Last week, my family and I said goodbye to my father. He had lived a long and wonderful life and he passed away peacefully, for which I will be ever thankful. But losing him was still very unexpected and I’m quite sure that my heart will never be the same. My dad was, without question, my hero.
The reason I wanted to take a moment to remember him here in this space, however, is that in addition to being a person who was unbelievably kind, loving, thoughtful, smart, funny and brave, my dad was also a truly gifted artist. And he used that gift to support his family, working as a professional lettering artist for his entire 36 year career. (The photos in this post show him sitting in front of his drafting table and hard at work, respectively.) He had an incredible way with a pen – his lettering was consistent, beautiful, captivating. And he is the person who taught me how to write when I was still very young. One of my earliest memories is of Dad creating perfect capital letters using spaced out dots and encouraging me to connect them. As I pulled my pencil from one dot to the next, I remember watching with glee as the letters revealed themselves. After that, I would beg him often for more “dot letters” and he would happily oblige. Needless to say, he is the person who inspired me to become a professional calligrapher, and with every letter that I draw, I think of him. He is also the reason I teach others this craft – I want to share the joy that he first shared with me and I want to help others uncover their own gifts and talents, as he did for me.
So, here’s to my sweet father, Michael Thomas Hatty. I love you, Daddy. And I will hold you in my heart forever.