July 29, 2011

Featured artist: Benjamin Shaw designs

I first came to know about Benjamin Shaws envelopes when I got one through the post from Benjamin last year. I loved it, and made sure to send him some post back to say so. Next thing you know, I received a neat little package, lovingly wrapped of blank envelopes that I could send out myself!

Inside the package was a lovely handwritten letter too, in which Benjamin talks about his love of post and how by day his work leaves him yearning for a creative outlet and how he recently started making envelopes to fill this gap.

Intrigued, I took a look at Benjamins facebook page and saw some of the other envelopes too, and I decided to send the creator a quick message for an email interview. Here’s what he had to say…

Receiving mail is such an intoxicating joy, and to get mail, I have needed to send it. As long as I have been old enough to write, a favourite past time of mine is to write letters and send notes. Anything postal, including stamps, postmarks, messages in bottles, parcels, postcards, greeting cards and letters have all interested me. I have had many pen friends over the years and have written so many letters. I think letters are so personal and make such intimate time capsules, and personal letters also bring lots of pleasure and happiness to the recipients.

For the people I really cared about, I started making and decorating my own envelopes and being creative with the letters themselves. Cutting out images and making a collage or just making an envelope from a page taken from a magazine. Sketching something or painting something here and there. When I saw some mail art at an exhibition once, I immediately hit upon the idea of drawing pictures on envelopes that made the address interesting, or putting it differently, writing the address on something interesting that had been drawn on the envelope.

It was only a matter of time before this idea transitioned from one off, hand drawn envelopes, sent on their way, to drawing on the computer, so I could start sharing them with other people. All the subject matter comes from my personal experiences, travels, hopes and dreams. My desk has a typewriter and a red phone so makes for easy inspiration. I have an orange alarm clock on my beside table. Many of my friends have young children and so dinosaurs and octopus scenes always go down well. Everywhere I go I am thinking of an odd perspective for a new design. I actually have 100s in my sketch books. I just haven’t translated all them onto the computer – give me time.

The best thing about my envelopes is that they are sent easily and mean that not only one’s thoughts can travel, but so do the envelopes themselves.

Check out Benjamins envelopes on his facebook page

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