Many of you who have an Instagram account know that it is a great place to post, like and comment on photos posted by other users. I have recently become very active in an artist community that has really begun to grow in numbers and many of the artists within the community love to share their art through art swaps. So how did this swap come to be and who is the master mind behind it? I sit down and talk with fellow artist and friend, Charleen Juliet and she explains about the swap and how she got it started.
The Special Delivery Art Swap has various artists that are paired up with one another by Charleen in a blind swap and are to create a piece of art based upon a chosen monthly theme while taking into consideration certain likes and subject matter that the recipient has an affinity for. The artist will then mail the artwork to the unsuspecting recipient by the set deadline and in return will be receiving their own secret art piece from another artist (think Secret Santa gift exchange). January’s theme is “fantasy lands” and the upcoming February swap theme is “stars.”
During this process, artists like to use the specific hashtag for the art swap #specialdeliveryartswap to label their art so that others can find and follow their pieces within that gallery. Some artists enjoy posting photos of their entire piece, works in progress (#wip) and others like to just give little cropped photos as a sort of a sneak peek.
“I think the community, as far as I know at least, is pretty new. I think it mostly started, a lot of the artists participated in the Mab Graves’s drawlloween and Hoap’s drawvember drawing …I think that was what brought a lot of us together, at least brought me into it.” These drawing challenges Charleen is referring to are set up by an artist and they post a list of daily prompts for the entire month and people can draw something within that prompt or theme and post it with the specified hashtag in order for everyone to find their art within that gallery. Through these daily drawing challenges, artists began to join in on the fun, submitting their work and adding their own personal style to the prompts.
Pretty soon the community began to grow and each artist started to find other artists they admired and the followers and friendships just grew and grew. From there Charleen built new friendships with other artists and decided to set up a challenge of her own, #2016sketchadaychallenge where people are encouraged to try to commit to doing at least one drawing a day for an entire year. “This whole community has not forced me, but put me in a position where I’m motivated to be consistent with it. Enough people are doing it…it is bringing the community closer.” And this is so very true. The motivation and support from other fellow artists such as Pabkins, Sleepykoi and Joannalovesart to name a few, have really begun to help others feel like they too are an important member of this art community. “I use this as a vehicle to network with other artists,” says Juliet. “I haven’t had a bad experience with anybody. Everyone has been super sweet and supportive.” So with the love and support from her artist friends, she was ready to set out to create another art challenge, this one being the Special Delivery Art Swap, so that artists can not only share photos of their work, but the work itself.
The swap has actually grown to currently over 130 artists from all over the world and over 20 countries represented, and the number has continued to increase with each passing month! Charleen is proud to have put this together even though she doesn’t really feel that she was someone with a huge following but the artists have spoken. From the success of this swap, other future endeavors are sure to be in the making. I have to say, as a participant in this art swap and in the artist community, I find myself anxiously waiting on the postman for art mail. It is like Christmas all over again when I receive a special package!
Here is a complete list of all participants as of January’s entries:
To find out more about the art swap and to see new artists added, follow #specialdeliveryartswap on Instagram and discover some amazing new artists. Some have even posted a bio to help everyone get to know one another better.
If you don’t want to miss any more of Charleen Juliet’s adorable art, follow her on Instagram by clicking here.
If you would like to follow me on my Instagram, you can find my page by clicking here. See my piece for January’s art swap below: