Why Making Cards Makes us Happy

Eunice and Sabrina Moyle, founders of Hello!Lukcy. Photo © Zoe Larkin

Eunice and Sabrina Moyle, founders of Hello!Lukcy. Photo © Zoe Larkin


Sisters Eunice and Sabrina Moyle are founders of Hello!Lucky, a San Francisco-based, award-winning purveyor of letterpress greeting cards and other doodled objects. They’re also authors of several books including their latest, Happy Mail and the forthcoming Be the Change.

This week, Eunice and Sabrina join Illustoria to share some insight into their art style and why they love to doodle, hand-letter and send snail mail!

Happy Mail  just launched! Enter to win a copy, details at the end of this post. Photo © Zoe Larkin

Happy Mail just launched! Enter to win a copy, details at the end of this post. Photo © Zoe Larkin


There are lots of reasons why doodling and writing snail mail cards makes us happy. For one thing, Eunice loves to draw and Sabrina loves to write, so cards are a perfect way to team up!

We also love cards because they’re fun and social.  Since cards have a clear purpose -- to say hi, thank you, happy birthday, etc. -- they can be less daunting than drawing for no reason on a blank piece of paper.   Kind of like bowling with bumpers!


When we make a card, we usually start with the occasion and person in mind. Then, we brainstorm concepts -- the combination of words and images that we think will create a good vibe, a smile, or a laugh. We love to look on Pinterest for inspiration. Sometimes a cool pattern or illustration gives us a great idea that we can apply in a new way. There’s nothing wrong with looking for artists you like and trying to learn their styles, just as long as you make it your own!


Doodling cards is simple. They don’t take a lot of time to draw.  Since they’re small, you can easily try different ideas or start over. Sometimes the simplest cards are the best!


We love cards because they combine words and pictures. We like to think of these as two different languages.  Many of us are more comfortable with words than pictures (ahem, Sabrina!), so cards give us a way to use both -- it’s not so scary to draw when you also have words to fall back on. We’ve seen great cards that are only hand-lettering or hilarious one-liners, and we’ve also seen great cards that are all picture with no words. Our favorite? A pun paired with fun illustration!  Cat puns, especially!


Our rule of thumb for card-writing is keep it short, light, and sincere. We love the fill up the page with hand-lettering and add doodle flare, like rainbows, stars, and hearts.  Writing short messages lets us try different styles without worrying too much about messing up or rambling!  That said, we also love hunkering down to write a multi-page letter to a pen pal -- it’s an amazing way to catch up when you have a lot to say, and way better than a multi-part IM! :D



You might think that in today’s tech-enabled world, handmade cards and handwritten letters aren’t important.  In our personal experience, that’s not true.  Handmade cards and letters are another form of communicating, just like texting, calling, or sending an email. Each one has its place, and a handmade card makes a great impression.  



We like to think of snail mail cards like slow food or home-cooking. They take a while to prepare, but they’re satisfying and unique to the cook or sender.  Social media has its place, too, just like fast food. Sometimes you’re in a hurry and you just need to get a message sent (we love french fries but try not to eat them for every meal ;))

Nothing beats getting a handwritten card in the mail, personally addressed to you.  These days, it’s a memorable experience. It’s something you can hold, read, re-read, and keep forever.  (Sabrina still has letters she exchanged with her BFF in high school! Amazing time capsules!).


Making cards makes us feel more connected.  We like to make cards for friends, family, and even strangers because it allows us focus our attention on relationships.  To us, relationships matter most in life, more than material things. Cards remind us of what really counts!



Sending cards or letters can be like a meditation or gratitude practice. When we sit down to draw a card or write a letter, it immediately puts us in a happy place. Why? Because we’re focusing all our imagination and energy on how we can make people happy. What hilarious idea would make them snort with laughter? What would make them feel warm fuzzies?  Thinking about these things gives us a real high, like planning a surprise party!



You can almost always find a good reason to send a card.  Birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, holidays, and or any time you receive a kind action, gift or letter.  We especially love sending cards to grandparents and people who might not be as tech-savvy. You might even keep a calendar of card-sending occasions, or a list of people you want to write to along with their snail mail addresses.



Most importantly, though, making and sending cards is just good fun.  We crack ourselves up coming up with funny, punny card ideas and we have even more fun sending them to our friends.  So the next opportunity that comes up, grab a pen and some paper, and start doodling!  Pop your creation in the mail and see what happens!


You can pick up lots of card and hand-lettering ideas and inspiration, letter-writing prompts, and even ready-to-write tear-out cards and self-mailing letters in our new book, Happy Mail.  So have fun making your own cards!  We know they’ll be totally paw-some! :D

Sabrina holding a copy of  Happy Mail ! Photo © Zoe Larkin

Sabrina holding a copy of Happy Mail! Photo © Zoe Larkin


To celebrate the official Happy Mail launch, we’d like to offer one of you your own copy! Follow @illustoria_mag and @helloluckycards on Instagram and tag a friend you would send handmade happy mail to and we’ll pick a winner at random!

Heath Newsstand Launch Party

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Get out your party hats and come celebrate with us on June 3rd, 2017 for the launch of Heath Newsstand, a new gorgeously curated space of printed publications at Heath Ceramics!  From 10 AM1 PM, we'll be hosting a craft table where kiddos & grownups alike can color, write, and make their very own books and zines. While you create, there will be delicious pastries provided by Tartine Manufactory and free juice samples from the Juice Shop truck. But wait there's more—we'll be giving away adorable limited-edition pins, stickers, temporary tattoos and postcards. What could be more delightful?

In addition to crafts, we'll be showing off our newly released Issue 4: The Grow Issue along with our past issues 1–3. 

After you've crafted to your heart's content, stick around to meet contributors from other local publications:

2–4 PM: Meet the team behind the National Magazine Award-winning publication The California Sunday Magazine. Full of ambitious true features and cinematic photography from across California, the West, Asia, and Latin America. Chat with Leo Jung, Creative Director, and Jacqueline Bates, Photography Director. And, don’t miss the free samples from San Francisco-based Original Grahams, graham crackers with quite the underground following in the city.

5–7 PM: Franchise will be presenting their newest issue and limited-edition print giveaways. It’s a global basketball print-only magazine full of vibrant photography, illustrations, interviews with designers and players, and covers locations from LA to Ghana. We’ll have beer from our friends at Fort Point Brewery along with bread and cheese from Tartine.

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Heath Newsstand is a democratic space for the local community and visitors alike, with a wide range of topics to explore: international design publications, hard-to-find printed matter from far-off cultures, food and lifestyle magazines, and your favorite daily newspapers. There’s also a sweet selection of classic candy, snacks, cold drinks, cards from our favorite printers, and flowers from La Fleuriste. Plus, bags and accessories from Heath Sews, perfect for work and travel. 

For more information about the event, check out: http://mailchi.mp/heathceramics/youre-invited-heath-newsstand-grand-opening?e=94d3664172

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

What: Heath Newsstand Launch Party -- ILLUSTORIA DIY bookmaking & crafts

When: June 3rd, 2017

Time: We'll be there 101 PM, but the festivities continue until 7 PM!

Where: Heath Ceramics, 2900 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

RSVP here.

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

Photo courtesy Heath Newsstand

See you there!