Hey everybody, I need your help. I want to keep the artist profile series going so I need you to share a little bit about
yourselves. I know many of you are feeling a bit shy and have all kinds
of good reasons why you don’t want to do this.
To help convince you I present:
The top ten false
assumptions about this series and ridiculous excuses not to participate
(and the reasons I won’t take no for
1. I’m not an artist
Let’s not quibble over vocabulary, shall we? In my mind, if you make a piece of art
you’re an artist. But I understand
it’s a thoroughly loaded word, and one that often makes people feel pretentious
if they say it about themselves.
So let’s just think of this as a “meet the swapper” series, okay? You’ve swapped. You’re a swapper. We want to meet you.
2. My work isn’t as good as the other people who swap here
Oh good heavens!
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that one….
This is not a contest, or a club, or a clique. This is a wide-open community of people
who like to make stuff. Some of us
have been making stuff for decades.
Some have been making stuff for a few weeks. It doesn’t matter.
Trust me. Your work is good
enough. You are good enough. We want you here.
3. I don’t want to reveal my full identity
You only have to share what you’re comfortable sharing. If you don’t want to put your last
name, or age, or the name of your cat, that’s totally cool. Even though we’d love to see what you
look like, I won’t force you to put up a photo of yourself. We’re pretty easy going about the whole
4. I don’t have any art images to share
Showing examples of your work is totally
optional. It’s nice, but not a
requirement. Maybe you’d rather
show us a picture of your favorite place on earth. Or of your new shoes.
Our your cousin Martha. It’s all good.
5. I can’t participate since I don’t have a blog or any of those other
on-line things people talk about
All the more reason to introduce yourself. Some of you I’ve gotten to know quite
well through your on-line presence.
Others of you are total mysteries.
Give us a glimpse!
6. No one wants to hear about my life
me honestly – when you receive a handmade postcard, and hold it in your hand
and study it, don’t you wonder about the person who made it? I know I do. Maybe I’m just nosy, but I want to know about each and
every one of you. What you look
like, what other hobbies you have, where you grew up, what your cat looks like,
what you had for breakfast. Tell
me you don’t wonder these things too.
I know you do. I bet you’re
sitting there hoping everybody but you will post their life stories so you can
learn all about them without having to put yourself out there. Guess what – the rest of us are here
wondering about your life. It’s interesting! Tell us more!
7. I don’t know how to write a blog post
You don’t need any technical skills other than knowing how
to send email. Write whatever you
want in the body of your email to me.
I will format it for the blog.
I’ll even proof read and edit it if you want! We love to see pictures, so it’s a bonus if you know how to
attach a photo to an email. That’s
it. Very low tech. Lots of help available.
8. I don’t have anything profound to say
Take the pressure off yourself. This is just a friendly hello, not a college
application. After your
introduction, tell us a little bit about how you got started making stuff, and
why you like making stuff. To you
it may sound boring or small, or maybe you think it sounds weird and strange,
but I guarantee there are readers out there who will say “YES! Me too!” Isn't it the best feeling in the world knowing we're not alone?
9. This series is only for people who’ve done tons of swaps
I’m the boss here, and I declare this series is for
everyone! Even if you haven’t
participated in a swap yet, but have been lurking around the edges, or maybe
sending a little informal mail art, we want to meet you. Friendly faces and
diverse stories enrich our community.
10. I’m so inexperienced, I have nothing to offer.
Your inexperience is all the more reason to reach out and
say hello. We can never truly know
the ways we impact the lives of others. Someone will read your post and be so impressed and inspired
by your act of courage and openness, that they decide to take their own small step. Let’s say they decide to send a piece
of mail art. The person they send
it to is so thrilled to get it, she sends one right back. An artistic friendship, full of mutual
support has bloomed. One of those
people realizes that art is what she’s been looking for her whole life. She’s a much happier person and a more
patient mom. Her kids reap the
benefits. Those kids are in turn kinder to their friends, and those friends are now so well supported they have the strength to say no to peer pressure and don't end up getting drunk at the prom. You could be changing
someone’s fate just by waving hello on this little corner of the blogosphere. Little acts can have big ripples.
You can probably see by now that I am incorrigible and will continue to lovingly pester you until you succumb. So I thank you in advance for all the profiles and
introductions that are going to start pouring into my inbox now that you’ve
You guys are the best.