I’ve been contemplating this for a while now, but coming home to such a back-log of mail has given me some clarity.
I need to limit the number of items each person swaps.
I’ve always said “Make as many as you want” and some people send one, and some people send a dozen, and it’s all worked out wonderfully.
But as we continue to grow, I have to recognize my time limits. It takes a lot of time to scan, log, post, swap, address all of this mail. It’s pleasant work, and I enjoy it, but I need to be careful not to burn myself out.
Rather than putting any limits on the number of participants, I will limit the number of items any one person can send.
For most swaps, that number will be 4.
Certain swaps (such as the duct-tape journals or the matchboxes we did last year) take a lot more time and effort for me to document and package, so I might put a limit of 1 or 2 items on those.
I will include the specific item limit in each swap description.
This will go into effect with all future swaps. The current open swaps will remain “unlimited” since so many of you have already submitted your art.
I LOVE that these swaps get your creative juices flowing and inspire you to create. I get messages from you all the time telling me how a certain theme will really resonate with you and expand beyond the specific swap and into your journals, canvases, and other mail art.
If a future swap leads you into a late-night creativity frenzy and you end up with 20 ATCs, consider sharing them with the good folks on the “informal mail art exchange” list. It tickles me to see how many MMSA swappers have connected with each other outside of the official swaps, and have started exchanges and collaborations on their own.
Relationships and connections are what it’s all about for me. It’s what excites me about running this group and makes all the administrative work so much fun. Yes, it’s glorious to see all this art in person and be able to hold it and be inspired by it, but even more rewarding to me is getting to know you all through your art, your notes, your comments and emails. Art friendships are real and sustaining, and I thank each and every one of you for enriching my life!