© 2014 Cristina Vanko
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Modern Day Snail Mail
Remember when Harry Potter’s wand had to choose him? Welp, I found a calligraphy pen that “chose me.”

The other day, I resurrected my dad's old calligraphy pen. Calligraphy is decorative handwriting or handwritten lettering. Basically, calligraphy is something that people just don't get enough of today, literally.

Once I received this pen, I examined the black barrel that held the ink and disassembled the pen, pretended to be a mad scientist (duh!) with my ink dropper as I watched the ink fall like teardrops into the pen, and finally, I assembled my shiny new toy. I immediately took the pen out for a test run and quickly discovered the magic of the golden tip of the pen. My dad informed me that the tip of the pen was made from gold and that gold is softer than other less precious metals. In other words, I had a precious writing utensil—and that it was. But really, the softer metal meant that the tip of the pen has a greater range for line thickness. The harder you press down on the pen's nib, the thicker the line. When less pressure is given, the thinner the line. I quickly began creating illustrious letterforms with the perfect balance of thick and thin strokes. I wrote out the alphabet, popular phrases, curse words (that looked beautiful might I add), and then I sent doodle-filled text messages to a couple of my design-y friends notifying them about the magic of this pen.

Basically, I won the lottery in terms of art supplies.

After texting some doodles, I decided to send handwritten messages to people for that next week. I wanted to create my own modern day version of “snail-mail.” My rules for this type experiment were simple: create handwritten text messages for 7 days, i.e. no using the keyboard on my phone to send a message. I wrote out my message on paper and then I snapped a photo to send as a text message.
I learned a few things...

1) A phone isn't only a texting device.
2) People like to plan phone calls these days, rather than receive them randomly.
3) My personality shined through so well that one friend texted back "it's like you're here with us!"...but then she followed up a few messages later that "it's almost like you’re deaf and passing notes around in the room."
4) Having a pen and paper is handy at all times.
5) My lack of a timely response really just meant that I didn't have a pen and paper around.
6) My messages sent were more thoughtful in the "I used complete thoughts" type of way.
7) You look super silly if you completely ignore all that you learned in English classes. Impeccable grammar and flawless spelling are both necessary for a handwritten note.
8) I wonder if a lack of response all together meant people didn't remember their loops and swoops aka cursive...
9) Writing a message and driving is more dangerous than texting and driving.*This is an educated guess.
10) We are a culture that heavily relies on emojis.
11) It was indicated multiple times that people feel more "special" when they received handwritten messages.
12) For those who didn't comment the handwritten responses and continued messaging normally just affirmed that my friends think this is something that I'd do on a day-to-day basis…which is definitely true.

Some friends had their minds blown!
Some responded with lettering of their own!...even weeks after I finished the project.
Some normal conversation...
A try at Fraktur...