As people search for meaningful ways to connect during the pandemic, visual artist Kari Carvey has noticed a resurgence of interest in the lost art of putting pen to paper.
Unable to communicate face to face, people are taking the time to put something in the mail, she said, scripting personal notes, letters and cards that tell loved ones “that you are thinking of them.”
Ms. Carvey has also seen an uptick in discussions about fountain pens and inks as people find more opportunity to write and take care of journals.
“There’s lots of organization that comes with handwriting, writing things down and using different colours and fonts.”
Her own love of writing began with stationery and pens. “I became obsessed with fonts. I remember having Letraset and Geotype and looking at all the different fonts and learning the different names.” When she watched TV or movies she started to identify fonts on signage.
She began practising fonts, taking each letter of the alphabet and drawing them over and over again. Eventually, she had the thought that she could create her own – and so she did.
The older generations may be more familiar with letter writing, but Ms. Carvey is seeing more and more young people taking it up as a hobby.
“There are a lot of people that didn’t know they had a passion with pens and then when they find out that, ‘Hey that pen is really old-fashioned,’ or ‘When I was a kid, I was fascinated with what my grandpa used,’ it kind of clicks.”
For her, part of the appeal rests in the permanence of the act. While we can completely forget what someone says or what we hear, she says, the written word is indelible.
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