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Keep the beautiful pen busy.


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Handwritten is a place and space for pen and paper. We showcase things in handwriting, but also on handwriting. And so, you'll see dated letters and distant postcards alongside recent studies and typed stories. 

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Filtering by Tag: National Handwriting Day

Start the Year Off Write • Handwritten

Brett Rawson

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BY HANDWRITTEN

While this last Tuesday (Jan. 23rd) was National Pie Die as well as National Measure Your Feet Day, it was also National Handwriting Day. And so, we woke up, scarfed down a slice of apple pie, sized up our feet, and set up shop in KEXP's musical wonderland to celebrate pen, paper, and all kinds of wild characters. 

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This is the third year in a row we have hosted a Handwritten hootenanny on National Handwriting Day.

In 2016, during a blizzard that silenced the sounds of New York City, we received email submissions from around the world, and published handwriting in over a dozen languages.

In 2017, we did a cyber-solo dance, and hashtagged up a storm. We also thought of a funny joke that USPS retweeted. It went something like this: "@USPS, what do you call a book of stamps in a sudden panic?" No one replied to our tweet, so we did with the answer: "@USPS, a stampede!" They retweeted that, and our job was done, we told ourselves.

This year provided a new opportunity: We made the announcement on our social media platforms, but this past winter, we expanded to the west coast. Having just set up Handwritten operations in Seattle, WA, we wanted to get to know the local community, so we reached out to KEXP, a radio station that we grew up on.

Their new space, which is located near the Space Needle, is a luminous dream. There's everything a handwriter could want: couches, chairs, record shop (Light in the Attic), cafe (La Marzocco), gallery space, floor-to-ceiling windows, a stage, bar stools, great music, and inspiring people. For seven hours, we handed out sheets of inspiration to passersby. Enjoy some of the images of the day below, but to see the full album, visit our National Handwriting Day page here, or check out the album on Facebook.

Whatever you do, keep the pen busy.

We're always on the lookout for words on, or about, process. So send us your raw, unfinished, or in progress thoughts to submit@handwrittenwork.com. All characters are welcome. See our submission guidelines for info on what we're looking for.

Seven Years After Bopomofo Was Left Behind • Joyce Chen

Brett Rawson

By Joyce Chen

One of the most common shared experiences of second generation Chinese American kids everywhere is spending three hours every Saturday morning at Chinese school often held at empty high schools, in community centers, or in rented spaces above storefronts from the age of 5 to about 18. And one of the very first things said kids were taught is how to write the Chinese alphabet, otherwise known as Zhuyin fuhao (注音符號).

Or, in plainer terms, bopomofo. The form is phonetic, so it's possible to read an entire page of the characters without knowing what exactly you're saying. But, as times have changed, so has language, and the language system is no longer widely taught, if at all. Now, in place of thing phonetic characters, kids are learning the pinyin system phonetics written in English letters.

What used to be 手寫 and pronounced ㄕㄡ(3) ㄒㄧㄝ (2) is now Shǒuxiě.

2 Composers Separated by 68 Years and 2 Drawings • Graydon Hanson

Brett Rawson

When 12-year old aspiring composer, Graydon, was tasked with following in the footsteps of a composer, he chose Estonian composer Arvo Part, who happened to draw significantly by hand. Above and below are two images from Graydon's presentation, illustrating his journey through the past and toward the future.

The Script Inside a Manuscript • Tomas Cohen

Brett Rawson

With best wishes from a Chilean poet in Berlin,
Tomas | www.tomascohen.com

Love in Vietnamese, Punjabi, Mandarin, English, Spanish & Backwards Cursive

Brett Rawson

HANDCOLLECTED BY CARLY BUTLER

At work today, Handwritten curator Carly Butler shares International Handwriting Day with colleagues and customers. So far, they have collected handwriting in Vietnamese, Punjabi, Mandarin, English, Spanish, and to top it off, backwards cursive. That's right, backwards cursive. #bicdrop

Lenore Tawney postcard to Maryette Charlton (1969) • Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Brett Rawson

FROM THE SMITHSONIAN ARCHIVES OF AMERICAN ART 

Lenore Tawney postcard to Maryette Charlton, February 16, 1969. Maryette Charlton papers. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This letter will be featured in Smithsonian's forthcoming book, Pen to Paper: Artists’ Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016).

Thank you to Mary Savig, Curator of Manuscripts, for opening up the Smithsonian Archives of American Art for a Handwritten celebration.

Maxfield Parrish letter to Cecilia Beaux, July 11, 1909 • Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Brett Rawson

FROM THE SMITHSONIAN ARCHIVES OF AMERICAN ART 

Maxfield Parrish letter to Cecilia Beaux, July 11, 1909. Cecilia Beaux papers. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This letter will be featured in Smithsonian's forthcoming book, Pen to Paper: Artists’ Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016).

Thank you to Mary Savig, Curator of Manuscripts, for opening up the Smithsonian Archives of American Art for a Handwritten celebration.

Eero Saarinen letter to Aline Saarinen, 1953 • Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Brett Rawson

FROM THE SMITHSONIAN ARCHIVES OF AMERICAN ART 

Eero Saarinen letter to Aline Saarinen, 1953. Aline and Eero Saarinen papers. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This letter will be featured in Smithsonian's forthcoming book, Pen to Paper: Artists’ Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016).

Thank you to Mary Savig, Curator of Manuscripts, for opening up the Smithsonian Archives of American Art for a Handwritten celebration.

Winslow Homer letter to Thomas B. Clarke, January 4, 1901 • Smithsonian Archives of American Art

Brett Rawson

FROM THE SMITHSONIAN ARCHIVES OF AMERICAN ART 

Winslow Homer letter to Thomas B. (Thomas Benedict) Clarke, January 4, 1901. Winslow Homer collection. This letter will be featured in Smithsonian's forthcoming book, Pen to Paper: Artists’ Handwritten Letters from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016).

Thank you to Mary Savig, Curator of Manuscripts, for opening up the Smithsonian Archives of American Art for a Handwritten celebration.

Take The First Steps Into The Dark Dawn • Royster

Brett Rawson

BY ROYSTER

In 2009, I couldn't read my own longhand notes.  I read a bit about handwriting, then adopted an italic script from Write Now! by Getty & Dubay.  Much more legible, and if I put my mind and hand to it a little more than I do here, I get compliments!  Best of all, I got a letter from Mrs. Getty where she includes some calligraphic scribbles.  

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” Alan Cohen