As I walked to the mailbox to send out a batch of envelops to select recipients, a wave of sadness flooded over me.
Why so sad?
Over the last 21 years I've branded myself as an artist who sent out invitations to every single contact I had an address for. I wanted to make sure everyone was invited. It wasn't to cultivate buyers, it was to make everyone feel invited, valued in my life and career, and special.
Inclusivity has always been something I've aimed for as a goal because in my younger years, I didn't feel included by my school-mates. I wasn't invited to the big parties, don't get me wrong I had friends, just not the ones that were party - people.
With rising costs with Canada Post's stamps, envelops, and invitation cards, I've made the hardest decision to switch over to an email list completely after this exhibition in the fall of 2023. It will be rare to get an email from me, I will only email when I am having a show or a larger opportunity. Nobody can rely on social media these days as the algorithm doesn't always share to the "right" people.
The most special thing about my invitations was writing a message to the recipient on the back of the card. I wanted to dedicate time to my invites, to make everyone feel special, welcomed. I spent months leading up to the show handwriting each and every single card. If someone was to come to my show and put the time in, I wanted to put my time in to my invite. I love receiving postal mail that isn't a bill or a doctor's note.
In the last few years, I felt like a rarity, as many of the artists I work with and my peers only send out emails as invitations. The idea of people just "hitting delete" on something important has always been a difficult thought. Somehow a shiny card can be stuck on a fridge or put into a special memory box of something a person went to, in person.
Future me will continue to print out cards to hand out but this is going to be an adjustment for me.
In the past, over my holiday time I spent endless hours writing special messages, even if it was a quick, looking forward to seeing you, its been a long time and I hope you are keeping well. It was the idea of writing their name and address and thinking about what that person meant to me.
For my exhibition in 2022, I picked out a colour of an envelop that would mean something to that person. I ended up buying a batch of brown at the end which became awfully generic but still better than a boring white one. It just felt PERSONAL.
Mass emails take away from the special feels for me. Its something I really enjoy about this process of 'having a show' and 'putting on an event'.
I had about 50 or less envelops left for my 2023 upcoming (at the time of this blog post) exhibition with no intentions this time to purchase more. Everyone is faced with tough choices due to this inflation and this is one of mine. I use quality artist supplies and no corners will be cut there!
I carefully picked people who I thought would appreciate the note, who are on social media less, that had been to recent exhibitions, that maybe bought something or didn't or that I I don't have email addresses for.
I feel an immense sense of guilt that everyone won't get a special card from me in the mail. I have instead made a facebook event page here for "part 1" as my exhibition is on for over a month and facebook only allows 14 day events.
You may subscribe to my email news on the front page of my website http://www.jordanlmiller.com on the left hand side of the page or you can email me with the heading "Subscribe" here email@example.com
I wish could I'd continue to do what is special for me which I think is more special for others.... Unfortunately its time for me to set aside my 450 person postal mailing address for that day when I can resume and assume that eventually friends, family, clients will subscribe, new and old. I'll keep trying to reach out to everyone but if you are reading this now, please take a moment to subscribe to my emails! My next exhibition is in March 2024.