Several years ago, I read a magazine where someone wrote in to say how much he loved taking those annoying subscription cards that fall out and dropping them in the mailbox, blank. It gave him a certain satisfaction knowing the advertisers had to pay the postage for each card, yet received no profit. At the time, it sounded genius.

But after a few of my own maildrops of un-fulfilled subscription cards, I began to think about the person on the other end. The one who ultimately received those cards. How tedious a job that must be, inputting names and addresses for magazines you probably didn't even read. I began to think harder about the implications.

Suddenly, it wasn't enough to send blank cards trying to stick it to the man. It became an opportunity to connect with a total stranger. A stranger who, more than likely, would appreciate an unexpected pick-me-up.

I started collecting, to some degree hoarding, those cards. What had once been an annoyance became something else altogether. When I found down time at work, I wrote postcards, trying to connect with someone who was probably just as bored at their job. To commiserate. To share. To let them know someone was thinking about them.

And I started to wonder: What if everyone treated those subscription cards as small acts of kindness? Would it be possible, if the idea caught on, to bring down the entire magazine-subscription-card system, eradicating the annoyance all the while spreading joy and love?

Perhaps. And... perhaps not. Either way, I hope I made someone's day.


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May 2007, Exhibition at Amorviejo Art Gallery. The piece sold on opening night. And no, not to my mom.

The postcards:

portfolio pdf