Another way to share your art

I've always thought that every artist should have note cards printed up with images of their art on them. Add your contact info to the backside and voilà! It's a pretty picture and a subtle advertisement at the same time.

A number of artists have told me that they later see their note cards framed in people's homes and offices. What a nice compliment!

Last week I received a lovely Thank You note from New Mexico artist Paula Zima. It was on nice 8.5×11" résumé paper and on the top she had drawn and hand-colored a darling picture.

After questioning Paula, I received this response:

Yes, it was a drawing just for you. I've decided after years of using dip ink pens, that I truly love using a ball point pen best of all. So I researched archival ink, and bought a pen that uses it, and have been doing little drawings like that on all my letters, to Celebrate.

I was pretty sure it was an original, but I inquired to make sure the drawing wasn't printed before it was hand-colored. Paula wrote:

I used to do little originals, and hand color them, and then I had some of them printed, giclée on paper, but haven't done that for a while. People always seemed to think the originals were prints anyway, so it made sense. That's a good idea, and less costly, to print, and hand color them with simple color. 

So that's the idea: Come up with a great drawing and print it on nice paper that you can hand color in order to personalize each one. No, it's not a unique idea, but I haven't seen it done much.

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6 thoughts on “Another way to share your art”

  1. My grandfather was good a friend of The New Yorker cartoonist Alan Dunn in the 60s and 70s. Dunn was a master cartoonist who also created exquisite watercolor landscapes. As thank you, greeting and Christmas cards he painted small works – much like many daily painters do today – as individual cards only for his friends. I was very impressed to see the framed Dunns next to the Ingre silver point drawings in my grandfather’s collection. I must have been. The memory has lasted forty years. Handmade is the way to go when it comes to Thank You and quick notes to major collectors and other important people in my life. I am now also considering using signed, photo quality prints tipped onto high quality card stock as variation on handmade greeting card theme. Making them as needed or in small batched would allow flexibility of subject matter and reduce the high cost of having large qualities of card preprinted.

  2. Drawing and hand painting is a great idea! I’ve been making collage pieces in small batches on archival paper folded into cards to send thank you, birthday and other notes. I usually have a stack of cards ready to write on but often find I need to make one up just for the person in mind. Although easy to make up the paper cards, the art supply store sells the paper with envelopes for ease of use. People definitely do appreciate the care that goes into the thoughts I send and I appreciate when I see them framed.

  3. I’ve done cards with my work since the mid 1960’s; starting with Christmas Cards. Now do thank you and blank note cards for multi purpose use. I blog about past Christmas cards and designs each Christmas at – These cards cover all mediums from serigraphy (silkscreen), lino cut, ink, wash, pencil, color pencil, oil paintings and photography. They are mailed to friends and collectors, businesses and family…even my physician! I sell close to $1000 in note cards from my studio and website each year, and a fair amount of sales through other galleries as well. They are often seen on collector’s walls also. (I sign all hand printed cards)

  4. I’ve been doing this for years…everything from little watercolor abstracts to prismacolor miniatures – to my best photography. I thought all artists did this. Unbelievably, a few of my family to whom I’ve sent these have actually thrown them away, as they do with the generic cards they receive. I now choose those I want to send these to very carefully. The keepers end up in frames on my loved ones wall. And yes…the “thrown outs” were very good art.

  5. Today I was the recipient of a handmade thank you. It was from an 80 year old gentleman named Ricardo Castro who makes replica Costa Rican ox carts from recycled wood. I own 8 in various sizes. I was so touched by his generousity that now I want to give him something that I made! Abundance in our lives comes from giving, not receiving. A year ago I wrote an article about Ricardo. To receive it, click contact on my web site and indicate “Ricardo” in the subject box. Con mucho gusto!

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