Many moons ago, one of the things that I used to do a LOT was SWAP art. I have tomes full of Artist Trading Cards, participated in big collaborative projects, signed up for LOTs of FAT Book swaps and have many burgeoning boxes filled with fabric art, photo book swaps, you name it, I did it. And I loved it. Lots of it was published either via Cloth Paper Scissors or Sommerset Studio.
And then I decided to stop and focus on gallery work and my own portfolio and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
What I did not factor in was the loss of community.
Yes, sometimes art swapping or exchanges can be a pretty hit and miss affair and I have suffered plenty of angst when I have opened an envelope and thought "WTH"? is that??? (other than garbage)?
On the other hand I have framed art on the walls of my home that I have garnered though exchanges and boy - is some of that pretty handsome! (way better than some I have seen in galleries here in NYC).
So now I have started to tiptoe my way back into some exchange projects. I am a little bit more discerning than I used to be but regardless of the outcome, there is something really nice about crafting a well thought out piece or package that meets Swap requirements. Getting to know the person you are sending stuff off to - even if you have never met them and then the anticipation of what you might receive in return.
It's nice to put yourself out there sometimes. Make new friends. Kind of like the pen pals we had in 7th grade and ended up staying with for a weekend when you were 30.
You never know how or what you send OUT THERE will come back and greet you.
And? Are we ever too old to make a new friend with a lovely gesture??
FYI these fabric hearts are about to wing their way off to Poland, along with an English book and some other good ephemera as part of a swap that Lawendula organised last month.
(AND....My thanks to everyone who left a comment or emailed me about yesterday's post. I really appreciate your support!)