Valentine’s Day is a day when one proclaims their feelings to their romantic interest. It’s a day when you cannot but resist to sing all the love songs and direct them to any person you feel a slight attraction to. All because the movies and media inspired us to behave this way.
I say this love doesn’t have to be sexually charged to deserve a Valentine’s Day card.
For single people this is one of the most depressing days of the year as the whole world reminds them that they are alone and that everyone has to be coupled up.
But this is not true, we all have someone in our lives that we love platonically.
This year, I decided to do just that – making these Valentine’s Day cards to my single girlfriends. And this is how ransom love notes took off. Read more about it here.
How it began
Usually I write in my cards I make for others, but it takes a lot of steps and time. I use a pencil to draft the letters on the paper and then trace it with a pen and make it permanent. On the side I dabbled with making montages using cut outs from magazines that caught my eye.
Click here to see the evolution.
It is Valentine’s Day and a few weeks before I called quits on a relationship that did not serve my highest good. It felt dreadful to realise that it is yet another day when I will be reminded that I don’t have a significant other to spoil with my affection.
I thought about my girlfriends who would think it is sweet that I am thinking about them and sending them my love.
I aimed to make six cards. Time was of an essence and it would take me far too long to write my card message the usual way as some cards needed to be sent to America. That is when I decided to use the words already printed from the magazines. It took me some time to find the right words but the execution was almost perfect. And this is how my obsession with making ransom notes began.
For the creation of the front of the card I looked through my collection of the magazine cut outs and thought of how to make it into something sweet and potentially romantic. I also like to take it a step further and decorate the inside of the card on the opposite side of the text.
I had a brief idea of what I wanted to write for the card message, but I was really flexible as the aim was to find the whole word in the magazine titles. Sometimes the whole verse was inspired by piecing together words that stood out while in my search. To make the person’s name and my own I would use individual letters and I would make sure that each letter is different from that which is used.
The front of this card was initially intended to say ‘Fresh Love’, but while sticking things down it flew away and was forgotten. The heart was made using origami folding technique for dollar sized paper. I am using the paper from a magazine, cut to size, that depicts shavings of chocolate.
Inside I wanted to continue the ‘chocolate theme’ by adding the sweet face that was made by an adventurous food lover in the magazine. With this card I realised how important it is to make sure every letter is different when creating a word. The letters ‘S’ and ‘O’ feel separate from the rest of the word and it takes a second longer than it should to take in the whole word. I had to improvise with the word ‘SENDING’ as I was not able to find the complete word. I used the font for the ending of the word, that was similar to the start but had a different size and colour.
Get Closer Little Lamb
This card’s exterior setup might not be the most romantic and might even be border-line terrifying. The first piece that drew my attention was the lamb, I thought it’s adorable. But it felt like something else had to be added to complete the composition. Among my collection of interesting words found in the magazines ‘GET CLOSER’ struck a chord of harmony.
I was itching to use the word ‘ mind-blowing’ for the inside of the card. Throughout the card series my aim was to give compliments and make the recipient feel good. The image of the galaxy seemed appropriate for this card as the galaxy can be referred to as mind blowing.
Hit Me Love
The intention was to send, cast really passionate and sweeping you off your feet kind of love. In a nice way I was wishing for her to be hit by love really hard. I felt the hand with the tightly gripped ball would elaborate further the intention behind the montage. A love that grabs you and squeezes till you have some bruises that will remind you tomorrow that it was not a dream and it really happened.
The word that inspired the whole verse to be written was ‘SPICE’, in England it refers to someone who has flavour and makes things better. I wanted the word ‘HOT’ to be the first thing that you notice as it is a really strong word. With this card I realised that the same font and coloured letters should not be placed next to each other, like ‘ARE’ and ‘A’ on the second line. For the image above, a hot sauce bottle was used to affirm the hotness the recipient possesses.
It is quite lucky that the magazines like to use the word ‘LOVE’ in their headings as it is a really handy word that can be used on the font of the card as well on the inside. ‘LOVE BUG’ is something I would see from time to time in the love hearts candy. It seemed like an appropriate arrangement as the receiver of the card loves nature and gardening.
For the inside of this card I was very drawn to using ‘100%’ and ‘lovely’. It all came together when I found the word ‘bird’. In England bird is slang for a female. It seemed only appropriate to use an image of a bird as a decoration on the other side.
The Big R
These hearts come from a Christmas wrapping paper. They were carefully cut out using scissors and formed in a big ‘R’ layout. I chose this letter as that is the first letter of my friend’s name. The aim was to layout the hearts so that the repetitive patterns of the hearts were not cumbersome.
The first word that was found for the inside message of the card was ‘EXCELLENCE’. It felt like a lavish word to use and luckily I was able to embellish it with the ‘THE ULTIMATE’. I have chosen the eyes behind the glasses to attempt to intensify the message by creating an illusion that a person is looking at you while you read the message.
While making the texts for the cards a few letters caught my eye and I wanted to further explore the classical ransom note style by incorporating it on the outside of the card. In my cut out collection, I have a section specifically for human facial features. This mouth seemed the most fitting for the ‘YUM’ hovering above it. For eyes I used stickers.