Thursday, November 29, 2012

Work Mail Art Book Thingy

Here’s my work office. I’m organized, I know…pretty boring. Over on the right hand side you will find the little book that I put stuff into. A couple months ago I decided to start making a few things at work, in my downtime. Mostly I add bits of things that I find when I’m waiting for my late classes to start. Trying to make something instead of playing on the internet for another hour or two, felt like a better way to use my time-be a little creative…make something. The book is pretty sparse since I don’t have any paint, or really any coloring devices. I think I’m going to take it home over the break and put color all over.
In one of my desk drawers, I keep bits of things that I find around school. More often than not I end up tearing up the boxes my lunch comes in. A school is a great place for collecting lots of paper.
Here’s one of the group of pages. This is my ode to Jawbreaker…get it?
And another page, some repurposed stickers and bits of garbage. Why is gluing things down or taping them to a blank piece or paper so much fun?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Received from Ruud Janssen (Breda Netherlands)

The International Union of Mail-Artists turns 25 years old this coming year. I’ve been with the group for over two years, so I have a long way to go to be an authority on this whole mail-art thing. Yesterday I received this card from the IUOMA’s founder, Ruud Janssen who’s based in Breda, Netherlands. I don’t know anything about that town, but it just sounds like a nice place. Anyway, Ruud is trying to get a lot of things going for the anniversary. He’s sending out items like this, and even hitting up members to come up with ideas for the anniversary. I think there was some talk of a giant meet-up, or an exhibition…I’m not really sure. If I can contribute in anyway, I hope to get a show, some show thing going for Winston sometime this summer, which would be perfect timing. On a side note, he collects stamps that members create. Currently I’m waiting on a few stamps that I created of my own wonderfully sculpted face. I should get these by the end of the week and then I’ll send some impressions to him.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sent to Stephanie Blake (Alabama USA)

Made with bits sent to me from Pamela Gerard in San Francisco. The weird picture on the back came from a pile of images I picked up at Scrap in Durham NC.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Mail-Art Secret Santa

A coworker came by a week ago and asked if I would like to participate in Secret Santa. I’m not much of a participator in things, but she was quite persistent in getting people involved. I drew my name and then put the little list of likes and what not on the side of my desk. Once my work was finished, and I started to think about the weekend, I started to get some ideas about making something…since making something was an option. Later that day I had the idea to make a box of cards that someone could send off.
I found the box at a Lexington thrift shop. On Saturday I made a large batch of cards postage included, along with a cardboard piece that she would see as she opened the box. I stuck in a couple of pens and placed a layer of paper in the bottom, for color. Then I stamped some paper in no particular fashion and wrapped the box up. The whole project was fun. I need to make some more of these. I hope she likes it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sent to Jeanne Kasten (Kansas USA)

There’s nothing too spectacular about this piece, it’s exactly like many of the things I create. The one strange aspect of this card is the process in which it was created. Every so often someone will send me a packet of things, just bits and pieces of paper that they’ve collected. Whenever I get one of these beautiful treats, I set a few items aside, and then make a collage out of the rest. I’ve done this about four or five, maybe six times since I started doing mail art. The end product looks like the rest but the process is where the fun is. Jeanne Kasten from Kansas sent me the bits; I made something out of them, and then sent them back to her…wonderful process.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sent to Susanna L. (Germany)

I’m not sure what got me started making larger pieces, but I’ve been doing that for a while. This particular item was sent to a mail-art friend in Germany, one of the first larger items I sent out. At this point I’ve mailed larger pieces to the Netherlands, Finland, France, Germany, and of course Iowa. Currently I’m stockpiling some of these to hopefully do something a bit more “formal” with them. If nothing happens, then I’ll mail all of them out, or not. Maybe I should actually keep something? Like all of my items, I make them in bulk. When I’m making postcard sized things, I make them five or six at a time so you get a little overlap. When I make the larger items, this one being 10 x 12 inches, I make them two at a time. I guess you could say that this item was the left portion. What connected the two images was a picture of JFK and John-John. This image got John-John and the other got JFK. I have no idea who has the other side? I mixed all of this Time Magazine stuff with a bunch of Boys Life Magazine images. You may be able to say that I even have a message in here, or at least something coming close to it, although that was never really my purpose.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sent to Rebecca G. (UK)

I have no idea what I was thinking with this card? I did a whole selection of items not at all related to the “tape and rip” method. Around the same time I did the sticker collage cards, as well as a couple sets of cards like these. Basically I made a card out of the iconic Ray Johnson and put his image beside a ridiculous comic that I found online. There’s no motivation behind putting these together, I just thought they went well together. In a few other cards I did Johnson beside Christopher Walken, but those haven’t shown up just yet. To mask things a bit I used regular ink pads to give the thing a little color…needs more. Not sure how long my vacation from tape will last, but I’ve enjoyed playing around a little.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Buying Scraps - Scrap Exchange Durham NC

One of the more fun things associated with mail-art, or at least the mail-art that I create, is the acquisition of “things.” Since my creations call for old magazines and bits of paper, I somehow have to find these things. It’s rather easy to acquire bits considering how often I go to thrift stores, but they often lack the “good stuff.” I like old paper and strange pictures which isn’t as easy to find as I’d like. Not sure where I found out about the Scrap Exchange in Durham, but I was glad I did. I went there for the first time a couple months ago with my Stef and returned last week before a show in Raleigh. This time I was by myself and had a lot of time to look through things. I spent almost two hours in the place.
These are the things that I purchased. I got a lot of stickers and clear industrial sticky things. I found some pictures as well as a lot of cool envelopes that were rather old. I bought a few stamps and random ephemera. All of my stuff cost less than twenty dollars. I want to go back and I haven’t even used the items I just purchased.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sent to De Villo Sloan et. al. (NY)

I’ve enjoyed doing the whole Nostrils thing and I’ve really enjoyed pairing the Nostrils thing with mail-art. I thought it was important to have a response card with the initial CD that was sent around the world. I ended up receiving twenty or twenty-five cards with suggestions for new songs. (I really need to scan these and post what everyone wrote). It was a fun project that people seem to get a giggle from. The only thing that I wanted to know from those I sent the CD to, especially the ones out of the country was which jokes they didn’t understand. Maybe this was kind of hard to explain to someone I didn’t know very well or at all. I wanted to know what mystified them, what confused them, or something of the sort. Maybe the whole thing confused them, I’m not too sure. If folks got a giggle out of it, then it was a success and if they didn’t it was something in the mail that wasn’t bills. I’ve already amassed about fifty songs for the next one but I’m going to wait about a year to send that one out. Not going to advertise that I’ve finished the thing, it will just show up in peoples’ mailboxes…with more postcards.
Each one of these cards that I had made up came equipped with a sticker on the other side. I really wish that I had someone who would make stickers for me. I like stickers but they take a long time to complete and they’re a little expensive. I gotta work on this. The slogan on the back of the sticker as one that I’ve said a lot as it pertains to the “band” and I feel it’s somewhat true. Nostrils could be your life, or at least your connection to my idiot creations.
Not sure who exactly posts on this site, but this is where I got the images from. Great site, you should check it out.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sent To Cheryl P. (South Africa)

Here’s more evident of the sticker collages that I sent around the world. It’s somewhat like the last one. I think I did these in two different batches which could help explain the slight differences in appearance. This particular card I sent to a longtime mail-art pal, Cheryl Penn in South Africa. The fact that I can send stuff to Africa, and someone will enjoy that little piece of nothing, is a phenomenal feeling. Someone on that continent has actually touched something that I’ve created…that blows me away every single time. Also, her work is amazing, some of the best mail art stuff out there…she has a style that is instantly recognizable.
Over a month ago, a couple friends designed the iconic Blag Flag logo with Winston buildings as the bars. Although I’ve seen this done for a million different things from cats as the bars, to even the Seinfeld characters, I loved the Winston angle. I loved it so much that I immediately had a large stack of stickers made up. I didn’t design the logo; I just paid for the stickers. Now I have to get a bunch of my friends to follow my facebook directions and message me their mailing address.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sent to Amy I (MN USA)

I feel a little funny writing this, but I really love stickers. There’s something about having a paper like front with an image, and a sticky back that you can affix to almost any surface. In some ways, I think stickers are magical-they can do things that mere mortals cannot. Recently I’ve noticed that I’ve stockpiled a lot of stickers in a plastic bin. Not wanting to seem sit unused, I thought to myself “why not a sticker collage?” So that’s what I did, I made a few sticker collages and sent them out into the world. The process was fun and colorful, a nice break from ripping old mildewed bits of paper. I will do this again!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

New Things - Made Today and Yesterday

It’s nice to have a little motivation to make things. Right now I think, I might, I could be able to show these things to a wider audience. I’d love to do that. I’d love to have the possibility to take a risk and show these silly things. Having that possibility looming has made me create some bigger items. All four of these are 9 X 13. So I’m going to stockpile these for a little while and see if I can push them off on people. If no one wants them I’ll send them to the mail art folks.

Friday, November 2, 2012

China Zine Review in a Zine (Ken B.)

Not only do I send things through IUOMA, but I've also joined a zine trading blog. I've had a hard time connecting with people on the zine site. Some folks have been supportive and nice and wonderfully, especially the guy who's review I have a picture of here. I think he was the first person to send me a zine out of the whole community? He's sent me his work (two zines at this point) which is really good, and has even put a short review of my China zine in his newest edition. More than anything, I like the inefficient way we're exchanging information. In most circles, he would simply respond to a blog post and that would be in. Instead, I send him something in paper; he makes his own paper something, and reviews my paper something. The whole process takes time, money, and more importantly thought. I've enjoyed the exchange as well as the review. Thanks, guy! Sorry about the font size, I was trying to keep cost down by using less paper. Also, I have no idea why your copy didn't come properly put together with staples and what not.

From Rebecca G (UK)

I believe this is the first mail I've received from Rebecca in the UK, and I'm very impressed. Looking at her work makes me realize what I need to learn, and that's a lot. Her placement of images is great. Her use of color is great...this one postcard sized piece is an inspiration. She's someone who knows what they're doing. One of the great things about mail-art is the constant mailing of inspiration. I look at what Rebecca has done and it gives me ideas, some of which I will steal and try and replicate as best I can. Great work.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sent to Iowa (Mona Lisa)

Ever since I started messing around with putting tape on paper and pulling, I've been associated as "that guy." It's nice having a simple style, but it's also nice to make a new type of thing...not related to the "tape thing." Honestly, I love the tape process, it's fun and it often produces some great results, although similar looking results. A couple weeks ago I decided to completely do away with the old technique and try something new. I did a few of these number collages made with stickers, really trying to make it look all early 20th century, as well as some all over the place sticker collages that haven't surfaced, and a couple collages made from bits of tape involved. It was a liberating day, something that I want to do again. I'll continue to come back to tape and rip method. Hopefully some more of these things show up so fellow mail-art people can give some guidance. This weekend I'm going to start my stockpile of "bigger pieces" that I'll either show, or mail out to...whoever.

Thoughts on the Summer Makings Process

I’ve been productive this summer. Normally I wake up around eight o’clock and put on the coffee. I watch twenty minutes of online videos,...