Learning to hand letter for the second time
Bouncing back after a serious injury impairs lettering skills
By Peter McCullen
Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018
Nine years ago, I acquired myself a brain injury. In hindsight, I’d much prefer to have acquired a boat or small vacation home in Italy, but once such a thing arrives on your doorstep it has a tendency to stick around. I tried to run away a few times, but there it’d be, right where I left it. Best to just lean into the problem and learn ways to live together.
It took five years or so to cobble other injuries together and learn strategies for everyday living, but top of my list was the reinstatement of my ability to hand letter. From a sign painter’s point of view, I could no longer visualize letters, let alone draw them.
So, having originally learned the skill of signwriting from an excellent Dublin master, Mr. John Kane, in the mid-1980s, I determined to hark backwards to those days in an attempt to re-kindle the lost art. This might sound like a carefully thought-out plan but it mostly evolved over time with a degree of instinct.