Love letters are beautiful to write and all the better to receive. Whether to oneself (self-love, wahoo!) or to another special spirit, writing from the heart is such a precious, expressive process. In a world ever-increasingly focused on convenience, letter writing still proves to symbolize something deeper. When we receive, or intentionally decide to hand write and create letters, it expresses deeper value and sentiment between us and the connection to its recipient. Many of us also add in little scribblings, like hand-made hearts, smiley faces, and X’s and O’s throughout, just to add that bit of extra sweetness… But have you ever considered painting love letters? Let’s explore the beauty of painting love letters below!
Contrary to tech-heavy modernity, handwriting letters is not a hobby of the distant past. The conveniences of the internet, cellular connectivity, social media, and texting make communication – our primary catalyst of connection, near-instant and effortless. However, convenience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ample research and social discourse speak to the downfalls of opting for instant gratification for our social, relational, mental, and emotional well-being. Take Dr. Andrew Huberman’s science-backed report on how dopamine, the reward neurochemical, actually serves us to feel great in pursuit of something – rather than receiving or reaching the ‘reward’ or goal, itself. As convenience grows, our intention slows. And yet so many people nowadays are awake – or forced to wake to the value of slowing down, earning the rewards we seek step by step, as we can see with a thriving DIY culture.
If that is the case, then handwriting letters will require intention, time, energy, and unplugged, organic thought and heart. With this in mind, handwriting letters may feel more like a chore. However, handwriting letters serve to rekindle our more primal, ancient fire of valuing taking time to connect. Rather than leaning on the ease and convenience of buttons and electricity, make it an intentional, heartfelt pastime. You may have the experience to draw upon from either writing or receiving handwritten love letters, thank you notes, or those precious “just thinking of you.” Let’s recognize just how simple this intentional method of communicating your thoughts can require with the right materials.
The materials you use to create love letters can add much more character and novelty to the message you send. Praising the modern economy, there couldn’t be a better time to find and even sell creative letter-writing materials. Whether from a local art supplies store, online shops like Etsy, or basic materials found at home, the materials you use for painting love letters are just within reach.
First, of course, to write you’ll need a hand, or two. If you find yourself in shortage, a friend may have an extra to help out with. Next, some paper. Writing paper is more formally referred to as ‘stationary’. Stationary may have some more special features, say thicker or higher quality paper, gold leaf, or lines to write on. It also comes in various colours and textures. Some may already have artwork printed for you!
Materials for letter writing invite our intentions and attention back to tactile expression. Whether to express love, thanks, emotional release, or thoughts and gratitude for someone in your life past or present. Letters convey so much more than just the words on their pages. Many have eagerly leaned into the modern world of virtual communication. Though some of us still remember the beauty and sentiment of writing and receiving handwritten letters. In order to combine some more artistry into the letter-writing process, we’ll need some materials. Already we can start to open our creativity here, recognizing more options to make our love letters more special.
Creative Love Letters
A handwritten letter says so much more than the writer’s choice of words. From our unique penmanship to our choice of materials, and any expressive additions, handwriting letters invites us to honour our own creative expression. Let’s explore a few ways to add creativity to the love letters we write and send (or keep for ourselves!).
Painting or Stylised Stationery
Painting love letters requires using some paint! Watercolor is a fabulously delicate choice, and one of the most commonly found on pre-stylized stationery. One of the nicest parts of using watercolor is how little effort and paint, itself are required to make it special. Also, watercolor tends to dry translucent – that is, partially see-through. This means that when writing your love letter, you can get away with writing over colorized parts and still convey your message. You can also water down acrylic paints to achieve a similar effect. Just note that the more paint on the page, the harder it may be to read the ink you write with.
The other cool, unique aspect of painting or buying stylized stationery is that it can serve as a border for the letter, itself. This can add special effect for really conveying just how one-of-a-kind this letter you’ve sent is for that person. There’s also an added rustic effect if you permit the paint to organically spread without strict shapes or straight lines. See the examples below!
The ink you use to actually write your letter can also add depth, novelty, and effects. Any old black, blue, or red pen will do – sure, sure. But the market today is saturated with special ink options that can really make receiving and opening that letter a memorable experience.
If you’re an old soul (like our Bohemian’s Minds kingpin, Marek!) you may be curious about letter writing with old-school materials. There are still people who use feathers/quills and blotted ink – yes, believe me! (I wouldn’t put it past our Marek to have endeavoured this way, before…!). But maybe a more in-touch-with-the-times way may still include the ink, with a more modern-day pen.
Others may recall (dating myself a bit, here) those school lessons in calligraphy. Calligraphy is often practiced with fountain pens, but increasingly there are convenient markers with stored ink within them that do the trick. If this seems a little too old school for your needs, to add painting/creativity to your love letter with calligraphy, I suggest designing one word – say the person’s name, or “Dear…” stylized this way before expressing yourself more conventionally. See this introductory “How-to Calligraphy” for beginners here.
Stickers, Collaging, and More
Another way to add some more personality and uniqueness to your letters is to add additional materials. Stickers are so convenient for filling in spaces, adding sparkle and shine, and even conveying or highlighting verbal messages in the letter, itself. Again, the modern market is abundant for these. Just note that most adhesive stickers aren’t the easiest to adjust or remove without damaging the stationary. So be precise!
Collaging is one of my favorite creative crafts. Collaging implies collecting pieces of other materials – magazines, words or prose from old books or articles, leaves, pressed dry flowers… the list goes on. Truly, the options are endless. But what’s great about collaging is its invitation to relax perfectionism and express more than through words. What you choose to include, where along the letter, words, images, colors – such an expressive art form to add to love letters. Have fun with this one!
Your Own Writing
Last but not least, trust your own writing. Your own writing depicts more creativity than you may initially recognize. Notice as you read someone’s writing, as you find yourself now, a text from a friend, an email from a colleague, and an opinion piece in an article. Everyone’s writing has voice. That is inherently creative and expressive – unique to each person, and therefore, special and particular in delivery. Your own penmanship is expressive. The words you choose, the pace at which you write upon the page. “Painting” love letters may very well deliver that added spirit simply by your own penmanship. It is unique to you, and rest assured, the message received will transfer not only to your diction but to the energy you embodied as you set this precious creative, expressive time aside.
So as you sit down to create a love letter, I invite you to trust that so long as you use your own (or a friend’s supportive) hand, it will convey heart and soul. Trust your own writing, get creative, and express to the people in your life just how special they are to you by setting time, intention, and energy aside to create them a painted love letter.
About the author:
I am passionate about making the best of life through cherishing relationships, exploring worldly experiences, and cultivating a creative lifestyle of art, music, dance, and fitness. I am a self-taught painter, inspired by the sublimity of nature, consciousness, love and universal transcendence that binds all of humanity and nature, together.