Latest COVID Cards

View all COVID Cards.

COVID Card #353

COVID Card #353

In the midst of so much pain and injustice, it's good to remember the good things that have come...

COVID Card #352

COVID Card #352

I must say that I really dig Edmund Lewandowski's work. I'm sure that won't come as a surprise to...

COVID Card #351

COVID Card #351

Had I discovered Richard Haines's painting, Mrs. Whistler's Naked Niece, before I drew the card...

COVID Card #350

COVID Card #350

Well, bless my Little Britches if it isn't hard to find information about Algot Stenbery online....

COVID Card #349

COVID Card #349

Jean Paul Slusser is a well known name in Ann Arbor, Michigan and my (and his) alma mater, the...

COVID Card #348

COVID Card #348

David Fredenthal was a Guggenheim Fellow and a very prolific watercolorist, as well as, a fellow...

COVID Card #347

COVID Card #347

Guy Pène du Bois is one of my more exciting discoveries. I am talking personal discovery, of...

COVID Card #346

COVID Card #346

Lewis Rubenstein was an artist and educator. Lewis is one of the few post office muralists who...

COVID Card #345

COVID Card #345

Years ago, I worked for an education organization. My boss had been a teacher, a principal, and a...

COVID Card #344

COVID Card #344

If you've been closely following this project (and following Sketchy Spaces on Facebook or...

COVID Card #343

COVID Card #343

Lester Bentley was a fairly well-known portraitist and muralist from Wisconsin. You can see quite...

COVID Card #342

COVID Card #342

Vladimir Rousseff (give or take an "s") allegedly tried his hand at many careers -- waiter,...

COVID Card FAQs

What is a COVID Card?

A COVID Card is a postcard featuring a hand drawn image inspired by something related to mail/post. Every day from May 5, 2020 to May 4, 2021, I created a card and mailed it to someone the following day (Saturday’s and Sunday’s cards were mailed on Monday). The day after a card was made, I made a small blog post about it, sharing what inspired the card.

Why COVID Cards?

This project was not planned. It just happened. One day, I received an invite to a Facebook “event.” It turns out that it wasn’t really an event, but a plea to people to try to save the United State Postal Service (USPS) by pledging to write and mail one postcard or letter per week. Being the over-achiever that I am (I’m actually nothing of the sort), I mailed 7 cards the first day. They were all postcards and greetings cards that I had on hand. As everything was on lockdown, I couldn’t just dash off to the Hallmark store once a week (as if). Nor did I look forward to the prospect of spending hours shopping for cards online and either sending the same designs over and over again, or spending a small fortune on one-of-a-kind cards. And, with the pandemic making everyone a little less eager to spend money on web development (that’s my day job), I found I had some extra time. So, I decided to draw a card every day. My hope was to bring awareness to the dire financial situation the USPS is in (yes, I know, the problems didn’t start with the pandemic — but it has drastically hurt it and the government has offered no assistance). I haven’t done a very good job of that. There’s no room on the back of a small postcard to tell the tale (oops, next time there’s a pandemic, I’ll draw greeting cards — kidding; I won’t do that at all, it had to be postcards).

Why postcards?

At first, I didn’t even think about it. It’s just what I wanted to send. No reason at all. I don’t even use postcard postage. I use regular, first class stamps. As time went on and I learned more and more about the post office (see the next toggle), I began to really love the idea of these little original drawings being fed through cancellation machines and sorting machines, getting the postnet slapped on them, and having the (usually) gentle wear and tear that comes with the process of moving a piece of paper from one part of the world to another. With just one exception, if a COVID Card does not have postal marks and scuffs, it’s not real. The one exception is the card I gave my letter carrier, Ian. I thought it would be weird to ask for his mailing address.

What are the images all about?

Since the project is about bringing awareness to the struggles of the USPS, I wanted each card to have a drawing that had something to do with mail/post. As my “thing” is drawing Sketchy Spaces, whatever the inspiration was for a particular card, it would be used in a (often) strange landscape. The first 3 cards feature vintage mailboxes turned into buildings. While mailboxes appeared again in later stamps, it was clear that drawing mailbox buildings was likely to get real old, rather fast. The 4th card uses a stamp motif from card 3. As I searched the web for interesting mailboxes, I found other images: catcher pouches used by trains, lampposts with mailboxes, etc. Then I remembered the pails used to deliver mail from small boats to large ships in the Detroit river. Finally, I stumbled upon this great (and free) publication documenting much of US postal history. Every day, I read until something inspires me. I then either have my idea or I research the inspiration more. This often leads to the usually-dreaded rabbit hole of seemingly endless bits of trivia. As I don’t know when this project will end, a glut of inspiration is a very welcome problem.

Do I really mail originals?

Yes. I really mail originals. If one gets lost in the mail (so far, it looks like #62 may be lost), the real, original drawing may be gone forever (or you may be able to get a sweet deal on it at a Dead Letter auction). I’m no scanning or photographing genius, but I do my best to document each card before it gets entrusted to the USPS. I scan each card with two different scan profiles,and I take a photo of it.

Why mail originals?

Why not? It’s just part of the project. A genuine COVID Card will bear evidence of having travelled through the postal system. The “art” of the project is not (for me) in the drawing, it’s in the project as a whole. To try (not too successfully) to bring awareness to the USPS, I make “art” and put it, open face for the world to see, in the mail. I spend an hour (or two or three or four) drawing, then I document it, address it, stamp it, and trust it to greater forces. I let it go. I’m actually a little exicted to think that card #62 will never reach its destination (it turns out, the wrong zip code was used). It makes it special. The one card that did not go through the mail (it was given to my letter carrier) is also special. I am so very easily amused. These things amuse me. It’s like a game.

When will it end?

I don’t know. It is over. I decided to stop at card 365. Sketchy Spaces will go on. I still have a lot of postcard sktechbooks, so more postcards will be drawn, they just won’t be daily occurences nor will they be called COVID Cards.

How can you get a card?

Beg, borrow, or steal from someone who was sent one.

2022

12 More

I am still behind in posting these here. I do (usually) post one each day to Instagram. 2022 134 Buffalo 2022. Day 146. Gas/Oil 2022. 147. Ivankiv. 2022. 148. Beto O'Rourke 2022. 149. Basquiat 2022. 150. Russia Oil. 2022. 151. Tulsa. 2022. Day 152. Death. Destruction....

I give up.

I shall no longer pretend that I might post one of these each day. For that, see Instagram. 2022 134 Buffalo 2022 #135 Sweden 2022 #136 Kryvbas 2022 #137 Madison Cawthorn 2022 #138 Malotaranivka 2022 #139 COVID Deaths 2022 #140 Luhansk 2022 #141 Pokrovsk 2022 #142...

Oops, I did it again.

Once again, I've fallen a bit behind in posting daily news drawings. I'll give you the summary: war, hate, racism, terrorism, sexism, and stomping on women's rights. 2022. Day 108. Derhachi 2022-110-Senkivka 2022-111-Bezruky 2022-112-Andriivka 2022-113-Ridnyi Krai...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This