Way to Remember Something is to Take Notes By Hand, in a story that appeared in Fast Company Design. Writing in longhand, while listening, requires us to process what we’re hearing and choose the critical bits to write down, perhaps in a hand like this:
- And Troy Church penned Why I Sketch Everyday on Medium.com, making a brilliant case for drawing out ideas, rather than taking them right to the Mac first:
“Sketching helps me see, think, and communicate more clearly. It facilitates dialogue with myself, and others. It produces wonderful records of the conversations for later. It adds emotion and context to my memory and fuels my imagination. It has simultaneously slowed me down, and sped me up. It’s made me a better designer. It’s enriched my life.”
- Which circled back around to The True Meaning of the Art of Letters (published here earlier this week), describing the old-school requirements of lettering that make for good design and good memories and good cursive. ♣
Why don’t you pick up your pen and write something in cursive today?
I love writing and after reading your post I think I will practice hand-writing today. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂
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Thanks for letting me know, Norma! I’m so glad this inspired you.
I visited the Pearl Brewery redevelopment a few weeks. It invokes a certain cursive, handmade, artful thoughtful quality.
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It’s a fantastic reuse of the space, isn’t it? Thanks for commenting.
Yes. Sixty to ninety minutes every morning, with fountain pens (because they make writing a sensual experience, literally something that flows). It saves my life, over and over!
Yes! Fountain pens are a must, any time. Must not be shared, either.
Jann, I took my first drawing class last fall. In reading about drawing, I came upon this book and it’s a joy to read. Drawing increases mindfulness, and puts one in the “zone” which is very calming. I wanted to share this book with you. The Zen of Seeing/Drawing as Meditation, Frederick Franck. Are you familiar with it?
No I am not, and thanks for sharing it with me. I’ll look it up. Drawing puts our minds in entirely other places, doesn’t it? Especially when it has not other purpose, no other required outputs.