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“What is a good mail day?” A good mail day is a day when, instead of just bills, catalogs, and advertisements, your postal carrier delivers artful, beautiful, personal mail from friends and acquaintances all over the world. Mail art is a collaborative art form with a long and fascinating history populated by famous artists as well as everyday practitioners. The term “mail art” refers to pieces of art sent through the mail rather than displayed or sold in traditional venues. Mail artists often use inexpensive and recycled materials including
“What is a good mail day?” A good mail day is a day when, instead of just bills, catalogs, and advertisements, your postal carrier delivers artful, beautiful, personal mail from friends and acquaintances all over the world. Mail art is a collaborative art form with a long and fascinating history populated by famous artists as well as everyday practitioners. The term “mail art” refers to pieces of art sent through the mail rather than displayed or sold in traditional venues. Mail artists often use inexpensive and recycled materials including postcards, collage, rubber stamps, and photocopied images. Mail art is a truly international activity and a fun way to connect with people in every corner of the globe. Readers will learn to create decorated and illustrated envelopes, faux postage and artistamps, find penpals, make a mail art kit, and much more!
Introduction: Make Every Day a Good Mail Day 9
Chapter 1 From Dadaists to Dilettantes: Mail Art Is for Everyone 15
Chapter 2 Make the Mail Carrier Your New Best Friend: Guidelines for Getting Started with Mail Art 23
Chapter 3 You Can Take It with You: The Traveling Mail Art Kit 31
Chapter 4 From Ordinary - Extraordinary: Gleaning Inspiration and Materials from a Walk around the Block 39
Chapter 5 Judging the Post by Its Cover: Decorated and Illustrated Envelopes 47
Chapter 6 From a Single Sheet: Paper Folding, Texturing, and Pattern Ideas 61
Chapter 7 Outside the Box: When It's Too Big, Too Strange, or Too Wonderful to Fit in an Envelope 71
Chapter 8 Beyond the Flag: Faux Postage and Artistamps 79
Chapter 9 Correspondence Charm School: Refining Your Handwriting, Finding Pen Pals, and Developing Your Postal Personality 89
Chapter 10 DIY and CFEs: How to Start a Mail Art Project and Become a Seasoned Networker 97
Chapter 11 Mail Art Maibox: Artwork from around the Globe 106
About the Authors 127
Posted January 16, 2010
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Innovative, bright ways to re-invent your junk mail and build relationships via the old-fashioned art of correspondence wait for you in this book. Gone are the days of the pony express, sadly. Yet we humans still loiter around the mailbox, rallying our hopes if the postal worker's bundle looks interesting. If I received any of the resourceful and occasionally stutter-inducing missives pictured in Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art, I'd probably give Phillip a hug. I'm not sure he would like it, but there it is. Mail as an art outlet is definitely the kind of mail you want to receive.
Enter this book. Authors Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler cover almost everything you might wish to know about paper salvaging and minimal skill, down-and-dirty crafting, leading into hardcore artistry. Included are tips for careful mailing, postal regulations that might affect your creative boundaries, guides for building envelopes and keeping your delivery person happy, even some starter postcards and "mailing seals" (I call 'em stickers) in the back. Those newly pondering a stamp-based relationship can even find a pen pal and kick-start a friendship by post, all within the bounds of this book.
Good Mail Day offers a scrapbook-style design, brightly-lighted photographs, scads of information and backstory, and puffy clouds of space to let the ideas drift straight off the page and into your brain. In back, a gallery by name, but, really, it's a museum of shiny ideas that didn't quite make it into the how-to section. Don't be frightened if there are umpteen things you want to make immediately.
What's fantastic about the book is how simple the ingredients are for such complex, memorable mail. Around 95% of the materials are free, gleaned from old cards, labels, catalogs, anything made of paper and then other things as well. Think of the book as a jumping-off point, portable inspiration for a lifetime of postal interchange. A primer indeed.
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