Look at me all into blogging again. Go me!!
I've been doing lots of mail art lately alongside my art journals. Let me tell you if you don't know about mail art it's like the heroin of the art world. It's so addictive. You make these little hand drawn or collaged trading cards then you mail them out and you get one back or two or five. It depends on how the trade is set up. There are themed trades where you do your art within a theme. These are fun too. You send your art to the host and she redistributes your cards and you get three new ones. I just did a theme trade for Imbolc and I'll be waiting for my cards after January 25th.
There's lots of different format for mail art. You can make postcards, any sized ones really, and mail them. These are fun. You just take some water color paper and slap on some collage work and then draw. There's a million things you can do to them. Postcards can be trouble when it's time to mail them. You can just google how to make envelopes because you'll have to find a home for your artwork--or you can just write the address on the back and send it off if you trust it to not get too crumpled by the post.
Then there are ATC's. Atc's (Artist Trading Cards) were invented in Zurich in the 80's by a group who had this idea to do art swaps. I think it was originally intended for artists who wanted to promote mini versions of their artwork. Now it's THE main size for mail art junkies. They measure 3.5 x 2.5 inches. They're roughly the size of a baseball card. These are the ones I trade the most. I'm starting to have a nice little collection of them. You can make ATC's out of cardstock or watercolor paper. If they're too flimsy you can reinforce the back with thin cardboard. Like I said the themes are endless. You can even make 3D versions that pop out.
My new favorite is something called an inchie. Inchies are 1 inch square and they're nearly postage stamp size. I've made a few but have yet to get any. What's cool about inchies is that you can make it into a little book with mini jump rings or maybe best of all throw them in a jar on the table of the living room! This is my favorite idea. You can hopefully get visitors to your house to make their own inchies for your jar by leaving blanks inchies nearby with pens. I can't wait to start my collection!
Mail art is addictive for one main reason. Nobody sends mail anymore! It's doing a disappearing act. It's so exciting to check the mail again. Pretty stamps! Little notes! Handmade art! Decorated envelopes! This is heaven to me. I am right in my element--art+mail+the international element.
My favorite site for trading art is atcsforall.com but there are several. Go check it out but if you're timid about getting started you can test out a mail art card on me. I'm up for trading with newbies and especially if you're a friend...double goodness. I love trading with peope I know and I won't judge your first piece, promise! Besides you will learn very fast when you get a few cards how to do lots of new things as you examine each new little card up close.