My Favorite Letters of 2014

Washington, D.C. — It's already March (!) and I'm over the 25% marker with my "A Letter A Day" project, a commitment of writing personal letters to family, friends, and Flourish Forum pen pals until the end of 2015. I'm really terrible at keeping resolutions or long-term personal goals, so this has been quite an accomplishment. Truthfully, I have never been so focused on anything like this before, so I'm excited to keep pushing forward, even if it means less leisure time, less sleep, less whatever it was I was doing before this.

In looking back at my previous letters, I thought it would be fun to post my favorite 5 of 2014. In writing letters, I try to "represent" the person that I'm writing to—in other words, do my best to capture his or her character, personality, or interests. It was difficult to choose 5 because each letter reminds me of something special about the people I write to, and I am truly grateful to have that opportunity to share my words with all the wonderful people around me.

 The Shining  Halloween card

The Shining Halloween card

October 31, 2014 — My sister is a horror-film aficionado, and we both love watching scary movies whenever we are at our parents' house. One of our all-time favorites is Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. It was fitting to send her Halloween greetings with the iconic twins on the cover, and Jack Torrance's axe on the envelope. 

 

  Knoll-inspired design

Knoll-inspired design

November 8, 2014 — A few years back, I became friends with a lovely architect over our shared interest in mid-century design and architecture. In writing her initials, I immediately thought of the historical Knoll logo and typeface. Not only was it fun to draw out her initials in a Knoll-style, but also to play with the translucence of the vellum envelope. The "KW" is actually on the front of the card, while her address is on the envelope.

 

  Star-crossed lovers meeting for the first time: an idea that came to me in a dream.

Star-crossed lovers meeting for the first time: an idea that came to me in a dream.

November 11, 2014 — Nicole is one of the first pen pals from the Flourish Forum that I started doing letter exchanges. This was my first letter to Nicole, and for some reason, I woke up with this image in my head of a moonlight tryst between two people. I love the idea of treating the envelope as a film still, a story captured in one moment. The details are there, but the viewer has to fill in the gaps and figure out what that story is.

 

 Kiki's Delivery Service  envelope

Kiki's Delivery Service envelope

November 21, 2014 — The great thing about this project is that it makes me aware of the people that I have lost touch with, and how I can reverse that by reaching out through letters. Instead of texting a happy birthday to my friend, I thought it would be more special to send a birthday letter with a scene from our favorite film, Kiki's Delivery Service, on the envelope. I love the single accent of red in the illustration. 

 

  Kimono pattern-inspired envelope

Kimono pattern-inspired envelope

December 3, 2014 — I love looking at patterns and textures in everyday objects. I had recently visited the Freer/Sackler and in their gift shop, there was a kimono with a pattern of undulating white waves against a mauve-ish background. When I started to address this envelope, I immediately thought of the kimono pattern but translated into gold ink on black. This has since become one of my favorite patterns and motifs to do on dark envelopes.