Earlier this year Doris Chang decided she really needed a whole lot of pen pals. The Adelaide-based freelance illustrator devised ‘Illustrated Letters’ – a world-wide subscription of letters and illustrated material, distributed in the mail once-a-month throughout 2018.
‘This project is a love-letter to some of my favourite things – writing, illustration, printed material, and receiving exciting mail – and I hope it will bring a little light to the letterboxes of subscribers,’ explains the Visual Communication (Illustration) graduate, with a background in Children’s books.
A long time coming, the idea for ‘Illustrated Letters’ emerged from Doris’ sketchbook and journal (where she records quotes and passage that resonate), in equal parts. ‘Eventually these little passages become longer and longer and I realised that I just had too many things to say that wouldn’t fit onto a greeting card!,’ jokes 25-year-old Doris.’ The prospect of essentially asking strangers to subscribe to a year of me sending the contents of my journal to their letterbox was a daunting one, but some ideas just won’t let go; they become a burden on you if you don’t do something with them, and Illustrated Letters was definitely one of those.’
Each arrival will contain an original letter as well as extra keepsakes including postcards, greetings cards and other paper goodies. At the end of the year, subscribers will also receive a keepsake: ‘Illustrated Letters, The Book’, collating all the year’s letters. ‘I really hope some of these letters become incredibly well-travelled over the year, perhaps even a little dog-eared around the edges’ says Doris.’