My dad was a man of many talents. He could take apart a car engine and put it all back together without any missing parts. He taught himself how to repair anything from toasters to a furnace. When I told him how much I admired that skill he replied that it wasn’t any big deal. It was just something he liked to do. I think about that when people have complimented me on my hand-lettering. It’s just something I’ve always done. I was the kid in elementary school who was asked to handletter special announcements. Running for student council president? Have Kate make your signs! I remember sitting in the darkened church of my childhood waiting for Mass to begin. I’d open the prayer books in the pew and examine the fonts. For some reason the spaces between the words were fascinating to me.
Years later while attending art college I came across a very officious professor who shamed me right out of my love of hand-lettering and typography. For whatever reason I listened to her negativity and uber focus on all-things-Helvetica and it made me walk away from my first love. It may sound silly, but it took me years to find my way back to hand-lettering/typography. Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, was very helpful in “exorcising” the negativity that professor applied in her teaching. (Yes,I own the fact that I should have not given so much of my own artistic power to that professor.) One of the benefits of being in my fifth decade of life is that I’ve been able to shed things that get in the way of my creativity. And now, late at night, when I’m drawing in my sketch pad I often pause with a deep sense of gratitude. I feel so happy that I’m back to playing with letters and having the time of my life. No critical voices. Just play. So good. Cheers, Kate
p.s. This card goes out to all the teachers/professors who helped me find my voice. Never forget the difference YOU make! <3