(M)others’ Day card



I made this as a way to value all women who are childless by circumstance, because perhaps they deserve a bunch of flowers, too. Mother’s Day, for some, can be a saddening reminder of the myriad reasons why not. You could say it works in a similar way to Valentine’s Day if you’ve been dumped or are suffering unrequited love. I’m pretty much reconciled to not being a mother myself, and have been for some time, but I do have twinges – especially on ‘days’.

Of course, it’s a grand idea to demonstrate appreciation for one’s mother. I’ve just spent a good hour on the phone to my mum, mining her horticultural knowledge in a bid to rescue some ailing houseleeks that she gave me. She is a hive of knowledge for all things green-fingered!

I recently read about Anna Jarvis on TheNotMom.com blog – the woman who started Mother’s Day in the USA. I was surprised to discover she wasn’t a mother herself and equally unsurprised at how dismayed she became at the commercialisation of the holiday.

The source of this idea came from a post I read on Twitter last year when I was researching Mother’s Day. I read a tweet by a girl who commented about how she had accidentally written ‘Happy other’s day’ on a card to her mother. Laughingly, she remarked how it sounded like she was addressing sad weirdos on the edges of society. So I thought I would ‘own’ her error! My meaning is to bring attention to the ‘othering’ that childless women can feel in our society rather than, I hope, to perpetuate it! My intention in making this image is not to satirise Mother’s Day rather to suggest that we spare a thought for those in our lives for whom motherhood didn’t happen.

It just so happens that the M in Scrabble scores 3, which is the number of early miscarriages I had. I didn’t realise that when I had the design in mind – another synchronicity moment! The tulips at the top are made from my old NHS fertility temperature charts. I like to make new things from redundant material.

Possible sources of help, should you be struggling with childlessness:

Miscarriage Association

Gateway Women

More to Life






Homemade cards for friends

For as long as I can remember I’ve made greetings cards for friends and family. They’re never much like any commercial designs I’ve done. I like making them – it gives me the chance to do whatever the flip I want however the mood takes me. I do try to make cards that I hope the recipient will like. So, a card I might make for my mum is going to be very different from one I’d make for a friend-bloke who’s into art or music. Click to view gallery:

The ideas are usually very spontaneous (last-minute!) and depend on whatever there is to hand at the time. It could be scraps of paper, old typewriter ribbon or letraset. I keep hold of the by-products of my work – brush wipings and colour tests on pieces of card, for example – and use them as materials for other projects. Some cards are indications of what I was working on at the time: The brighter messy-paint collage ones are from children’s books, and are older; the inky ones with white and grey paint are from my graphic memoir and comics. I went through a long phase of using sweet wrappers, which friends would collect for me. I don’t feel precious about the designs – like they have to be some grand work of art.

I’ve thought about the reasons behind giving something I’ve created: Well, it’s cheaper for a start!  But, deep down, it can be about a strong wish to solidify what I feel might be an important friendship; it’s my way of saying I like you lots, you’re OK – here, have this thing I made.  I believe that once you give something away, you’re no longer its custodian. It’s nice to think people might keep a card but if not, that’s OK – it has served its purpose.

Thanks to the friends who lent me back some cards for this post.