Oh humble postcard, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! The blank postcard is a mail artists’ best friend: small, compact, and portable. Prior to leaving home, you can address a few and tuck them into a pocket or backpack. “Out in the world”, you can jot down your thoughts – thereby creating a “postal snapshot” of where you are and what you’re up to. And don’t forget to bring along some postage!
I like to work on a string of postcards at once — usually the same basic theme or colors, but with slight variations. This informal method of editioning suits me just fine: I’ve got variety as far as ephemera/visuals/collage is concerned, but there is a certain level of cohesiveness, due to color choices/patterns/text.
On December 1st, I joined Andy Hoang’s “Mail Art 365” project. The challenge? Create a piece of (brand new) mail art every single day, for the next year. Contributors send mail art to whomever they please; the results are uploaded and updated daily.
Last week, Boing Boing listed the Mail Art 365 project as “one of eight great ways to spend a year”; there’s also been an appearance on the “Make Something” blog. I’ve decided to treat the project as way to focus my postcard creation skills, as well as see the evolution of my working style over the course of a whole year.
Several well-known and prolific senders-of-mail are also involved: Bianca of Goodnight Little Spoon, Mim of mim4art, and mail artist FarStarr. Approximately 35 people have signed on to see the project through to the end, each person working with their own roster of tools, materials and techniques. One of the most interesting aspects of the project (for me) is seeing the visual variety of each artist’s work.
What does that mean for you, dear reader? You should never underestimate the modest postcard! Plenty of mail artists out there prefer postcards to full scale letters or larger works of mail art. I know that in my experience, when you’re sending out a bundle of things every week (and I’m talking double digits here), a postcard just makes more sense. Half the price (postage-wise) of a letter, quickly completed and mailed off. Multiples can be readily made, and yet each postcard can be an individual work of art – what’s not to love?