Today’s post is for the stationery geeks and anyone who yearns for the scratchy sound of pen on paper and whose heart beats a little faster when they receive a beautiful hand written letter. Have you noticed how little you are actually writing nowadays? Everything is moving onto a touch screen or keypad. Soon I’m going to have to remind my children what a fountain pen is, the idea of writing a whole letter in one will probably have them rolling around the kitchen in hysterics.
Recently as part of the day job, I interviewed Paul Antonio, a scribe of 30 years who writes with exquisite style on beautiful card and paper for lots of luxury brands. He does heaps of place cards and invitations ( he’s written Anna Wintour’s name more times than he can remember) but also writes on store windows and has even ‘aged’ the signature of a young model to apply to a handbag range.
Watching him work was such a thrill because he is brilliant at what he does (which is why he is in such high demand). He wrote out my name at the end of the interview with one long, flowing movement that was so moving to watch it very nearly made me cry. Not surprisingly he has wise words to say about how important writing by hand is, so here’s a tiny edit of what Paul said concerning the joy of writing by hand…
“Our character comes out in our handwriting. Graphologists, can study our personality from it. When you write, it helps you to think in a very different way. It slows your thoughts down, slows your breathing down, it’s a bit like meditation. if you try writing really fast with an ink pen, it just doesn’t work! So it puts you in a state of mind where you’re thinking more clearly, you’re not rushing things. And that’s something almost magical in today’s busy world. When you watch parents teach their children to write, it’s a really quite wonderful bonding moment.”
And why some of us are a bit geeky about writing and stationery…
“Our sense of passion, love and yearning for beautiful handwritten stationery goes back to when lettering first started. Our society developed because of writing and writing is a seminal part of being a human being. As we learnt how to write, it helped us to develop and grow as a race because of our ability to put our thoughts down in words, to record them.”
So if you are feeling a bit wound up and digitally imprisoned, can I suggest you quietly pick up a fountain pen, find yourself some nice, thick paper and start writing. It’s cheaper than therapy…(although not by much if you visit Liberty’s stationery department….)
To see more of Paul’s amazing work, follow him on instagram -Paul Antonio Attong @pascribe. The interview in full is here