Luckily I've stumbled upon a unique group of people (primarily women) who consider themselves Mail Artists. I've never heard of such a group or idea until I came across the name of a book in a calligraphy catalog I order from. The book was called Good Mail Day and under the description gave the website. Hmmm....since I am a curious person I decided to check it out. The front of the book was intriguing and colorful so, why not! The website isn't as enticing as the book cover but that didn't stop me from clicking on every tab and reading every inch of the site. Then, I came upon "the list". A growing list of curious and obviously artistically talented people who have gathered together to exchange addresses and share their art with perfect strangers from around the world. Wow! People really DO write to each other. An amazing thought because in today's day and age technology is the method of choice for reasons that best fit our lifestyle! Imagine...people actually sitting down and taking time to create some unique piece of art to give to someone they don't know and will probably never ever meet. What a nice thought to want to do for a stranger. I mean really. Today most people won't even hold the door for you never mind take an hour out of their time to make something for YOU! I find this idea somewhat archaic but very impressive. What I think about this group of people is that they seem to be very sincere, honest, caring, individualistic, interesting people to want to do for complete strangers. That's an idea something out of the history books...doing something for others. We are all on this fast paced life that there is not enough time in the day to take care of the bare necessities never mind think about doing something for someone you don't even know. Fascinating! I have to say that the "strangers" I have met on the Internet and across the country have been some of the nicest most caring people I have ever met! No lie. The common red thread that brings us together are the forums that we are attracted to. Granted there are a gazillion different forums out there to tap into but what I like and am interested in in the world brings me to the home/garden/art/craft bracket. I like those blogs I have joined and the conversations I have had through them. I like the honesty that women share about their ideas and beliefs about life. It makes you feel a little less alone when you have to deal with things in your own life. I am not that confident to put all myself out there on the Internet for the world to see but what I do share I think others can connect to. Many of the women I have met are also spiritual in some form. Which makes me think deeper in that spirituality is one thread that has brought me to some blogs and sites and not the denomination of the spirituality. There is a general sense of the "common good of all people" despite what greater being is prayed to. I like that. People really do see the good in other people and judgements aren't usually made. If judgements are made there is a nice little button to the right of the keyboard called "delete".
I have sent out pieces of my own mail art and have also received some pieces of mail art. The mail art I have completed so far has been directed to family out across the country and not really to the nice strangers on "the list". However, I have connected with some strangers on "the list" of which I have received some nice pieces. Funny, when you get art in the mail you treat it as such. You don't tear open the envelope like a regular bill or magazine subscription request. You carefully get a knife and find the best least destructive way in. My collection of art pieces is on my inspiration wall. The second thing about these art pieces is that they were received on the most appropriate of days. Sometimes walking to that mailbox is like wearing lead boots but on these particular days walking back to the house I felt like I was walking on a bed of helium balloons. Excited! No doubt! Curious? Absolutely! I love what I have received and am every so grateful for those people who gave me their time. What a gift!
Most recently I received a beautiful piece of art and to my utter surprise a long, long personal letter detailing her life. I felt like I knew her right away and someone who I connected with immediately. I connected with this "stranger friend" by what she said and how she sees things in the world. Several times I had to stop and think. Along with a hand typed letter (yes, on a real typewriter) two other pieces of writing were sent. I also enjoyed this because not only did this person give me her time in the form of a long letter, time to create an envelope, but also time to send additional reading pieces. Wow! There are people out there who really extend them self out almost as if they are reaching out to shake your hand. What else could I do but respond back accordingly. I followed the lead of her letter and added my personal detours. I hope she enjoys my response as much as I enjoyed her unexpected letter and art. I like learning about people but in this day and age caution seems to be the first reaction to meeting people. I am happy to have stumbled upon such a really great group of people who care enough to share their work with complete strangers and feel pride because they know they are going to make someones day no matter what. I really like that.
Go ahead and make something out of paper or not. Slap an address of a person, friend, or family member you know on there and I can guarantee that they will be more than happy to receive your art. No matter how good or bad YOU THINK IT IS to someone on the receiving end it doesn't matter. I am sure they will think the way I think in that someone gave you their time and that is all that matters!!
Happy Writing Mail Artists!!!