Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fan mail art for Good Mail Day

The book and the mail art it spawned

A little while back, I kvelled over Good Mail Day. See that link for all kinds of nifty info on how to buy this awesome Mail Art book. Before I read it, I never would have called myself a mail artist. Sure, yeah, I decorate things, but I'm not an artist. Then I started reading the book, and I got totally inspired.

I heart the book

So I made this fan mail/mail art postcard to send to the fabulous gals who were responsible for the book. (OF COURSE they put their mailing address in the book so readers could do this very thing.)

glitter + 3-color metallic gel pens = max bling

We all know I can't really draw, so I went for a simple idea of various ways of punctuating "I love the book" written all over the back of an airmail postcard, in one of my ever-awesomeZebra Super-Marble 3 Color Changing Gel Ink Pens (about which I blogged so merrily in July). Then I drew over that and filled in a larger slogan with glitter glue. I think this photo, above (after about 15 different angles and attempts!) actually shows off the many glitter colors pretty well. (And if you have a Flickr account and can actually view large, you'll see it even better. But I know not everyone can access that. Sorry.)

My first mail art and the book that inspired it

And here's the "Star Wars view" angle. Yay, mail art with mail art book! I know I'm but a novice, but I have to say this was a lot of fun. I know I'd really get a kick out of pulling something like this out of my mailbox.

Fan mail art for Good Mail Day

Finally, behold the front of this vintage air mail postcard, which even oh-so-meta-ly features an air mail plane. I'm pretty sure I added some silver glitter to the front of the card, but I forgot to photograph that before it landed in a mailbox.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, in my previous post about this book, that the creators of this book have an excellent blog, Make Every Day a Good Mail Day - check it out!

Then go make some interesting mail.


  1. that is awesome . thanks for sharing and a great blog.

  2. Sweet thank you! I have the book in my Powells shopping cart and once I get to the required dollar amount for free shipping, I'll be buying it. I did peek at it at a chain brick & mortar store and it is lovely, though I think that too much focus on creating the media can result in not actually sending mail at all. It happened back in late 1980s when rubberstamps were quite the rage...everyone bought a gazillion rubberstamps and no envelope left the house without at least one cleverly stamped image. But, rubberstamps accumulated, as well as all the accruements, and the spontaneity of stamping envelopes got lost and it became a chore to get all the stamps and inkpads out so stamps gathered dust at the back of the closet. I see a revival of the cleverly stamped envelopes these days, and that is a result of the popularity of mail art, and I hope it sticks around. Sadly, most of my clever stamps are long gone...just too many things to move when I left Boston 5 years ago and I gave most of the stamps away.

  3. PostMuse - I shared your worry before I read the book, about the emphasis on creating something artistic and not about actually sending it. (I also had other, unrelated fears about mail art for art's sake, and not for personal communication, but that's a separate tangent.) I found the book quite practical, though, in its advice to start simple, and it had a very down-to-earth tone that dispelled any lofty expectations.

    As for rubber stamps... I have quite a few, and I still feel I should use them more often, so I hear you there, too.

  4. Hi!

    As I told you in the Postcrossing message, I also ordered this book after seeing it in your blog. It was said that it will take some weeks but actually I got it then only in ten days!

    I really like the book, but as much as I like it, I like all the information I have got in your blog and the links here!

    Mail art is a new thing for me as words, but the idea in it is something that I always have loved, and now I even have a name for it!! - And I found it very interesting e.g. yesterday, when I prepared a birthday card envelope to my friend, that though I always have liked to decorate my envelopes, so when I now have this mail art in my mind, I spent much more time in decorating than earlier, and I was more excited about the decorating!

    So I will forever be grateful to you for sharing the address of your blog with me in your Postcrossing card!!!

    Best regards from Finland!

  5. Sirpa, that's so sweet! I'm really glad you find my blog useful. I have a wonderful letter from you in my pile, and I'll be writing you back as soon as I can.

  6. I saw your fan mail on the Podpost Flickr prior to your posting it and recognised the handwriting straight away! So cute!

    My boyfriend has been put off sending mail since reading the book because he "can't do art"! He makes me decorate the envelopes and he writes the letters, haha.

    Although I love making arty things to send through the post I still think the written word is more important, I love receiving a well written letter regardless of it's packaging. Good mail art should be complemented by good mail!

  7. Thanks, Teacup! So true about good mail art being complemented by good mail. I have been admiring the fan mail art you sent to PodPost, too!

  8. Hi Missive

    Before I started my REAL wall postal project in February, I can honestly say I didn't consider myself an artist. I suppose being labelled "not an artist" at school sticks with you until you can find out differently for yourself.

    Since I started trading mailart though, I guess the artist inside came out, and now I love the idea of creating art and want to do it all the time! I love the community that builds up around mutual appreciation for art, and that feeling that this has been crafted with you in mind. It's great!

    I do hope this book gets out to as many people as possible and feel honoured that my REAL wall has come to play a part in the showcasing of mailart and postal fun. For me, embracing mailart has not only made me lots of friends but made me discover talents I never knew I had!