snail mail my e-mail

Swiss-Miss posted about a project last week that immediately sparked my interest - Snail Mail My EMail is the brainchild of Ivan Cash, an artist living in San Francisco. He posited that a month-ish long intensive letter writing campaign could, theoretically, bring back or slightly reinvigorate the lost art of letter writing. Through the help of "anonymous" volunteers, letters originating as an e-mail submission would be rewritten by hand and mailed out to the recipient of the original e-mail, often times with some sort of artistic embellishment (doodle, flower petal, spritz of perfume, etc.).

I was immediately drawn to this project. While I compulsively hoard stationery, I do not excel at actually sending it. On top of that, with my bordering-on-excessive computer usage, my hands are losing one of my most prized talents...good handwriting. Finally, I've been moving in and out of a creative rut for a few months and I need some solid creative discipline to grease the wheels, so to speak. This project would not only encourage me to hand write letters again, but it would be consistent practice over a period of time that could ostensibly form a habit AND I would be given carte blanche to create what I wanted on each letter (with the guidance of the submitter). It seemed like a win-win, so I sent in my volunteer request.

Since that time, the project has exploded and there are more letters than anyone imagined there could be. I've committed to writing 25-30 each week and thus far I've received my first 15. I'm going to take pictures of the letters that interest me and post them here. The project continues through the end of August, for now. I highly encourage you to submit! Perhaps I'll end up writing your letter.

This submitter asked me to doodle the SkiFree monster/yeti. I think I did an acceptable job at recreating it. I'm adding "skilled hand-drawing of pixelated images" to my resume.

This submitter asked me to include a small cross or a rose petal, and since my small cross stash is running low and all of the roses in front of our building burst into flames last week, I drew a cross and included a flat origami rose.

This submission forced me to start questioning the general understanding of the word "doodling" by human beings as a whole. The submitter asked me to doodle Buzz Lightyear or a character from Toy Story. No one can "doodle" Buzz Lightyear. So I "doodled" a really ill-proportioned Mr. Potato Head.

This submitter clearly loves her kids!

This guy was all about smiles - inside and out. And he asked for flower petals, so I used my pinking shears to cut some out of tissue paper. No wilt!

The last picture is of all the letters I finished in about an hour of work, my workstation, and my pajamas. Whoops. I have found that Irish Breakfast tea is a great letter-writing companion. I can't wait to write some more.

[All photos taken with Hipstamatic or Instagram on my iPhone - I'm without my camera for a little while!]

1 comment:

  1. I love that project! Anything that can perpetuate more creativity is all right by me.

    Your drawings are awesome, too!


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All content © Meaghan O'Malley, 2009-2012. Header image by Rebekka Seale.