Pondering about this, staring at the wall, something caught my eye. My grandmother made this for me when I was born. It depicts the house I was born in, in a small village in Friesland, but again, I was focused on you. The little swash on your A made all the difference. It made me think. What if I translate you into pixels, keeping you elegant and refined? Using textile, a needle and thread, I could feel you!
As much as I love tradition, I think we should always look for new ways to celebrate the present. Studying and practising old examples from 18th century, I soon realised I wanted to let that go. Discover your boundaries, your size, your colours. And your shapes. After all, I don’t have a pencil but a rigid grid that limits you. One of my favourite things is to work with limitations, but it seems you have too many.
I let go of the grid, yours and the fabrics, and have one important rule: I’m not allowed to unstitch one stitch. It’s like we laugh real loud like we’re the happiest couple on earth. I admit, it feels a bit fake, but it opens up new ways for us to get along. Maybe you don’t like my jokes, but like I said, to have a happy marriage we have to keep discovering each other.
I always wonder why people treat you like they know everything about you, while they don’t know you as I do? I don’t want to sound offensive. I’m actually really jealous of those people that have uncomplicated fun with you. Playing around, laughing, joking, not minding your mood swings. How would it feel, if I forget EVERYTHING I know about you?
Picasso’s life goal was to draw like a child. This meant he had to forget everything he knew, which of course is extremely difficult.
One of your ancestors, the Phoenician alphabet, is the oldest verified alphabet in the wider sense of the term alphabet. It made me forget about my fixed ideas of you.
Some people see colours with certain days, called synesthesia. I hear sound with certain shapes. It gave me a solid guidance to design really abstract shapes. To me, abstraction is freedom. Thank you Picasso.
Last year, I was talking about you with some friends and I showed them this picture of you, of times long gone by. It was 1479, remember?
You dressed up crazy, so they had to laugh real hard. ‘Are you serious?’ they asked me. ‘What was he thinking?’
‘I don’t know,’ showing my friends a shy smile, ‘but I really like the outfit.’
I studied your appearance. Like a historian, like a doctor, like me, living in 2018.
I tried to make your outfit more crazy, more edgy, sometimes totally over the top.
Herman Zapf once said: Beauty is never lost. I know what he means, but if you take it in a literal way, it CAN be lost.
Kids handwriting for instance. At many schools the kids only learn how to type you, not to write you. Do they really forget your added value to their development? Arrighi explained already in the 16th century how simple your construction can be. I will not let them forget you. I will let the kids understand you, so you also become their best friend.