Call For Artists: Pen Pals-Creative Conversations

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Please read all guidelines and only enter if you can complete the opportunity! We are in this together.

Help support the uninterrupted delivery of this project and provide simple art supplies and complimentary participation by removing financial barriers.

Connect creatively with a Pen Pal in an expressive conversation. We welcome professional, emerging, and beginner artists worldwide.

Only sign up if can follow through! Read all guidelines!

What began as a project for a social psychology class is now an ongoing fun activity that brings joy and community to many creative individuals.πŸ‘‡πŸΌ

Please read the guidelines. Then scroll to the bottom to sign up.

Purpose: Connecting with people with creative conversation~ using photography, animation, crafting, creative writing, painting, music, video, poetry…

Below: Example of the Pen Pal Conversation: By Susan Robinson and Matteo Monteleone from Round #1

Exhibit #2 Jan 2021

Exhibit #3 Feb 2021

Exhibit #4 March 2021

Exhibit #5 May  2021

Exhibit # 6 July 2021

Exhibit # 7 Oct 2021(A part of Ontario Culture Days 2021 & Funded by the St.Catharines Cultural Investment Fund.)

Exhibit # 8 Jan 2022

Exhibit # 9 March 2022

What is the Creative Pen Pals Project?

This is a project organized by Rhiannon Barry, Free to the community and designed to foster long-lasting creative connections for all types of individuals with all creative skill levels. You do not need to be an artist. just come with an open mind!

IG @RhiannonBarryArt @BeWhimsiArtLoft #BeWhimsi

FB Group: Art By Rhiannon Barry


Have fun with this! Pull out your craft supplies, go to the dollar store or Michaels and pick out some supplies, maybe even try something new like poetry. Experiment, explore and be free. You never know the connections you may make and the talent you might discover.

You don’t need to be a professional artist or creative to participate, but you may find yourself matched with one!

Please read the guidelines. Then scroll to the bottom to sign up.

How to be A Creative Pen Pal

Free to participate. 1) Sign up as an individual or a pair/team!

2) You will be randomly matched with other creatives.

3) One of you will create the first piece of original art. The other will reply to your original work with a new piece of their own and so on back and forth for the project’s duration. *Make something new each time!

You will have each other’s emails, so share how you create and a bit about yourselves as you email pieces back and forth.

Is there a Theme or Prompt to guide creations? Yes, follow our prompts to get started.

We really would love to see you strike up a friendly conversation using creativity and see where the exchange organically leads you and your partner, though.

What to Expect TIME-LINE:

Each Round is approx. 21 days in completion.

DAY 1:

I draw the Matches randomly LIVE on my FB Page and Group: Art By Rhiannon Barry. Everyone receives an email from me afterwards with details connecting you to your partner.

Day 2-14

You create in a call and response style:

   Step 1) Artist 1 creates an original piece within 24 hours to kick things off and sends a cropped picture or short video of their art (perhaps a nice introductory message) to Artist 2. 

   Step 2) Artist 2 looks at the piece and creates something new inspired by it within 48 hours and sends a message with a  picture or short video of it to Artist 1. 

   Step 3) Artist 1 looks at the piece and creates something new inspired by it within 48 hours and reply’s to Artist 2. 

And so on until there are an even amount of pieces made by both artists. I will send an email to remind you when the last day is coming up and how to turn in your details.

You can chat as much or as little as you’d like about yourself, the materials you used, or what inspired your creations. The more you engage, the more you will receive from this experience.

Day 14:

In the end, you will make sure to label all of your pieces/files/documents in the order of creation as a team with the correct # and  Artist’s name in a sequence of the conversation:

This is So important for uploading to the online exhibit in the proper order~Files 100% MUST be titled EXACTLY like the example below for us to be confident they are displayed in the correct order:


(# in sequences as a team)(dash)(Artist one’s 1st Initial)(period)(Artist 1s last name)(dash)(title of the piece if you have one)




5-B.FISHER-title and so on…

So…titled by you and your match together in your back and forth in the way the convo happened 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8… NOT as individuals (with artist 1 having 1234… & artist 2 having 1234.)

You can email them all together to

TIP: many people like to use a DropBox or Google Drive folder as they go along so everything is easily shared with me at the end. Others will collect all the pieces and email them to me in one email. It’s essential to send all Files altogether, so nothing is left out or lost. πŸ’™

You will be asked to describe each piece to go along with these briefly. See the examples in Rounds 4 & 5. An email with further explanations and more tips, and an opportunity to meet online will be sent to you near the end of the Round.

Zoom or FB Messanger Meetings: we will have zoom meetings to answer your questions and offer help for anyone unsure or stuck. 🎨😁

Day 15-17 Online Exhibit:

I upload all of the pieces in your “conversation” to an online exhibition page on and then share the link with you. You can share this with friends and family!

If your pieces are chosen for the cover, you will receive a $15 gift card.

Click here to see the SEE Exhibit #4 March 2021 for more ideas of what others have previously made.

Day 21- Artist Chat:

You will receive a link and be invited to our online Artist Chat via zoom, where we meet our matches and the others involved while sharing our experiences and pieces!

How Many Pieces Do I Have To Make? In the end, you will have made anywhere between 4 to 8 pieces each. LIFE HAPPENS, and sometimes people need more than 48 hours to reply with a bit. If this happens, please do not make more than your match.  Let’s connect with them to see when to expect it and what’s the holdup first πŸ™‚ You guys can catch up if you fall behind.

Please wait for them to get back to you before creating again.

What if my partner is late: Always nudge them with an email and ask what’s up and offer encouragement!

On the other side, be courteous to your match and let them know if you need more time ahead of time, so they don’t worry. People tend to fear the worst!!! That you dropped out….Remember, they signed up because they wanted to create at least four pieces together.

What happens if my Match drops out?

Suppose you are ghosted  (receive no messages or direction or email with intentions or extension requests in the 24 hours from your last email).  Would you please reach out to your match first? If there is still no response to a second email for more than 48 hours, reach out to me, and I will rematch you or become your Match. Always try with your Match first. There are countless reasons why this could happen, including procrastination πŸ˜†

SEE Exhibit #4 March 2021 for a visual representation of what to expect.

Reducing Anxiety

I know some people will be anxious about creating an outstanding piece in this time limit, but that’s the point! It’s about connecting with others in a new way and challenging YOUR IMAGINATION and GROWTH. Whether you only have 20 mins or have 4 hours to create, we still want you to participate! All styles and skill levels are welcomed. This is not about producing a masterpiece.

It’s important to remember that everyone likely feels a bit of anxiety when exposing their work to someone new. You are on this journey together. Reach out to your partner with questions. You can lean on each other’s interpretations of this project.

Join a Zoom Meeting along the way to ask questions and address any concerns:

Do I have to sign up as a Team? How does a Team work?

No, you can sign up as either an individual or a team. 

If you are a team, you may wish to respond together. The multiple interpretations would be exciting! 

That’s to say; it’s open for interpretation and up to you. For example, one person on a team is the ideas person saying what they want to respond with, and the other team member is doing the grunt work. This would work well for partnering with someone who can’t physically create. Then if one individual receives two replies, they can choose to respond to only one or both within their response piece. 

It’s open to your version of teamwork and the organic evolution this type of collaboration may take on πŸ˜‰  
Then again you may be an individual matched to an individual or a team matches to a team too πŸ™‚ 

Why a time limit? I chose 24-48 hours for the first piece because it’s a nice challenge for Artist 1 as well it acts as a speedy kick-off for you both! I decided WITHIN 48 hours for the remaining turnarounds to keep momentum. If you want to send something back within a shorter time, please feel free to go for it!

Because this is supposed to help relieve stress and not add to it,  I wanted to give even the busiest people enough time for creating.  Some people are more active and wish to participate faster; others may want to take their time, depending on their chosen medium. REMEMBER, you can create a small piece in a sketch pad, take a photo and digitally enhance it, write a poem, or perhaps create a small sculpture or even something more significant if you have time to complete it. If you know you need extra time, just let your Match know. *Also, be aware that your match may have a medium that takes longer than yours and may need a total of 48 hours to reply, for instance, if they are a writer vs a photographer.

Please upload any videos longer than 30 seconds to your YouTube channel first. If you do not yet have one, click here to learn more about making that happen: YouTube OR post it to your Facebook Page and set it to Public, then send me the POST link in an email.

You can lean on your Match if they are more computer literate.

The Benefits!

I hope you will connect and engage with your Match in friendly conversation to exchange your pieces and discuss how and why you made the pieces. You are not obligated to divulge your reasons behind any details if you do not feel comfortable to. We want this to be a welcoming and perhaps a healing social opportunity for ALL during these challenging times!

Improved skills and a burst of creativity: Being challenged of creating in a shorter time frame and having to incorporate a response to a partner’s work will undoubtedly get those creative juices flowing!

Please feel free to add your signature or water stamp to any of your pieces. All art remains the property of the artists. If you sell a part directly due to the exposure in the online exhibit, 100% proceeds go to you.

To Consider Along The Way:

In the end, and after I have set up the online exhibit, you will receive an invitation to attend a Live Chat Room (Zoom) where you and your partner might speak briefly about your creative conversation with the group. This is a time to see what everyone else has made and hear about others’ experiences with the project. Sharing your feelings and thoughts is not mandatory. You can share as much or as little as you’d like to.

Please Send Your Details

Type of Creative.

Social Media Handles:

Facebook Handle

Instagram Handle

Website (if you have one)

Please only enter if you feel you can complete the opportunity! We are in this together.

Still, Feeling Confused? Meet over FB Messenger or zoom for a 15min Q&A meeting to gain clarity!

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