Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week Two: I hate my handwriting.

(Again, this is for a journalling group at La Petit Academy)

We all do. It's just how it is. As I see it, you have three options. 1. Live with it. 2. Don't write in your journals. 3. Change it. My handwriting is quick and sloppy. When I'm making a grocery list, leaving someone a note, or scribbling directions, I don't care. I make loopy Es and funky looking Ks and I have severe dyslexia, so letters that have been wasy for most people to write since kindergarten are still difficult for me at 30 years old. But in my journals, I want something different. When I first started posting journal pages on my page here at the Academy I got all these comments about how people loved my lettering and I was so surprised, I would go look at the page they were talking about and think "Really? What's so impressive about that?"

And then I was even more surprised when people would say things like "I wish I could do that" or "I want to learn to do that". What's stopping you? If you want to change the way your writing looks in your journals, CHANGE IT. You can. I promise. Why would you think you couldn't?

There is NOTHING special about the writing on this page - a loop here, a swirl there. If my word has an L in it, I like to make the bottom part long and put the next letter on top of it. If there are two Os, I like to stack them on top of each other. Sometimes I draw lines and don't let anything hang over the bottom like a P or a G. There's no secret to it. Try it. (Please excuse the picture quality - I can't seem to get a good one for some reason. Camera, phone, nothing makes it look right. And before you suggest going outside, remember that I live in Minnesota and there are piles of snow twice my height out there.)

Here is one of the first ones I ever did, one of my first Goddess/Poet drawings with words on it.

"I am afraid to dream". It's what was on my mind at that moment. Is it amazing? Nope. To me, it's nothing special at all. It's not spectacular, it doesn't say anything that important. It's just me. But sometimes the easiest way to use someone else's handwriting is to use someone else's words. Start with quotes. The quote doesn't have to have ANYTHING to do with the picture you're going to put it on. That's the beauty of being an artist - no one expects you to make sense. You're allowed to be completely insane if you feel like it!

This is on the cover of a journal that I made:

Letters inside boxes:

Another one of my first attempts:

I want to leave you with a thought. My grandma is 87. She hates her handwriting. She uses a very distinct mixture of print and cursive (quite unusual for her generation) that all of us grandkids LOVE. One day I won't have grandma in the flesh anymore. Yes, I'll have pictures and memories, but I won't have her voice, her hug, the feel of her super-soft skin, her scent. The cards I've saved from her and things that she touched. She wrote. She spent a few minutes thinking of me and writing to me in her strange and wonderful handwriting that she hates and we love.


  1. Please add me to the people that love your handwriting!

  2. I don't think many do like their writing, but I think yours looks really good! That's so special what you wrote about your Grandma.