profile

John-Paul Flintoff

The tools you work with | JPF Daily

Published 28 days ago • 1 min read

Hello Reader

These are my hands, photographed eleven years ago for a series about heirlooms:

At the time, I was especially fascinated that my own hands, which frequently held my daughter’s hands, had been held by my parents’ - as theirs had been held by theirs - and so on, through the generations.

I was glad to have hands to write, draw and - well, just generally be human.

(Many of the photos in that series, which was published in The Guardian, were tools used at work.)

ARCHIVED EMAIL: links may no longer work, facts may have changed.

I still have two hands. And I'm still glad.

Since this photo was taken, smart phones have taken over virtually everything, including drawing and writing. In fact, I’m typing this post right now on my iPhone.

But I still write by hand, on paper, for substantial periods every day. It just feels better. I think better.

And there’s lots of evidence that handwriting helps create memories of the ideas it shapes - the dance of pen or pencil is loaded with muscle memory and emotional weight.

I am sad to read research showing that many people do not write anything by hand, for several months at a time.

I wish smart phones would disappear - he wrote, tapping on his iPhone.

This is the DAILY edition of my newsletter
You can SWITCH any time to Daily, Weekly or Monthly


John-Paul Flintoff

Hello!, thanks for popping in. I'm a writer, illustrator and performer.

📖 7 Books in 16 languages 📚 including: How To Change The World A Modest Book About How To Make An Adequate Speech.

Read more from John-Paul Flintoff

Greetings Reader Have you stopped on a pavement, recently, to take a whiff of a neighbour's lilac? I recommend it. I wish you could smell the one on Crewys Road, between me and Childs Hill Park. It looks a bit like this: Ink, pencil and pen on A3 textured 250gsm paper. In other news: Using pictures to develop stories. I asked a recent International Booker Prize winner if I could do his portrait, along the lines of this one. He seems willing. Magnolia prints now available. (These prints are -...

5 days ago • 1 min read

Hello Reader Until you attempt to describe a still image, using actual words, it doesn't really mean much. Or, to put that the other way around: by describing a picture - actually choosing words and uttering them or writing them down - you can't avoid finding stories in it. I recorded a short video about this (see below), at the request of Helen at Arvon, to drum up interest in the upcoming online writing course. In the video you can see examples of the to-and-fro of words and pictures...

7 days ago • 1 min read

Hello hello Recently, I sent you an email with this photo of writers NOT having a beastly time: They were finishing an online writing course, run by the Arvon Foundation. I mentioned that I'm running a one-day course later this month. Some who replied said that, alas, the date doesn't work. I hope you won't mind if I trouble your inbox with details of an alternative (below). Instead of a one-day intensive, you can join me and the sensational Alice Jolly over five weeks. I've run Arvon...

9 days ago • 1 min read
Share this post