What’s better than receiving a handwritten letter in the mail? Especially now when most of us probably haven’t seen family or maybe even people in general in quite awhile?
Well, this was the basis of my idea for Snail Mail Science, a postcard service delivering science information to your doorstep the ole’ fashioned way! And all while helping out science organizations in the process.
I started working in science communication several years ago, coming from a 100% art (specifically animation) background. So of course, my work started out as pretty much entirely animation. I would work with scientists or a company to animate their research, machinery, or what have you. But news flash, animation takes a long time. And as much as I love it, personally driven animation projects without a team or partner was getting exhausting.
That lead to me creating my thesis project – an interactive website + physical card game about comparative anatomy. After that I was immediately in love with alternate forms of science communication. Not just a video, or an infographic, but something that’s interactive. I found it more fun for me, and more engaging for the audiences I was trying to reach. The more you can involve people in your work, the more invested they’ll be in learning, remembering, and telling others! But let’s jump forward a few years to July 2020 and my conception for scicomm via the mail!
“If you make a project you are personally passionate about, then usually that travels through the work and others can see that.”
If you are in the United States right now, you are probably aware of the fire our postal system is under. If you are not, there are better sources than I to explain the situation. But because of the events unfolding around the USPS (and many other things in our country right now honestly) there was a push to buy stamps, and basically show the postal system support both monetarily and vocally. So I found myself with an influx of stamps, old stationary sets I never used (because I never had stamps), and time.
I started writing letters to family and then to friends. But these are people I text and call regularly so I wasn’t really sure what to say other than a play by play of what my dog was currently doing. So I started filling the cards half with hellos and half with science facts! Being in the sciart world, I have worked with a lot of different topics, but also absorb a lot of knowledge at the same time. Basically I had a lot to give. After sending out a few letters I knew I wanted to do more, and my first step was brainstorming a name…