Tuesday, January 3, 2017

My Beginnings at MMSA

Several people have mentioned not receiving mail back from their "first contact" efforts.  This may be because of loss in the mail, deliberate mis-direction of the mail (which is illegal in the U.S.A. but it DOES happen sometimes), or some other glitch.  If it makes you feel any better, here's my story:

In 2013 I was restless for some creative input, some way to bring more color/form/texture into my life.  After an online search for decorated envelopes which resulted in quite a substantial subtotal in a shopping cart or two, I emptied out my cart(s), backed out of the sites, and decided to print out my own decorated envelopes using clip art found online.  Well, that wasn't enough to amuse me for long.
I don't remember the exact search I used, but when I came across the Mail Me Some Art site I was so excited!  After making several batches of post cards, I reached out to at least 40, maybe 50 people on the Informal Exchange list.  
Most of my first attempts were thick collages on photo matte backgrounds.  Yes, those are beads and real buttons, big ones, on the cards.  I didn't know any better...  (Don't ask how much each card 
cost to mail- it was daunting!)  
 There was so much I didn't know about paper arts and many different materials available now.  I didn't know about editing and cropping pictures.  I didn't know to use a white background when I photographed my art projects.  
It seemed like it took forever to hear back from anyone, but maybe that was because I was holding my breath.  (Maybe some got lost or damaged in transit.)  I'm not saying this to make anyone feel badly.  In fact, I understand now how easily a mail artist can fall behind when there is so much activity going on.  Anyway, that's why I encourage long-time members to contact some of the "newbies" on the Informal Exchange page- 
so they won't become discouraged and walk away.
Fabric cut-outs made into appliques, beads
The rest of the story is, I started sending mail art to the newer sign-up's, dubbing myself the "Unofficial Welcoming Committee."  
After a while, I found myself exchanging mail art with maybe 50 people.  Or more.  (Not all at once, of course.) 
Ink-dyed coffee filters, birthday napkin cut-out's, googly eyes, sparkly netting
So, if you send out mail and don't hear back, try, try again.  Don't give up.  Someone out there will be very delighted to hear from you.  And you might develop some wonderful, unexpected friendships with like-minded artists along the way.  Okay, that's my pep talk for the month.  
Keep on making art!  Honi


  1. I subscribe to everything Honi has said! Although it is discouraging not to hear back, it is VERY-VERY encouraging to get responses! I always reply to every bit of mail I get, yet I know some of my letters never reached the addressees. I also know several faithful correspondents whose mail I didn't receive. So I do not hesitate to try and re-establish connections. Keep on trying!

  2. Great post, and good points, Honi!

    All I've ever done here are the posted themes, but I've had great luck with them. As far as I know, all my sent cards have been acknowledged, and I try extremely hard to let others know that I've received one of theirs, as well. It makes me feel so good when someone tells me, "Hey, I got one of your cards, and I like it," because I am my own worst critic, and I think my art is, well, not so good, lol.

    BUT! If you don't put your email on the back of your card, then I can't contact you to let you know I received it, right? Right! So, please, if you aren't hearing anything about the cards you've sent out, stop and think: "Did I put my email on there???" We have the page here to let folks know if we got one of their cards, but a personal greeting is much better. Put your email on your cards!!