Live Your Spirit Animal 2019 is this years mail art card. My idea began on the last day of the exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum called “David Bowie is”. I always enjoyed listening to his music and fascinate by his eyes that are different colors. It was not until I attended this exhibit I learned Bowie’s eye color was not because of a genetic mutation and they were not actually different colors. It was because of a teenage accident that had happened. He had a fight over a woman with a close friend they were both interested in. His left eye became permanently dilated and this is why it appears that one eye was blue the other hazel. Bowie stayed friends with this classmate all his life. He did not want his friend to feel responsible for what had happened. This is also what made him so unique. He turned something negative into a positive outcome. His eyes remind me of a Malemute sled dog. They can carry a genetic trait for two separate colored eyes called Heterochromia. When I see these beautiful dogs that can have one blue and one brown eye, I see behind color to a history of ice, frigid winters, hard work and different types of snow. There is a belief in some arctic nomadic tribes that a dog with a blue eye can see heaven and the brown eye plants its four paws and sees soil. A spirit animal or totem animal is an animal chosen by a tribal member to take on the unique traits of that animal to help them in life lessons. I took painful life lessons learned from this past year and tried to shift through my thoughts while printing this card. It was this painstaking process of printing my snowflakes that became part of my process of getting my mind out of the circle of recurring thoughts that are regret, the death of my father and the traumatic loss of a kindred spirit. I took the paper I had written on and never mailed during the past year and cut them into snowflakes. I started printing the snowflakes using watercolor then printing on top of the watercolor snowflakes with oil based ink. Each print different each snowflake unique. I wanted the sled dog with green and blue eyes to become the snowflake just as the women on the back of the card becomes the animal. From this slow art making process of printing and cutting out my snowflakes the animal and woman interchange masks so it is no longer separate. I began to think about how to make this into a larger print. This eventually turned into a 14ft. print called “Lifeboat”. While printing this mail art card I noticed a collective idea spring up around me like dandelion flowers on a spring day. First it was friend and neighbor Carie Clark. She was also painting portraits of humans and a chosen animal. Then at Strand book store I found books on this topic. Perhaps this idea is finding a place because of animal extinction and land encroachment. I think about how I might feel if I was from an indigenous tribe and witness this idea taken by others living in an industrial consumer society. This may not amount to any change for the planet or animals. Perhaps it is a simple truth artists and individuals are gravitating towards, an intrinsic need to find wisdom in the animal.