In this second interview, the blog of wonder has a chat with one of my favourite people, Alexa Liley.

Alexa has been busy lately making greeting cards that have the ability to transport you to another time and place, be it a gorgeous Sydney or a simpler childhood. When was the last time your wrote a letter or posted a card?

Alexa Liley– hey, how’re you doing?

The Wonder– I’m good thank you! How are you? How is Sydney?

AL– Oh, it’s awesome. I’m in a shared house with a couple of mates of  mine  and finishing uni in two weeks and then hoping to get into graphic  design  school next year. So, kind of weird to be finishing.

TW– That’s so amazing. Coming back to you and your work, you said you’d like to study graphic design. What made you decide to make postcards?

AL– I did scrap booking basically as a bit of enjoyment many many years ago when I was living in England, been doing it since I was a little kid. I’ve always liked sending people cards, I’m a bit of a cheap skate! It just got to a point where erm, I decided to start selling them and with that I had to be careful of copyright and that’s w hy I started taking a lot of the photos myself for the cards and using my own photos. It went around like that and I started messing about on the computer. Basically I just really love sending a card to people and there’s something pretty special if you’ve made it yourself.

TW– I loved how personal they are.

AL– Thank you!

TW – I loved the poetry as well, I feel it really complements the images.

AL– So many people just don’t read poetry anymore and I’m doing English and Gender studies and poetry subjects and there’s something really nostalgic about it and I’m hoping the cards have that feeling. Y’know they look like some photos your Grandma used to have and old photo albums.

TW– Talking about nostalgia and I definitely get that mood, like you’re flipping through a scrap book. What inspires you, apart from just loving to send cards to people?

AL– It’s funny, cos when I first used to do it, it was just relaxation and I really liked creating things. Cardsa are really good for presents if you make like 5 of them and bind them up in a bit of ribbon.

Since deciding to sell them the motivation has changed a bit. I’ve got to be a little careful and give them a theme cos I want cards that are like Summer cards or Love cards or birthday cards so it’s more strategic in the images you choose and what colours work well together and it’s a real balancing act.

So, it’s funny, I guess it’s really hard to answer what inspires me. It’s like any artist- well I don’t call myself an artist!

TW– You can!

AL– haha. It’s like anyone who does something they really enjoy, you channel your energy and you sort of go into a different world for a little bit while you’re doing it. So it’s like therapy, I guess, without the therapist.

TW– There is some escapism there. It felt like a scene from a film for me.

AL– Cool! Each card takes you to a different place. The Summer card is definitely Sydney, if you want to show someone what Sydney is, you should give them that card.

TW– I’d love to come to Sydney! It’s on my list of places I must visit!

AL– You should come, I’ll be your tour guide! The thing about Australia is you need to come out for at least a month. There is so much to do here. It’s such a big country so you need the time to travel.

TW– Have you heard of the website postsecret.com?

AL– Yeah! Y’know, that’s one of my favourite websites. I’ve actually got two of his coffee books. I love that notion of just putting down your secret and making that card and just putting it out into the world. Like, somehow, something is lifted from you.

TW– There’s a bit of that therapy aspect you said. I love the honesty in the cards [on postsecret] as well. There is no pretence, no explanation or justification.

AL– Yeah, that’s it. I’m a true believer in the art of letter writing, which has certainly died. People don’t send letters or cards to each other anymore and I think the way people communicate these days has changed and it’s good. I mean look at what we’re doing right now [Skpe chat between Sydney and Farnbrorough!]

People connect so much more easily, but in a way we’re too connected, friendships and relationships work really differently today. I find there’s real nostalgia in writing someone a letter cos its so personal, it’s so private. When we live in a world of Facebook where everything is so public, I think letter writing and sending cards is a practice we should get into again.

TW– There is that intimacy that is missing in communication. I love getting letters and I miss it too. I remember getting packages in school from my sister and she’d send me a letter with posters and photos. and it was great. It was better than someone buying me something because it was hand made, you could feel the love in it. Bring back letter writing, definitely!

AL– haha.

TW– Thank you so much for doing this!

AL– Thank you! I’m honoured you asked me. I think you should implore on your blog to people that they should write more letters to their friends and loved ones. They need to write more love letters!

TW– Y’know I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a love letter!

AL– Yeah, I don’t think I have either. I think everyone should get a love letter. There shouldn’t be such a big deal attached to them either. I think that’s what stops people from writing them.

TW– I think that’s it. People have a commitment-phobia. Once you put your love down on a page as opposed to on a facebook…

AL– It’s tangible, it lasts longer.

TW– Y’know what, I’m going to write myself a love letter!

AL– Do it! And mail it too!

Simply click on the cards above to enlarge them and have a closer look. If you’d like to buy some of the beautiful cards Alexa has made, or you’d like to have a look at more of them, drop her an email at alexaliley@hotmail.com!

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