Thursday Tidbits: Random Acts of Art Kindness Postcards
Hi there all of you lovely, artistic readers! This is Melissa T. here with your weekly Thursday Tidbit. This week, I would like to share with you a concept that I learned on the website Milliande: An Art Community for Women. Everyone has heard of Random Acts of Kindness, but have you ever heard of Random Acts of Art Kindness (RAAK)? This concept is pretty simple to accomplish and is sort of a karmic pay-it-forward. First, you pick a random person in your art community (on Milliande there is an entire group with people signed to send and receive RAAKs), then you send them a little piece of art to brighten their day. You always get bills, sales flyers, and more bills in your mailbox. How wonderful it is to open the mailbox to find a lovely piece of art from a total stranger! I love it so much that I have an entire memo board filled with these Random Acts of Art Kindness in my bedroom to remind me that you do not need an occasion to celebrate the artist that resides within yourself.
Unfortunately, the price of postage keeps rising and not many of us have the time or energy to prepare large numbers of Artist Trading Cards or Matchbox Shrines to send to total strangers. So, at Milliande, the members have instituted a group that sends Postcard RAAKs. Can you imagine getting a whole new piece of art for $0.32? To do this you will first need to pick the size of your postcard. I usually use a 4″x6″ template because you can fit two on a vertical 8″x11.5″ piece of cardstock, and it gives you more room for your creation. I have created a PDF for you to use for the front of your postcard. Simply design the front of the cardstock, cut out each card, flip it over, address the back, place a stamp, and write a short but sweet message to whomever you choose.
Now, you may ask,”Melissa T., what has this to do with scrapbooking?” Recently, I have discovered that by using GIMP 2.0, my template, and all of the “Outside Content” downloaded in my scrapbooking file on my computer, I can create a lovely postcard digitally without ever having to break out my drawing pens or sketching pencils. I don’t know if this is cheating, but I put as much time into it as I would have if I had created the postcard manually. If you would like to try this technique to send a RAAK postcard, simply follow the steps listed.
1. Open GIMP 2.0.
2. Click the File tab and select Open from the dropdown menu.
3. Select the template for the RAAK Postcard Front from wherever you have saved it and click “Import” into
the new document.
4. Click the File tab again and select Open from the menu.
5. Choose a background paper from your “Outside Content” scrapbooking file. THis will open in a new window.
6. Shrink the size of the paper to 4″x6″, click on the edit tab, and select copy.
7. Paste the paper onto the template and resize it accordingly. Once in place, you may begin adding embellishments,
word art, or extra papers as you see fit by following the directions 4-6. GIMP 2.0 allows you to manipulate the images
in many ways, so use your creativity just as you would if creating a page in a scrapbook.
8. Save the document and print it on white cardstock.
You may use it to start your own RAAK train. My fingers are crossed, hoping that one will end up in my own mailbox soon. And as always, make a memory today, and be sure to have a camera on hand to capture it!