Destination: The Mailbox
Life makes one very busy, and quite unable to post articles during times of incredible busyness. But, in such busyness, the purest cure is writing letters.
Today, I would love to show you some of my mail art. Every personal letter (that is, a letter to a pen pal or dear friend, rather than a reply to a bill or a survey from the hospital) that I send is enclosed in some kind of mail art. Mail art, in case you were wondering, is basically decorating an envelope or other traveling container so that your recipient receives something that truly makes their day. A better, more professional definition is this one: Mail art is a worldwide cultural movement that began in the early 1960's and involves sending visual art through the international postal system. Mail Art is also known as Postal Art or Correspondence Art. The term networking is often used to describe Mail Art activities, based on the principles of barter and equal one-to-one collaboration. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)
In my vocabulary, mail art is sending something that will make your recipient think, appreciate and reply. Although, I'm still working on the "reply" part; a lot of my dear friends love receiving letters and mail art, but can't find the time to reply, or the energy to write. Which can be frustrating, but receiving little notes of "I got your letter -- it was wonderful! Thank you!" make it all worth it.
Mail art is especially wonderful because there are no guidelines or rules that one must follow, other than for it to be able to fit in the mailbox slot at the post office. Mail art can be as expressive, wild, colourful, insane and reflective as you want, and will be artistically appreciated regardless.
While there is a great mail art community across the globe, I myself do not participate in their activities and gatherings. Instead, I read their published books, follow their websites and remain completely and wholly mesmorised by the delicate wonders of their ideas.
I like to think that my mail art is seen by more people than just my recipient; reaching the hands and eyes of various mailmen and women across the globe. It's truly wonderful to imagine exactly how many people see my mail in transit -- and it adds to the wonderful joy of the entire experience.
|Mailart headed to Australia and Florida, respectively [ (c) Ms.AT 2012]|
The above mailart made its way to two destinations in Australia and a little beach house in Florida, all locations where my dears received the mail and told me so. My aim for the "Levi" piece was to incorporate great amounts of red and gold, as well as maintaining the Kraft Paper look too. For the "Girl" piece, I used inspiration from a previous piece of mail to paint (with traditional acrylic paints) my concept of winter -- to a friend who was experiencing a lovely summer. The third, "Urgent; A Postcard", incorporated the idea of old timely behaviour and modern-age "fun" into a piece that reflects the dependence our society has on electronics. Ironically, the writing behind the piece is from a French travel magazine, exploring the importance of exiting daily life and dependencies when traveling. I thought that was neat.
Yesterday, I made a new piece of mail for a dear friend in Oz who is 97 days away from visiting me here in the States. Because of this, I wanted to make a piece to reflect the excitement we are currently sharing. Through this piece:
|One of my favourites -- along with another of my favourites; my Olivetti Lettera 22. [ (c) Ms.AT 2012]|
|Those keys are the keys to my heart... [ (c) Ms.AT 2012]|
I aimed to encapsulate everything we are superbly excited to do -- travel together.
The hand holding the mail makes me pretty excited too -- it's not often that you can create a true old world mail feel with true old world instruments. I looks pretty legit.
Mail art is the kind of art that has no boundaries, can do anything, travel anywhere, and make any statement anyone could ever possibly want. It's truly a free medium.
I encourage you today to send a piece of mail, mail art or not, to someone you love and care about. I guarantee you they would love to hear from you, and especially to get something in their mailbox handwritten instead of typed from a form sheet at the bank.
Send mail -- send love,
~ Ms. Always Traveling