After creating a flurry of replies during my holidays, for the 22 people I owed mail art to, packages have now begun arriving in mailboxes around the entire world. Marcus Jackson (@luckyjackpress) got a real gem from me that I was SO proud to send his way: The Deer Hunter’s Bible, complete with BB gun shot holes from target practice. I added a few goodies to the front cover and decided to send the book as is by, sealing the edges with airmail tape, and adding hunting-esque vintage postage stamps & a typewritten address. I wrote a lovely little postcard to Kira Walker (@gali_gal) with a festive holiday fox on the front drawn by Helen Macdonald. I’m glad this treat as well as a fun order from my etsy shop showed up recently to give this deserving girl a big smile. It makes me feel happy to send rainbows off to Rhya Tamasauskas (@rhyat) who often sends me more than my fair share of postal sunshine. Hannah Montana stickers and magnets, Minney Mouse rainbow card, triplicate owl drawings, and a typewritten letter on one of my holiday advice cards are the surprises she found hidden in a rainbow and cloud adorned envelope.For Tessa Brown (@talulabblogger), I found a hilarious section in a tiger beat magazine called Fashion OMGS, which I thought she would have a chuckle about. I sent clothing themed stickers and paper ephemera, a mother flash card, an illustrated postcard and an info card. I sealed it all inside a animal kingdom envelope with vintage postage stamps. Valeria Poropat (@valeriadraws) was gifted one of the prints from my first ever intaglio edition. The image is of a tower in Italy, a photo I took when I visited in 2004. It made sense for my Italian pen pal to own one… I sent along a bunch of fun stickers and wrote on a postcard for her then had to add quite a few stamps to the envelope to get it there. Sarah Hutchinson Burke (@thesecondmagpie) got an envelope that had to fly all the way to Ireland, but luckily it had a lot of wing-power inside: three bird postcards (2 of my designs), bird postage stamps, bird stickers, big bird flash card, bird covered mini card, book & magazine bird cut outs and a little graphite portrait.Jenny Cutnam is a doll who I met at the OOAK show. She was there working for a friend who was also a vendor and she ended up purchasing one of a my large scale etchings of a fox (“Curled Up”). We instantly had a connection and I was excited to hear that she is also into snail mail. I started our pen pal relationship with a little letter, some funny postcards, garfield cartoons, stickers, a/p screenprints and a red maple leaf. Nick Oostyen & Olivia Delorme (o_delorme) found a plethora of silly items in their postbox this past week: grafitti stickers, cookie monster flash cards, drug facts for young people (since they are living alone in Victoria, they need to be educated on these things), world map stickers, music & record ephemera (Nick collects vinyl), an illustration that looks like the Oostyen family greenhouse and a couple nature’s my friend badges. I wrote ACAD buddy Amy Liebenberg (@amygillian) a letter on a screenprint proof of my animal kingdom piece and sent it along with french matchbox stickers, typewriter poetry about printmaking, and blank postcards. I sealed it all up in an air-mail color themed envelope covered with Christmas and Canadian pride stamps.And lastly, this morning Anna Gwenllian (@annagwenllian) found her Birth of Adam parody envelope which contained a screenprint of our glorious queen Liz, a handbound mini notebook, postcards,matchbox stickers, paper ephemera and typewriter poetry! It feels so good to start the new year spreading my love out across the globe to friends near and far with snail mail! I hope you all loved your treats… tomorrow I’ll be sharing what I discovered this past week in my postbox.
Valeria Poropat (@valeriadraws) is a pen pal of mine from Rome, Italy. When she had the idea of sending around a small accordion book for all of her pen pals to draw in, I was super excited to participate. The book recently showed up in a mail art package last week from Lisa Grabenstetter (@magneticcrow). Creating my panel for this collaborative project has been a great way to ease back into studio-mode after the big trade show and a week of lazy holidays. The only ‘guideline’ for this book was that it’s title was: from here, to there and back again. I of course needed to include animals in my work and since this is a mail-based project organized by a penpal, I immediately thought of both birds and lettermail and their common migratory nature. Because they both travel from “here to there and back again,” birds and snail mail ephemera were the perfect inspiration for my contribution. To create this piece, I used a combination of graphite, pencil crayon, found objects, collage, relief printing and my vintage typewriter. There were five artists that had already added to the accordion book before me, and there are still several more artists who have yet to make their mark on this book (including Jeannine Saylor (@saylor_made) who is the lucky lady I am sending this to next)! Above is what the collaboration looks like so far… I hope Valeria is thrilled with the progress, and I am excited to see how this project evolves further!
The talented Luke Waller (@lucaxun) sent me an orange envelope decorated with my name & address in his gorgeous script writing. Inside was a lovely note, some post-cards that were barely mis-printed by moo (they are still SO gorgeous anyway) and a copy of his amazing color zine ‘Frolicsome’ with the most intricate and detailed drawings (a lot of which are on the postcards). Beautiful and incredibly textural work Luke! Kira Walker (@gali_gal) has helped prove to me that correspondence across the pond can be quicker than we think! I wrote her a letter and blogged about it just last week, and already I have received her reply. Inside the classic blue airmail envelope was a beautiful patterned chiffon sac containing a lovely letter and a cute box from some japanese candy. Katriona Chapman (@katchapman) was out of control with this generous package! I’m honestly surprised the envelope didn’t self-implode from awesomeness, or get trapped somewhere because it was so fat! I don’t even know where to start, but I suppose I’ll just list every incredible thing inside: Photos from her garden & town, her own & her some of her UK friends illustrations, awesome paper, bird and sexy fashion hunk ephemera, stickers, pinback button badges, magnets, tiny doll, fabric flower, cards and more! WOW.As for treats that I put together for others, the first to discover an envelope this week was Dana Davis (@dzynmkr). Honestly, I’m relieved to hear it arrived, as it had nearly been a month and I was starting to worry. Perhaps the tardy arrival is fitting after all because inside was an altered book page all about fall and the season turning (I had originally made this as a demo for a workshop I co-taught just 2 months ago). Along with the book page was a 1970′s tobogan ad, a couple postcards including one from the Williams Lake Stampede, a molecular bear trial proof, a gorgeous owl cut-out and a funny notecard. Jessica Mack (@brownpaperbunny)’s package had to be fairly elaborate consider how much she spoiled me last time. I started collecting items for her while on my 6 week trip in the Columbia Valley, and one of my favorite things that I’d found was a tea tin with a tea-sipping koala on the front (I hid a whoopie cushion inside of it for boring tea parties). Other Aussie themed treats included a wooden koala puzzle and a kangaroo flash card and there was also a hand-made envelope filled with tons of rad bunny ephemera. Katie Whittington (@aspetalsfall) was the recipient of a lovely little garden themed envelope which was sent in & addressed with a classic airmail stationery. Inside was loads of vintage garden adds, stickers, book pages, magazine cut outs, stamps, a note and a gorgeous pressed flower with yellow and purple! Sumi Senthi (@sumiart) also had a classic airmail envelope arrive on her doorstep. Hers was filled with tiny treasures: 1970′s hunting mag classified ads, library checkout stubs, vintage map & airmail stickers, wickedly illustrated foreign playing card, a tiny original drawing on rice paper of a whale, a magazine page that reads “what’s all the fuss is about flannel sheets!” (haha) and some awesome 3D robot / space ship stickers. Tessa Brown (@talulabblogger) began reading my blog, really enjoyed the mail art posts, then contacted me to exchange. She writes a blog about fashion, so I did my best to put together some fun “fashion” themed goodies for her first ever package from yours truly. A handmade envelope held a postcard from Helen Vine, a wee letter, one of my business cards and stickers of bow ties, shoes, hair accessories, make-up and fashionistas in hats. Tim Conley (@aproposzine) finally got an envelope I had sent back in JUNE!!! He moved to a new address and I swear his old landlord was holding his mail hostage. Relieved that it arrived, I hoped he’d enjoy the a/p print from the luxury of _ edition , some hilariously named paint samples, a note decorated with a little owl, stickers that spell apropos zine and items that I hoped would be of use in his busy collage-induced practice.Valeria Poropat (@valeriadraws) said she was crying from my envelopes – I hope that they were tears of joy! Valeria is so sweet, so she definitely deserves getting treated once and a while. I stared by splurging on a GORGEOUS $8 BEAR stamp (sorry didn’t have my camera at the post office). Inside was one of my original shaped etchings, a photo print of an altered book page, a postcard of the town I’m living in (which was oddly printed in ITALY!), 3 red rose tea cards with yellow birds on them all, 4 mini samples of washi tape and other tiny trinkets and treasures. After sealing and sending the envelope, I forgot the include a who? HOO! zine that I had promised her months ago, so I sent it in a seperate envelope… somehow the two arrived together, how adorable. I made Cheetarah (@missthundercat) a beautiful hand-made bird envelope and plastered it with all sorts of lovely vintage stamps. Inside there was two original drawings on rice paper: one done in graphite of a human skeleton and the other was a bird in flight done in ink. An amazing bald eagle postcard, stamps, stickers and also some fun ephemera!
Furthermore, this week in the mail, my sister and brother-in-law sent John and I the most lovely engagement present and Anika Starmer (@aisforanika) discovered our awesome collaborative project in her post box. With all of these fun things making their way around the globe, who can say snail mail is boring!?