Artist Ivan Cash decided he’d had enough of emails.
So he gathered a group of volunteers and offered to turn strangers’ emails into letters.
They received 10,000 submissions, hand-wrote and illustrated them and sent them all out.
Herewith, some of the best.
Just as the perfect daughter would I am sending you a birthday card, soooo happy birthday! Birthdays are better down in Florida. I think it’s because of the pelicans. Hey, I heard something about pelicans….. a wonderful bird is a pelican, it fits more fish in its beak than his belly can. Food for a week he can fit in his beak and I don’t know how in hell he can.
(read this letter when you are at your lowest)
So I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them. Any don’t look at your days like they’re a cup, calling them half empty of half full, when they’ve always been enough. They’ve always been enough.
Now that you can read, I thought I would take this opportunity to write a short letter to you.
I just want you to know how much I love you!
You make my heart sing with happiness every time I see your lovely smile. I feel so proud of your achievements: staring school, learning to read and spell, brown belt in Tae Kwondo, frog level in swimming and awesome Lego building skills!
Love you always!
Hey! Have an awesome year and even better life! xoxo
“When everything falls apart the greatest strength you have is to be yourself. It is your grief, your journey, your decisions will make it right for you. Your true self will shine through.”
- Maureen Hunter
I love your true self.
Last night, on the drive home, we decided to bring a new life into this world. Thoughtfully. Hopefully. Devotedly. A new life that represents zero and that holds promise of forever. You are the father to Nora that I always knew you’d be and I can’t wait to see our second child cradled in your arms.
I love you.
SIMPLY. TRULY. ALWAYS.
You will read this when you are able.
Your mom will read this ahead because she can. You are only eight months old as I write this, and I’m sure by the time you read this, snailmail will be a strange idea. So here’s a letter to help you brag to your friends in the future, that when you were a baby, a mail came for you through the post office. Make sure you tell them it came from me. I love you.
Lots of love,
Your Tito Lem
I just wanted to thank you for being you <3.
While you’re hard at work, I am at home making blueberry pancakes while naked.
Life is funny. How it works in such mysterious ways.
Change has been a major theme IN MY LIFE OVER the course of the last few months. For starters, Elizabeth and I are broken up. Long distance was challenging and blah blah blah. It totally sucks :(
At the same time, having some space allowed me to do what I HAD LONG BEEN PUTTING OFF. I quit my job!!! It had become an inescapable poison AND I AM QUITE RELIEVED!
The implications of this are non-trivial, FINANCIALLY, EMOTIONALLY, GEOGRAPHICALLY. I’m moving back to the States to pursue art in a full-time capacity and freelance on the side. I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS AND FEEL LIKE I’M BEING TRUE TO MYSELF AND WHAT I WANT TO DO IN life.
I’m leaving the Dam in 2 weeks, then NY for 3 weeks, then back to SF - where I left my heart. It will be nice to be reunited with friends, family + also (hopefully) reach some clarity with Elizabeth.
How about you? How’s Seattle? How’s love life w/ Andy? HE SOUNDS SPECIAL :) How’s art? Let me know!!!
I’M BACK IN SF ON AUG 1ST. HOLLER IF YOU’RE VENTURING DOWN SOUTH, WOULD BE COOL TO SEE YOUR PRETTY FACE.
I know you had a wonderful summer and I can’t wait to see you so that you can tell me all about it! I hope you’re not having trouble with getting settled in at school. Good luck with athletic training and I’ll see you when I get to Bridgewater! I miss you!
Dear Mom and Dad,
Greetings from SINGAPORE! I hope that this letter finds you well! I think about YOU often and PRAY for your good health. It is a DIFFERENT life here but we are learning to love it. We have so many stories to tell you and some great pictures of places we have visited. We are anxious for MEGHAN to come SO that we can be TOGETHER. WE do not have a CAR so we WALK and bike EVERYWHERE. Great Exercise.
All and all things are great! - and we are blessed and very happy.
Love & miss you,
YOU ARE SMARTER, AND MORE AWESOME THAN YOU THINK. YOU CAN BEAT ANY TETRIS OPPONENT YOU WANT. GO JOANNA GO.
Oh, and of course you can do well in your exams as well, pshtduh!
For more information about Ivan Cash’s Snail Mail My Email project - or to request a free letter - click here.