So over breakfast today I happened to mention to my hubby, "You know, two days ago (February 22) was the one year anniversary of my involvement with mail art!" After a moment Ed said, "Ahhh...so I guess you earned your union card!" We both chuckled at that.
Anyway...one year under my belt doesn't get me a union card - nor does it get me a blue ribbon, a pat on the back or an atta girl. What I do get though, is far more valuable. Over the twelve months I have made many new friends across the miles. For the most part, the people I've connected with (via the mail, IUOMA-ning and Facebook) have the same wacky and witty sense of humor as me. It certainly makes things fun!
I have come to realize that a number of mail art folks are very talented artists, and some are downright brilliant. The talented artists have inspired me to try new techniques, and to think outside the box. The brainy artists have shared their knowledge of the Eternal Network, and have giving me a great deal to think about. (Those who are both talented and brilliant?? fuhgettaboutit!! - they just blow my mind!)
Early on I was all about the envelope art, and sending lengthy notes. As I joined various groups and started interacting with others, I discovered that m-a was much more than that. My vocabulary now includes: fluxus, dada, asemics, vispo, pataphysics, etc. Not to say I fully grasp these things...but I'm getting there.
What I've learned this past year is just the tip of the iceberg.
SCAM CLAMS - similar to Fluxus Bucks, but more clammy! Something new from The Lyons' Den. Currently outgoing to other mail artists.
Fluxus Bucks is an artistic project within the Eternal Network. Mail artist, ex posto facto - a.k.a. Julie Jefferies (U.S.A.) started the project in 1994.
A Flux Buck is an artists' banknote which is distributed through the mail system. It makes the rounds to other network artists, who add to it and mail it out again (much like the traditional 'Add & Pass' / 'Add & Send').
Here is a piece of mail art that features a handmade envelope by yours truly. I used pages from a 'coffee table' book to make it. K. Rolina from the UK was the recipient.
Here is an outgoing piece of mail to Ed Giecek. The sixth m-a item I ever mailed, it was sent in March of this year.
As you can see, I put a great deal of effort into the envelope art. Not sure what was inside.
"MAIL ART...MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE!"
A vintage retail catalog was the source for most images in this collage postcard. A postage stamp, rubber stamp image, and some doodling finished the piece.
This postcard to Prairie Kitten was the fourth piece of mail art I ever sent out. A pretty simple piece. I think I've grow as an artist since then.
Outgoing to Ruud Janssen (IUOMA), Breda, Netherlands.
My third piece of outgoing mail art was to IUOMA (International Union of Mail-Artists) founder, Ruud Janssen. This postcard wasn't anything special, art-wise. The intention was to express my appreciate for membership in the IUOMA-Ning site. What a terrible faux pas, though - I transposed the U and the O, and initially wrote IOUMA! Thank goodness I caught the mistake before I mailed it. Hopefully Ruud had a laugh at my silly blunder!
Through his TAM-PUBLICATIONS, Ruud Janssen publishes books on mail art - available in hardcover, paperback and eBook versions. Proceeds from the sale of the books benefit the IUOMA.
Outgoing to Richard C. (IUOMA), Carbondale IL.
My second outgoing piece of m-a went to Richard Canard. Back in March, I was a newbie, and I didn't have any idea of his reputation and history in mail art. Richard Canard is a longtime member of, what-is-know-as, the 'Eternal Network,' and an original member of the New York Correspondence School.
When I first began with m-a, I was ALL ABOUT the envelope art. Truthfully - I thought THAT was the extent of it. Little did I know!
Outgoing to Marek W. (IUOMA), POLAND. Marek is the Founder & International Director of World Smile Archive.
This was the very first piece of m-a I sent out after joining the IUOMA.
Jayne Barket Lyons, Mail Artist and Collector of Stuff.