two things i love:
- sending and receiving mail
- inserting queerness into any/everything
for the holiday, i combined the two to make a limited set of 50 handmade, hand delivered holiday cards.
if you received a card and ended up here, hi! thanks for being curious.
i wanted to capture some of the process and thought that went into your card. making and sharing things brings me a lot of joy, and i hope you'll be inspired to make and share something yourself.
almost all of my projects start with some source of inspiration. this one, started with two: envelopes and a piece of public art.
the envelopes are from creative reuse, one of my new favorite places to visit when i'm in pittsburgh (and similar to scrap in san francisco). i tend to buy things like envelopes, stationary, or smaller things with vague plans for them.
the 'tree' (or, butt plug) was based on a public art installation by paul mccarthy, where he placed an inflatable 'tree' in a plaza in paris, only to have it removed two days later. i loved this piece and the not-so-subtle statement it made, and the outrage that came from some causing it to be removed. one piece of art can make some people angry, and others laugh.
a few months ago, i was thinking about the holiday card exchange we used to do as a family when i was younger – my parents would send a holiday card with a note and photo, and we'd receive, in supposed exchange, pictures and updates from family and friends.
rather than a picture and story highlighting my oink lifestyle™️ (one income no kids), i decided to handmake a few cards and send them to friends – some who dropped their address to me on instagram, and others who regularly get my mail surprises.
i was interested in the phrase 'holigays' because it's slightly tacky yet subversive and friendly. it's a simple letter swap, but comes with a little more baggage for some queers (holidays with or without family, going 'home', religion, etc.).
starting with a slab of linoleum and a carving kit, i tried out the first design that i sketched in procreate.
the vision was for a semi-transparent layered collage of the stamps, with a central black stamp that was fully legible. here's how that turned out:
i found myself thinking about the gold envelopes embossed with GAYFERS. doing a little more digging into the name, i started to explore a new design that felt a little more retro and polished – maybe something that would have been at GAYFERS, emphasis on the GAY.
here's where that landed me, in procreate:
as you maybe guessed, i ended up making the majority of the cards with this design. the individual pieces were easy to move around to make it work on a few different card sizes.
in the end, the card you're holding (possibly) is one-of-a-kind (probably like you) and though not a single one is 'perfect' (potentially us), it's yours.
and, i hope it brought you some joy.
p.s. for each card, i've made a donation to @transanta – a mutual aid campaign for anonymous and safe gift-giving to trans and queer youth who are houseless, in foster care, or otherwise without vital support.