Letter Project FAQ
- Why do you write letters to people? I’ve felt for many years that the letter is my ideal medium. It gives me great joy to write letters. In 2010 I decided that it would be a wonderful experiment to let anyone request a personal letter from me.
- What do you write about in the letters? Anything and everything. I don’t talk about my boring day, if that’s what you’re worried about. I let each letter requester tell me if they have special “letter needs.” For example, some people want a love letter, or a dirty letter, or a letter to cheer them up. I try my best to give each person the letter they need and desire.
- What kind of polaroids do you send with the letters? You can see some of the polaroids I’ve sent in letters in my portfolio. Each letter includes an original polaroid instant photograph (not a copy). As to the subject of the polaroid, it is never (or almost never) myself. I take polaroid photos at every opportunity and keep a stack of them to curate for my letters. I try to pick just the right one for each person and it is integrated into the content of the letter. If people request not to receive a dirty polaroid I always accommodate them. Each polaroid is signed, dated, and titled for the letter recipient.
- Why do you charge for the letters? When I first began this project, I sent letters for free. Later, I decided I wanted to include polaroids with the letters. This put a heavy monetary burden on me. Polaroid no longer makes instant film and the instant films available are expensive. In addition, I write the letters on beautiful custom-made letterpress stationery. It would be cheaper to write them on free napkins, but that’s not my style. Postage costs also add up; these days most of my letters are bound for foreign lands. I put so much work into each letter to make it a one-of-a-kind piece of art. Please show me that you value my work by paying.
- Do people write back to you? Yes, sometimes they do and it makes me so happy when I receive mail. I never expect it, but I always appreciate it.
- Why would a stranger want a letter from me? I suppose because it feels nice to receive a letter in the mail. Each letter is unique and I also pick a special polaroid to match with the letter. I handwrite each letter and every polaroid by its very nature is one-of-a-kind as well. Every person gets something that can never be replicated. It’s a treasure just for them.