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Zoe Tababa

Artist from the Philippines, 19

"You've Got Hope Mail"

I have always loved writing letters because I've never been good at conveying my feelings for others verbally. There is always something so intimate and so special whenever I a writing one. It's such a beautiful process - from the picking of the envelope to the writing of the letter, my focus is just on the person I am writing to.


During the course of this pandemic, I have wanted to reach out to so many people. And even though social media is as active as ever, I can still never seem to "reach out" as intimately & intentionally as I'd want to through a screen. So, the project "You've Got Hope Mail" came to mind. It is inspired from the term "happy mail", which is a general term for supposedly "snail mailed" packages filled with not just a letter, but also small things such as pictures, pressed flowers, and the like. I changed it into "Hope Mail" as this project is my way of sending out hope & encouragement to my friends & family after the pandemic & quarantine, when everyone is still trying to adjust and are still in that state of "in between" in transitioning to the so-called "New Normal".


The aim of this project is to spark hope, joy, and motivation even after the pandemic, and to serve as a reminder to those around me that I am here for them & that they are always constantly in my thoughts.


Since this may be a tedious process, I've only started making the envelopes. (Attached in the email are only some that I've made.) But for each one, I make sure to either convey how I view that person or try to portray something that I know they love. This process has challenged me to explore different mediums as well, and experiment with different styles, to better craft the envelopes.


Handwritten letters & happy mail have become underrated in a world where everything is just "a click away". But I'd like to remind others to take the time to pause, think of that one person you want to pour your heart to, and write. Lovingly & intentionally create for them. You never know how that one letter will impact their life. :)

gouache paint and fineliners
colored pencils, fineliner
markers, highlighters, and fineliner
mixed media (recycled paper, rub-on stickers, washi tape, brush pen)

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.


- Phyllis Theroux

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