Home > Collage, Mail Art, Shellie Lewis' Art > Art Sent By Mail: Art For Soldiers

Art Sent By Mail: Art For Soldiers

I wound up back at the annual summer hockey convention with my HBBF and we carried home post cards to fill out for soldiers to be later sent out by the USO.  I think it’s hard to send encouraging words to strangers.  It’s too easy to write something banal in a situation like this; worse if people write stupid things.  Atheists are not going to overly appreciate being prayed for, references to personal sacrifice are generally failed attempts to acknowledge something that most people have absolutely no frame of reference for understanding at all and wishing their safe return home just underscores both a soldier’s deployment and endangerment.  Worse, I recently read an article where soldiers in Afghanistan received letters from school children thanking them for their service in Iraq.

I decided that images would have more of an impact than any generic, fumbling thing I could write.  I wound up streamlining the text to a few simple sentences of greeting, well wishes and thanks.  I had a lot of decorative paper scraps and print outs of my art from artist trading cards that I would up re-purposing to put the emphasis on color and image for my messages.  I then expanded this printing out smaller versions of the hand painted watercolour ATCs.  It’s all my art and I own all of the legal images rights to it and can use it how I want.

At least an image is something that can maybe be more engaging, hopefully looked at for at least a minute rather than the post card just getting read for ten seconds and set aside.  The first few I made were a bit clumsy.  It was hard to find a glue that would stick to the glossy post card surface, there was text all over the back of the post cards, the front imagery was nothing to get too inspired over and I quickly figured out needed Sharpie markers to write with on the slick surface.  Here are some of the ones I liked.  By my count, I returned a total of 131 collage covered post cards to the USO to be sent out in care packages.

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