I’ve been designing artistamps or faux postage stamps for years, and even valid postage as soon as the USPS allowed it, and I also design greeting cards and fabric postcards.
But I only recently dived into the social whirl of mail art: exchanging postcards through Postcrossing, sending and receiving handmade artful mail with like-minded new friends, and joining the Correspondence Co-op, a group based in San Francisco for mail artists, letter writers, and people who love the United States Postal Service.
My timing was great, because this past weekend there was a mind-blowing series of events by, for, and about mail artists! The book that drew me into the mail art world is Good Mail Day, co-written by powerhouse Jennie Hinchcliff, aka Red Letter Day. Jennie dreamed up and organized (with lots of help from Correspondence Co-op members and others) Ex Postal Facto 2014, “A Celebration of Correspondence Art, Faux Philatelics, and Postal Modernism.” The first event I made it to was the Vendor Exposition, where over 25 artistamp makers, mail artists and postal moderns showed, sold, and shared their amazing work.
Ta-daa! The Queen of XPF 2014, Jennie Hinchcliff, holding forth at her crowded booth:
Niko Courtelis of Philatelic Atrocities gave a lecture hosted by Chronicle Books on Thursday in conjunction with XPF. Titled “A New Look at Postage Stamp Design,” Niko discussed postage stamp aesthetics and design fundamentals for stamp graphics. Here at the Vendor Expo he’s putting the commemorative XPF stamp he designed in another mail artist’s souvenir passport.
Dame Mailarta, Queen of Poste, down from Victoria, BC, had an amazingly colorful booth.
I was thrilled to swap some of my own artistamps for a precious sheet of original commemorative Ex Postal Facto stamps designed by noted mailartist John Held Jr.:
These are the artistamps I designed to give away and swap at Ex Postal Facto:
There’s much more to tell, so stay tuned for more wonderful mail artistry!
This is a list of my mail-related blog posts: