Saturday, July 18, 2009

Festival of Postcards


Altered Art – Mail or Postal Art

Have you ever added a doodle or a kiss to the back of a letter or postcard? Well congratulations you are already a mail art artist.

Using art as a form of communication comes as second nature to an artist and not surprising to see examples of mail art in the works of Vincent van Gogh and other well know artists. Over time different groups and artists have taken on mail art as a way of getting art into mainstream communities as a small piece that we all can hold, brighten our day along the way or participate in.

Mail art can be decorated envelopes, letters and postcards. The Festival of Postcards celebrates the best of all the different styles of postcards, vintage or vacation, and a perfect place to share some of the creative things people can do with a post card.

You probably have your own resources to confirm the replacement value of postcards or their historical, religious or cultural significance. As lovers of postcards of course that would be your first consideration at all times, preserving what is best about postcards.

For those other postcards that have seen better days, what could be more fun than giving them a new way to shine with a few creative altering techniques those little cards can become unique pieces of art.

Main Street was a fun theme to work with but the closest thing I could find in my collection was this postcard from Hong Kong. Kind of average looking late 60s, nothing special according to my girl friend from Hong Kong who gave me permission to play.


Click photos to enlarge











Using my collection of Hong Kong postage stamps and Asian themed ephemera we were able to recreate the card with simple cutting and pasting.

















The background of the harbor was faded and damaged so I cut along the horizon line of the city and mounted the remainder of the card on to text from a newspaper and some pretty printed paper.

The decorations included, starting on the left there is flowers cut from a greeting card including the artist’s signature block, fabric dragonfly, a coin, and on the right, two Hong Kong postage stamps.













This is another example of working with an old postcard that was nice but – with the addition of a cute little fairy, flowers cut from a paper napkin and postage stamp to match the theme, just a little more whimsical.











Current Restrictions or Reality Check
Sadly we now live in a less innocent time and much of what mail art is about is on the list of things to be suspicious of. Check with your local post office to see what regulations apply to what can be sent in the mail. The sample post cards I have shown here could not travel in the modern sorting machines and would need to be posted in padded packaging.

There are many good books that provide more how to information on the subject of mail art.

Creative Correspondence by Michael & Judy Jacobs has some fun variations of postal art with very detailed instructions.

Nick Bantock’s books are some of my favorites for creative inspiration. The Griffin and Sabine series is one of the more famous publications showing examples of Mail Art.

Love Letters by Michelle Lovric is simply beautiful

Mail Me Art is a web site and published book by Darren Di Lieto who challenged illustrators and designers to create works of art on packages, envelopes, and postcards and to send them through the mail.

As we said in the beginning, all due respect should be given to preserve quality or rare postcards and postage stamps. There are images and subjects that should be maintained for historical and cultural reasons.

But then as postcards are commercially produced for the enjoyment of many, why not celebrate ! Be creative and give old postcards new opportunities to shine in a whole new light. I hope this gives you some more ideas on how to celebrate your postcards in new and different ways.

Evelyn in Montreal is hosting the Festival of Postcards with the theme of ‘signs’.She and her blogging buddies who collect vintage and interesting postcards are allowing us a peek at their treasured finds. Altered Artists, Mixed Media and Mail Art devotes are welcome to participate in our own altered style.






Creative Swap News

Chenon of the Meandering Pearl is hosting a creative postcard swap with a close date of 16 August. Her blogging friends are scattered around the globe so you are sure to meet lots of new friends via the swap. Altered revamped or creative postcards are all welcome.



Another place to check for inspiration is Mixed Media Monday.

35 comments:

meandering pearl said...

Hello!!! i love this! its got me thinking about postcards, & maybe participate in the wildlife one...i only have a couple of animals & bridges{which i love}

have a most marvellous weekend!!!

Danton said...

Yes, mailing postcard of this kind will add some cost but the handiwork will be appreciated.

Linda Manning Findley said...

Wonderful post cards Mandy ... as usual your work is outstanding ... Linda F

bettyl said...

Very clever idea! The are beautiful!

Alison Gibbs said...

What a fun thing to do with postcards
Alison

Julie@beingRUBY said...

I love this idea.. what a lot of fun. And it's looks loved, more personal than your stock postcard!Great idea.

kathie said...

I've seen mail art before and it's lovely. I especially love the bottom example in your post - it looks more like a little mini album. Stunning!

Chandelier Magic - Beach House said...

Hi Mandy - I'm so new to this... I love your postcard ideas and I can't wait to snap a photo of the sky at my favorite time - dusk. I can't seem to find the follow button on your blog - but I'll be back to search again.

Nice to meet you -

Marsha

Storybook Woods said...

I love this creative use of postcards, Clarice

Stacey Michaud said...

those are some beautiful cards! What a creative idea!

Maya said...

Beautiful and so creative!

Beach Vintage said...

I have always loved postcards. Vintage or not they are just a great novel idea.

susan said...

Mail art is new to me- at least the name. I've been adding kisses or hearts for years (hope I'm not on any susupected terrorist list :) I just miss snail mail and the art of writing a note in general!Thanks for stopping by!

SandyCarlson said...

I like what you did here. I think this is a wonderful form of collage art. I am going on vacation and will get postcards with a view to trying this.

Stephenie said...

Your postcards are just soooooo pretty...I gotta tell ya, you have such a pretty blog..Be back soon..
STephenie

Maggi said...

I am so in love with that hong Kong postcard! It's fabulous!

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

I really enjoy the idea of mail art. Nice examples you've given! I made a fabric/paper postcard as a thank you for a friend. It only traveled within the state of Virginia, but I felt "brave" mailing it without an envelope. I would like to do more of that. Thank you for the inspiration!
Thanks also for visiting me at my Magpie's Nest, I appreciate your nice comment!
~*~ Patty

Laura said...

I love the whole concept of mail art and as I have inherited an entire collection of vintage postcards....this post was intriguing! Very creative and pretty
...fun inspiration!
Take care, Laura

jojo-caramel said...

I practice Mail Art as well and i enjoy it very much. I love drawing on envelopes and decorate them. You have made such a lovely job on that Hong Kong postcard, i love it ! If never you would like to receive some postcards from Paris, let me know :)

Anne said...

Hi, Mandy! Gorgeous pieces of art that you've created from your postcards, ephemera, and other supplies. Wow! Thanks for sharing them! I especially love the Hong Kong one. Truly spectacular!

By the way, I've nominated you for The Circle of Friends Blog Award as part of my first blogoversary celebration. I appreciate your frequent visits and comments! It means so much! :-)

Teri said...

I love the Hong Kong card. So pretty. What a good idea to use up those not-so-pristine post cards that I just can't get seem to get rid of.

Eileen said...

Such a pretty blog, really!
Such a talent! I love it!

Gracie said...

Ohh fantastic! I would love to try mail art, especially because I love to receive mail too.

maminka girl- Loribeth Robare said...

love how you've recreated this postcard using different elements..wonderful idea!

thanks for stopping by my blog and your kind comments. I am enjoying seeing your beautiful corner of the world. Loribeth

Junk Sophisticate said...

Fantastic post. So many beautiful creations! Thank you for visiting my blog recently. I'm happy I popped on over to yours.

Take care,
Candy

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

That Hong Kong postcard is just amazing!

E L K said...

this was a fun post to read and your images so varied and unique...i will be making postcards at my art blog...thanks for stopping by to visit!

Relyn said...

Oh, your Asian postcard just thrilled me with its beauty and creativity. It is just wonderful. Thanks, too, for the links. I do love mail art. Griffin and Sabine have been old friends of mine for a long time now.

Sheila said...

A wonderful post! I've been trying to think of ways to do something creative with all the bits and pieces I found in my mother's house, ways of preserving and presenting them. This has helped greatly - thank you! And thank you too, for visiting my blog.

BeNotForgot said...

What fun to see you featured at Evelyn's "Festival of Postcards!" As you have seen by your visits to my blog, I L-U-V the "hobby" of creating new "beauties" from found bits and pieces of ephemera -- and I do enjoy visiting your blog to see how you have applied that practice to your creations. Thanks for visiting my home on the web. See ya again soon. Vickie in Texas

Pamela said...

I collect postcards everywhere I go. I love them but never know exactly what to do with them. I have stacks. I've even bought a few vintage cards. It seemed such a silly purchase at the time but that was before the net and before I found others that enjoy them as much as I do. You blog post is inspirational as well and reassuring.

Thanks for dropping by my blog. I hope you'll come back often and maybe one day soon I too will have some mixed media to share.

Sue McGettigan said...

You certainly elevated the 'nothing special' postcard into something very special, love it!

A Scattering said...

This is a very interesting post. Hmmmmm, it's got me thinking.....

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

Hi Mandy,
I just wanted to let you know that a Call for Submissions has just been posted here:
http://wp.me/pp92w-4Xm
for the October issue of the Festival of Postcards (dedicated to Quadrupeds).
Evelyn in Montreal

Adianca said...

Sharing such a lovely moments in Postcard is a great thing. It is a great feel. I use too get the card designs from Postcard Ninjas.