The Ambassador program has been going strong for a year!! And I regret that I still have not introduced all of the awesome participants yet… but I will rectify that over the next few weeks with six more intro blog posts. The Ambassadors are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities. If you are interested in representing Swap-bot in your area and sending out Swap-bot swag, stay tuned for info about our upcoming second round of Ambassador applications.
Meet our next Ambassador, hollycm6! Hollycm6 is from Chesapeake, Virginia, and she is an enthusiastic Swap-bot lover. She has been married to her husband, Mark (seen below), for thirty years, and has four children. She is an avid, positive, and friendly swapper who loves trying all types of art swaps.
Ambassador Region: Virginia, USA
How hollycm6 found Swap-bot: “A few summers ago I participated in a summer art camp that my children’s art teacher was offering. We were to learn how to make an altered book, which was a totally new idea to me. I’ve always done a bit of painting or drawing and loved crafty things, but most of my crafting centered around things my kids or other people needed. This was just for me, and was so much fun! The teacher introduced us to ATCs the first day… When he saw they interested me he suggested I look at a site called Swap-bot, where he traded them with people from around the world. I set up my account thinking as soon as the class was over I’d never look at it again (hence the very boring moniker) but within a short time i was completely addicted.”
Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “Through Swap-bot I have been exposed to so many different ideas, and have tried art techniques and crafts I’d never even have thought of on my own, let alone been courageous enough to attempt with no instruction. It has really opened up a whole world to me, and I discovered and developed my inner artist here, as well as forging some really deep bonds with people all around the world. I’ve been intrigued and excited meeting so many different types of people… Learning how different cultures are but how similar even very different people can be. I’ve loved learning about the way people live, what they think is important, their religion, their daily lives… I even discovered ways to help other people find a smile or two through other organizations that people here suggested, sending cards and letters to chemo patients, soldiers, and elderly people who just need to know someone cares.”
“I always knew I loved mail, but i never knew mail ART. It has amazed me how much I love sending pretty or unusual mail to people. It is lovely to receive a really special, well thought out, handcrafted package from someone… It’s great to open the mailbox and see happy mail staring back at me… But it’s nothing like the feeling of creating and sending such a parcel out into the world!! I have even been told by people around the world that their postal workers have commented on how it brightens their day to pass some of these packages on, and by my postal workers here, so I think about all the people along the way that might be touched or inspired by the right package. We can never know what the slightest small gesture will mean to someone, whether it is the recipient of the gesture or a witness to it, so we should make as many small gestures of love as possible. It isn’t always possible to do large, great things, but a small thing is always something we can do.”
“My experiences on Swap-bot ARE what have helped me see that I am an artist, and that I have something to offer. Daily I develop skill and confidence in myself and my art. (Which in the end will make me a better wife and mother, too.)”
Her favorite type of swap: “My favorite swaps involve mail art, fun postage, drawing or painting, literature related things, interpreting a theme, or some type of challenge. I have loved developing proficiency in areas where I am comfortable, but also have surprised myself attempting things I never thought I’d try on my own. We even have some swaps that simply try to stretch us individually. Not just as an artist, which so many of them do, but personally… We do things that help us to be grateful, to see the good in life, to enjoy a quiet moment, to practice self control or self discipline, to stop complaining and start speaking encouragement, to lose weight or eat better or clean up our homes when we don’t feel we have time for any if it. The idea of a swap site sounds so trivial, so small, until you really contemplate what can be accomplished when several ladies join together (virtually) working towards goals, or how a single word or smile can change the course of someone’s day.”
Check out a few of hollycm6’s beautiful art swaps:
“My very first attempt at Altered Text Art for an Art On the Written Page swap. (This gave me the confidence to try the following journal swap.) And a Postcard for an Excellent Endings swap (had to include the last line of a book.)”
“A little painted ATC and an altered text journal swap page.”
Check out more of hollycm6’s awesome art on her Flickr.
Fun Facts about hollycm6:
- “My sister and I are married to brothers. (I think that’s interesting!) our kids spent every holiday together when they were growing up. It was great.”
- “I was born in England and have always wanted to go back. We left when I was only two, so I had no memories of it, and I’ve lived in Hampton Roads [Virginia] since I was four. Recently my husband took me to England — It was literally the best 12 days ever. SO exciting, yet quiet, too. We had so much fun together. So beautiful, and it felt like home to me. And what did I want to do first? In each city I wanted to visit the post office (just to know what it felt like), examine the doors and windows and mail boxes of the city… Then I bought stamps, and mailed things… All swap-bot folks understand that feeling.”
- “I think London is my favorite city ever… But St. Ives is the most beautiful of places, and so sweet. My brother-in-law is an artist there, and seeing his studio was amazing. But nothing could top my bare feet in the cold sand, hugging my coat around me, standing beneath another perfect rainbow and listening to the ocean. London has my heart but St. Ives might have my spirit.
- “I like fortune cookie fortunes, pets, children, puddles, and ferris wheels.I’m much more enamored of a dandelion than a rose (though roses are sweet, too.) I’d like to ride an elephant and to illustrate a children’s book. I hope when I leave this earth that people might say ‘she made me smile’ and be happy that I’d lived.”
I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in any type of art swaps, or just have questions about Swap-bot and our community, hollycm6 is a great swapper to contact.