What is MMSA?
Mail Me Some Art was started by Karen Isaacson back in 2012 as a way to encourage new artists to share their work, and a way to connect artists to each other. For three years she single handedly ran all the swaps, but in 2015 other members stepped up to the plate and volunteered to guest-host some of the swaps. In the autumn of 2017, Honi Chassin began to assume responsibility for maintaining the site and managing the blog posts, supervising the group swaps. If you are interested in hosting a swap, just send Honi an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
How do the swaps work?
The swap theme, host information and due date is posted on the blog. Participants create art according to the theme and send your items to the host along with the cost of return postage. The host photographs all the art, and emails it to me so I can post the pictures here with the names of the artist. The host then swaps all the art, mailing something back to everyone who participated.
Why do it this way?
If you've ever participated in other organized swaps on-line you probably received a list of addresses and mailed your work directly to your fellow swappers. And if you've ever participated in a swap like that, you've probably experienced the frustration of putting a lot of time and effort into your artwork and getting nothing in return. Everyone signs up for swaps with the best of intentions, but sometimes life gets in the way - whether it's workload, illness, or absentmindedness. No one means to do it, but it happens. But if you've sent out 10 pieces of art expecting to get 10 pieces in return, it's pretty disappointing when people flake out and don't do their part. By sending your art to a host you are guaranteed to get something in return. Only people who submit art get something back. You send one postcard to your host, you get one postcard back. You submit four postcards, you get four postcards from four different artists back.
Do I have to post my address on line?
No. You only ever have to share your address with your host. Make sure you include a return address label in your envelope for each piece of art you created. Your host will adhere those labels to the pieces of art you are going to receive. If you want to include your contact information on your swap item feel free. The person who receives your piece may wish to send you something in return or email you a quick thanks.
How do I find out about new swaps?
New swaps will be announced as a blog post, and linked to the "open swaps" page (tab at the top). Sometimes new swaps are also posted to Facebook on the MMSA face book page. You can sign up for periodic newsletters announcing new swaps, look to the right side bar of this blog page.
How do I join a swap?
If you want to participate in a group swap, just start creating art according to the swap theme, and mail it to the host by the deadline. There's no need to sign up or announce your intent to join.
How so you handle the return postage?
You, as the artist, include postage to cover the costs for mailing your art to another swapper. Postage specifications are listed in the details of each swap announcement, but in most cases you simply apply a stamp to the postcard you created, leaving the address area blank. Your host will adhere a mailing label for another artist and then drop your card in the mail. If you live outside of the US, contact the specific host for the swap you want to join to discuss your options. Some hosts will let you send money via Paypal to cover the cost of international postage.
I'm not an experienced artist. In fact I don't even like to use the word artist about myself. Can I still participate?
YES! YES! YES! This is not a competition. This is not about who's better, or who's published, or who makes a living from their art. This is about getting good mail. Don't worry about what other people are making. Give us your best effort. Make something you enjoy making. If it's handmade and from the heart, it will be joyfully received. And the more things you make and share, the more experienced you become. Your skills will continue to grow and your confidence will grow too.