What is Mail Art?
Mail art is art for your mailbox!
Mail art is a phrase that encompasses many different forms of art which all have one thing in common: they are exchanged for free through snail mail, or postal mail.
By definition, mail art must be:
mailed from one destination to another
may be mailed from one destination to another, in a series of mailings
the series of mailings could return to the originator
the art is exchanged, and not sold
Types of Mail Art
There are basically two main types of mail art:
collection mail art
traveling mail art
A collection mail art project is one which hosted by one artist, and a group of other artists mail in their art to the host. The host then sorts the mail art and mails different art back to the participants.
In a collection mail art project the host may or may not include their own art, although typically the host does participate.
Traveling Mail Art
A traveling mail art project travels from one participant to another, who all collaborate on the mail art, only to return it back to the originator.
Paper Crafts and Mail Art
There are many differnet types of paper crafts that you can do as mail art.
1. Altered Books
3. ATCs (Aritst Trading Cards)
5. Envie Exchange
6. Friendship Books
7. Jam Cards
8. Mail Art Shrine
10. Tag Art
Thematic Mail Art
Mail Art can also be centered around a theme. The theme can be a topic as ephemeral as dragonflies, or as serious as war.
Some possible mail art topic ideas include:
Alice in Wonderland
Color-based mail art
Paper Crafts and Art Mediums for Mail Art
The easiest forms of mail art to start trading are those art mediums that use paper crafts. Paper crafts tend to the be the flattest and easiest forms of art to exchange through the mail.
Paper crafts that can be exchanged include handmade paper, handmade flower seed paper, collage papers, stamped papers and items, collaged art, altered art, and collaborative paper crafts.
Also, any artworks that are drawn with charcoal, pencil, colored pencils may be traded through mail art. Paper crafts decorated with watercolors, inks, acrylics, oil paints, or any other painting mediums are also acceptble mail art mediums.
Paper crafts that combine any of those art mediums can also be exchanged.