Make a little mail art for May

iHanna's DIY postcard swap 2014

Mail art is one of my favorite things to do. The formats are compact: a great way to explore details and single ideas, to lavish your care and attention on something without having to commit a few months to the piece. Each piece has a specific recipient: this helps me focus on what I’m making and what I want to say, because I am mindful of that person waiting on the other end and the fact that a mail art exchange is like a conversation without words. Finally, that my finished piece is going to travel—sometimes to places nearby, sometimes halfway around the world—is an integral part of the art work: it encompasses ideas of an international community of artists, of a kinship with others that transcends race or boundaries, something shared and held in common with strangers…even if it is only an appreciation of art, and the joy of receiving little works of art by strangers in the mail box.

Whether you’re new to mail art, or someone who typically sends something in the post every week, iHanna’s DIY Postcard Swap is a great opportunity to make ten original postcard-sized works of art in a month’s time—thanks to the little push of a deadline—for artists from around the world, and receive ten surprising, delightful, beautiful works of art in the mail from ten other artists. The swap is diligently organised, refereed, administered and documented by Hanna, herself, so that everything goes smoothly, everyone receives their mail art at *more or less* the same time, and nobody gets left out. Now in its fifth year, the number of participants has grown well past the hundred mark…that’s a decent-sized creative community to be part of, and an indication of the swap’s growing popularity.

Needless to say, I’m joining this May’s DIY Postcard Swap. I’ve got a whole month to make ten postcards…plenty of time to experiment with the very idea of a postcard, what it can encompass, and how far I can push the definitions before the post office ladies tell me “Nat, you’re going to have to send this as a parcel, love…no way is that altered license plate going as a postcard.” 😉

You can sign up for the swap until the 27th of April, 2014 (but be sure you have your actual postcards ready to mail on the 1st of May, 2014…you’ll receive your ten recipients’ addresses on the 30th of April)

To Andreas, Wherever he may be...from Where I Am
Mail art I’ve sent…
Untitled
Mail art I’ve received (L: Jason Moss R: Kristian Larsen)

I’ve got a whole set of pictures devoted to mail art on flickr, if you want to see the mail art I’ve received over time, also the sorts of things I get up to (and the heinous acts of postal service abuse that I commit) in the name of art and global community…

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7 thoughts on “Make a little mail art for May

  1. Reblogged this on Atypical Tidings and commented:
    Reblog Sunday yay! It’s the weekend, I’m not putting in too much work. If you aren’t participating in poetry, maybe you want to participate in some art AND support snail mail! Who doesn’t enjoy receiving mail other than bills? I love it. Maybe that’s just me. Hmm…Either way! Thought I’d share, in case anyone is up for making some post cards!

    Like

  2. I love mail art, done & miss it soooo much. Postage got too expensive but I just might have to join in this to get my inspiration going more… thank you. Love your work, you inspire me so much!!

    Like

    1. You’re right, the postage can get expensive, especially when the mail art starts to get weird and non-standard! I try to stick to postcards, and just one or two a week, at the most.
      Kinda amazed that I’ve inspired anybody…I think of myself as the one who is inspired and drooling over others’ work. Thank you for this huge, unexpected compliment!

      Like

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