What If I Sent People Mail?
In the summer of 2017, I had the idea to start a mailing list - not an email list, but a physical mailing list. I made a list of 25 family and friends that I thought might want to receive something in the mail. I wrote a little note in cursive, made 25 copies, and stuffed them in envelopes along with an original piece of calligraphy by Bailey Amon Rivera, professional calligrapher. Each card penned by Bailey featured a quote specifically chosen for the recipient.
I received a significant amount of positive feedback from this first letter, so I decided to keep the mailing list going.
For Letter #2, I featured a little contest I ran on Reddit earlier that Spring. The contest challenged a community of fountain pens enthusiasts to pen stories authored by another community dedicated to stories that are six words in length. The contest resulted in 35 illustrated six word stories in fountain pen ink.
With each letter I send to my mailing list, I like to include something physical that can’t be sent via email. So I hired a calligrapher to pen some of the best six word stories that were illustrated for the contest and included one with each letter. The stories were penned by James Fajardo (@himasf on Instagram) using white ink on black paper.
I dropped these cards in the mail along with a handwritten note explaining a bit about the six-word stories and where they came from.
With only two letters sent, this project had no name and no direction. At that point, I was still using the mailing list as a stage for my penmanship practice, something I had been working on every day for over a year. That said, I also knew it was an interesting way to connect with people and that it could become something bigger over time.
Luckily, my brother felt the same way and contacted me about helping with the mailing list. With his help, the mailing list was about to get a major facelift.