Plain white envelopes bother me. Pencil-tapping and airplane-humming hardly ruffle my feathers, but there is something about the crisp, clean, corporate blankness of typical mail that strikes a nerve. Despite their picture-perfect professionalism, they smack of humdrum banality and missed opportunity. I would like to think, however, that I can combat this Orwellian state of un-creativity with a set of readily-available colored pencils. My mail-sending process continues even after I tuck in my letter and press down the flap; at this point, I reach for the Crayola 12-pack to make my own little mark on the postal service world. Colors bloom across the envelope as I work. Every now and then, paisley prints meander from my pencil; other times, jungle animals dance along the flap. I occasionally write greetings, beginning the letter even before the reader breaks the seal. When it finally enters the mailbox, the once-white envelope has become, for better or for worse, a miniature doodle explosion. It never approaches artistic mastery, but I don’t expect to channel Michelangelo or Monet in my postal endeavors. I only want to create beauty where none existed, to add color to a white envelope world. Perhaps this is why I play the violin, when I can pour music into silence, or why I find comfort in calculus, where I can rearrange lackluster numbers into an elegant equation. I strive for creation, for expression, for the knowledge that my notes, my numbers, and my colors can cause the commonplace to tremble with new life. Who am I? I am an imagination-seeker, a beauty-lover, and an envelope doodler.
The Envelope Doodler
August 18, 2008