Checking our mailbox in America has become a singularly boring and depressing experience. Letters and cards from loved ones have turned into emails and facebook posts, packages have become our own internet purchases and there are virtually no surprises in store. Most of what shows up in my mailbox are bills, junkmail and letters from the school. The United States Post Office is floundering in the wake of electronic communication and online billpay.
There is, however, an answer. Mail art! There is nothing I love more than the expectation of art coming in the mail. Many artists and groups online participate in mail art swaps. Not only do you get a little piece of someone else's art, get to interact with people all over the world, but you can once again look forward to your mail! If you have not joined a swap group online I highly recommend it. It helps me to focus by giving me a specific assignment and goal, keeps me on task through mail deadlines, enables me to try new techniques and projects and gives me a look at others people's creative ideas. It reminds me a lot of being back in the classroom without all the stress of grades, criticism, and failures.
You can find many online art groups through Yahoo. There are also online websites dedicated to mail art. Two of my favorites are Red Lead Swap Sisters on Yahoo and artfortytwo.org. The swaps are varied in project and media. I have swapped everything from dottee dolls to artist trading cards (the most popular art swap). People swap craft supplies, cards, paper dolls, art dolls, chuncky pages, inches, twinchies, mini albums, mini zines, altered books, tag art, envies and ATC's. If any of these terms are Greek to you then jump into the wonderful workl of mail ar. So be creative, support your local post office and for goodness sake begin to look forward to your mail again