What a year of The 50 Card Project! Two weeks ago I sent out the last of the 50 cards. Now I am working on the book of all the cards, sending out remaining sets of cards, and preparing to make 35 custom-made enclosures. In addition, I am rapidly moving towards January 25th, when an exhibit of all 50 cards opens at MCLA’s Gallery 51 in North Adams, MA, from 5-7 p.m. There are a few complete sets of cards still available in my shop, with or without the custom-made enclosure. A limited number of extra cards will be available for sale at the opening of the exhibit.
Since the completion of the project, friends, family members, and acquaintances have asked me questions about the project. Here are some of my favorite questions and their answers–some are variations of the same thing.
How does it feel to be at the finish line with your enormous project?
Great! I feel accomplished, but also an immense amount of relief. I don’t feel the same kind of pressure to read the news obsessively, releasing a certain kind of stress I didn’t even know I was carrying.
How does it feel to not have to run a card this week?
Relief and relaxation. I can make something today, or not.
This question was from my dear friend Andrea. We Skype nearly every week at the same time (she lives in the Marshall Islands). Our talks often coincided with my printing hours. I can’t tell you how many times we were talking while I was “running” the press, the amount of feedback and support she gave me, and the company through technology. I LOVED that she used the word “run” in her question. It summed up in three letters that she was so with me this past year as I ran each card through the machine.
Was it fulfilling?
I think so? Mostly? Sometimes? There were weeks that were really hard, and like running a marathon I just had to endure. I just had to get into the studio and print. There were also weeks where it was a relief, an opportunity to do something that helped me feel better about the division that pulls throughout our country. There’s something meditative in setting type and printing. On the days that were hard, by the end my mood typically shifted thanks to the quiet, slow process of letterpress printing.
Do you have post completion blues?
I anticipated this question. I ran the New York Marathon in 1999. I remember succumbing to a mild depression after the race and didn’t quite understand why at first. Eventually I pieced together that I all of a sudden had a ton of free time and no goal in sight. I wondered if this would happen after the completion of this project, and so far no!
I notice that you work really hard to remain positive in what you create. Do you ever consider expressing emotions or ideas that are opposite to that?
What a good question! I do work hard to chose positive and inspirational words and contexts. I totally self-censor myself. And I know that I do this. I have even written about it in context with my Visual Diary project. I can’t even tell you how many times Doug (my husband) would say, “you should print this” and I would say I can’t it doesn’t fit, it’s too controversial, it’s too violent, it’s too whatever.
This particular question was then followed by a great conversation about the film The Five Obstructions. I know it’s going to lead to something interesting.
Wondering what in the world comes next?
Stay tuned! I have something brewing that I will be writing about in another post soon!