happy holigays

happy holigays

two things i love:

  1. sending and receiving mail
  2. 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.

finally, if you've never block printed before, i highly recommend. it's cheapish to start, and can only get better the more you try. in our little capitalist society, this whole project, minus labor, was $125 – about $2 per card.  

ink: $9 x 4 colors 
paper: $18
speedball kit: $26
envelopes: $15
stamps: $30

check out my other projects