Drawing manatees is a deep-rooted love of mine. Few understand my fascination with doodling these ladies and gents of the sea. I often include little watercolors on the backs of letters I send. The photos in this post are of the back of a letter I wrote to some of my yoga teachers (hence the Om).
As someone who writes a lot of letters, who has been through a lot of pen pals over the years and as a creative person---I can tell you that letter writing should most certainly be regarded as an art.
What I suppose is most intriguing about writing letters is that anyone can do it. And, anyone can embellish their letters or postcards in a way that they not only connect with, but take great pleasure in.
I've known people who: + embroider directly onto the letter or postcard + glitterize their correspondence + cut out shapes and patterns + draw in watercolor, pencil, acrylic or good old stick pens + make envelopes from the pages of magazines or old books
The main reason, I suppose, that most people don't take the time to go a little further in personalizing their letters is not really because of time. I mean, if you're taking the time to write to someone, then you are certainly someone that can pull out a few more minutes to embellish your craft.
No, no, in a way it is something very sad. People are embarrased--they are fearful of being judged; of the recipient finding their embellishment tacky or horrid.
But I tell you this---the sorts of people who write letters in the first place are the sorts of people who are openminded, accepting and appreciative of everything.
So, while my manatee drawings don't really have personal significance for anyone but me, my recipients always appreciate that I took a little extra time to draw them their very own little work of art. And plus, how may people have you had take the time to paint something for you?
One more bit of letter-writing advice: some of the best friends you'll ever find in this world live behind letters.