Loving Letter Journals!

Well today I’d like to share with you a mixed media format that I absolutely love and am having a lot of fun with lately: Letter Journals.

WHAT IS A LETTER JOURNAL?

A letter journal is an envelope sized hand made journal (little paper booklet) that gets sent around a small group while people add art to it. While your journal is circulated by mail, the other members of your swap group circulate theirs and you work on theirs while they work on yours. That is, EVERYONE IN THE SWAP MAKES ONE and gets theirs back at the end. That’s it in a nutshell. Details on how it all works below!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

STEP 1: Find some people to play with

STEP 2: Make your journal

STEP 3: Start your journal (decorating backgrounds on several pages AND completing a spread on TWO DOUBLE PAGES plus signing those spreads with your name)

STEP 4: Post your journal

STEP 5: Receive journals from others in the group, work in them and post them back off

STEP 6: Share updates with your group along the way

The main thing is that the journal should fit into this standard letter sized envelope and that it should be posted.

You can hear me talking all about it (head cold and all) on my very first YouTube video over HERE.

What I love about letter journals is that:

  • it is a very flexible format, people can use whichever medium they prefer to make art inside the journal
  • there is real delight in receiving fun mail in the post
  • it’s the kind of art making that you can ‘set and forget’. What I mean is that once you’ve joined a swap and made and posted your first journal the others come to you automatically and you are given a regular prompt to make art if you have forgotten.
  • reduces the pressure – ‘after all’ you can tell your inner critic ‘its a collaborative effort and my piece is just one little piece in the whole’.
  • there is inspiration inside every journal – whether it’s a colour that you don’t often use that someone else has used to good effect or whether it’s a technique or subject matter that you find inspiring
  • it’s a great way to create more connection with people in your life around a common interest

For more details on how it all works and answers to some frequently asked questions see HERE. The details are pretty important to making swaps work well.