It had been a long time since I had done one of iHanna’s Postcard Swaps and every time they come up I want to do it, but know that I have no business committing to even more projects. Last fall I finally decided to make it a priority.
Inspired by the recent Carla Sonheim class I had taken by Henrik Drescher for the Seeded Notebook, I collected a bunch of scrap paper of my own art, prints I’d made, paper from my little scrap packs, stencils I cut, patterns I illustrated, etc. and glued them all down on a posterboard. I only needed to make and send 10 postcards for the swap, but the posterboard ended up providing twice as many, so I was able to send some out to friends as well.
I cut the postcards down and then painted each postcard individually, and then added my signature “place stamp here” sticker that I use on all my mailart.
Piecing them all back together for this photo was a fun idea, and I’m so glad I did it. It seems like something I’d usually think of later, after I’d already sent them out, but this time I was good about documenting the process. So much so that…
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I ended up making an instagram reel of the process.
Watching that reel I was just reminded of the hardest part of the whole process… writing the letter and addressing it. I always want my mailart to be a WHOLE experience for the recipient (and maybe even the postal workers in between us). I want the art to be amazing, as well as the personal letter, but I struggle so much at what to write. It’s kind of disappointing when you get a postcard that barely says anything on the back. Quite a few of the postcards I received only had signatures on the back, and I have to admit it felt like someone dropped the ball, or just did the least amount of work, hoping for the biggest payoff on the pieces they’d receive. Especially in mailart swaps, I want to have a connection with the artist, so I like to write plenty. I write small, so that can be quite a chore. Long ago I had the idea to use up some of the space on the back of my mailart to write out a list, so I find random list ideas online as prompts and fill up the back with some personal words as well as a list.
This swap was from the fall of 2021, but going over it for this post has me wanting to do it again. I don’t need to be part of a swap to make and send mailart!