By Michelle Seeber
Handwriting analysis can be an in-depth, life-long study or entertainment.
That’s how Carol Durepos, 67, of Clovis views it. She has studied the art since 1983, she said.
“Handwriting can convey health, drunkenness, drug abuse, or whether a person is an introvert or an extrovert,” Durepos said Sunday at the Main ARTeri, an art gallery in downtown Clovis, where for a $60 fee she holds classes on how to analyze this form of communication.
“The analyzer doesn’t look at content,” she said. “We look at the shapes.”
A lot can be learned about a person by studying handwriting, Durepos said.
“There are 187 character traits,” she said. “You can tell whether a person can hold their emotions. You can tell too much from handwriting if you’re good. You don’t want someone to analyze your handwriting who isn’t a professional.”
Durepos said it’s better to analyze several pages of handwriting on unlined paper with a new ball point pen because under light, there are little dots and furies that cannot be duplicated.
For example, where the Is are dotted makes a bit of a statement, she said. It’s the same with crossed Ts.
“Handwriting … has to do with brain waves going down the arm to the hand,” Durepos said. “It’s one of the ways to determine a forgery. It’s like a fingerprint.”
Durepos said she has been studying handwriting for 20 years.
She first learned about the art in 1983 from Burd Kirkpatrick, the father of a fellow student she attended school with at Clovis Community College.
After Kirkpatrick showed Durepos the basics, she took a handwriting analysis course at the International Grapho Analysis Society in Chicago, she said.
“They provide psychology,” she said. “Nothing is as in-depth as this course. There are 30 lessons. You have books. You do the lessons and they score them.”
Besides teaching handwriting analysis, Durepos sometimes analyzes handwriting for entertainment, like at a fund-raiser where the dollars paid go to charity.
“When you do it for entertainment, you don’t do it (to reveal all) character traits,” she said. “With a client, you’re honest.”
Detective Johnny Parker of the Portales Police Department, said he didn’t know if you could tell a person’s personality traits through handwriting.
“I do handwriting comparison,” he said. “I look at documents to determine whether a signature is a forgery. I know there is study of handwriting analysis, but whether it is scientific in determining character traits, I don’t know. We touched on it for entertainment in a class I took.”
“The only thing we’ve ever done with handwriting analysis is to ship it off to the State Crime Lab to determine a forgery,” Capt. Dan Blair of the Clovis Police Department said.
He said he didn’t know whether the department had ever used a handwriting expert to determine a person’s profile.
“The FBI has handwriting experts, but they look at a signature and handwriting samples to determine if a person tried to change their handwriting,” Blair said.
Brett Carter, district attorney for Roosevelt and Curry counties said handwriting may have no legal context.
“As far as going into court to say this person’s handwriting shows they write hard and a person saying they’re violent and prone to violence, I can’t see a judge letting that into court,” Carter said.