Mailing Things to Strangers

It all started with a mail art call.

The Bathtub Art Museum, currently of Portland, OR, but moving soon to Texas, is holding a final mail art call: anything Portland-ish goes, provided there's a bathtub somewhere in the design.  I used to love mail art -- amusing my mailpeople with the interesting deliveries and mailing things off to be a part of something fun.

So I dug out a pack of blank watercolor postcards and decided to play along.

And it was totally fun.

Fun enough, that I hunted up one of my old mail art/penpal online haunts and decided to send a few more.  Just because.

(The postcard blanks, by the way, sucked.  Normally, I'm a "don't review the things you don't like; there's enough negativity in the world" person, but this bears mentioning: avoid ProArt's 140# cold press watercolor postcards.  There's no way this stuff is watercolor paper. Color just soaks right in without any movement, and if you go over an area with more than one wash in an attempt to fix the horrible absorption, the paper balls up instantly.  I'm only using this pack for collage from here on out, and even then, only after gessoing the surface first.  Strathmore's cards are about a gazillion times better, and only about $.30 more per pack.)

Despite substrate frustration, it was beyond fun to send these things out.  

And because I like fun stuff, I've been doing it every postal day since.  Mailing out some little sketchy bit to strangers is way more satisfying than an email, and it's giving me some practice and materials playtime, too.  Bonus score.

Today, I'm getting the last of the lists finalized for the #tornadobook mailout.

Signups close up tonight at midnight-ish (though I can probably fit you in last-minute, if you're still on the fence -- just send a message through the "contact" link up there at the top of the page), and I'm putting themes to each of the books today, too.  I'm hoping to mail them out on the new moon on the 8th, to give me time to get my pages done and dried, everything packaged and ready to go, and to confirm with all the participants.  Pictures forthcoming, once I get 'em all in the mail.

After that, I have another proposition for you.

All of these postcards are currently going to abject strangers.  I'm literally using the "random address" feature on to find US addresses for people I wouldn't know from Adam.

And while that's freeing, creatively (no pressure!), I think I'm going to start being a little more deliberate for the rest of the month-ish, too.  (#VAGUEBOOKING without the BOOK, here, clearly. :D)

Check back on Thursday.  

(::cue up the Mysterious Music::)


  1. You should totally make a book of these postcard images. I love them. So. Friggin. Much.


  2. That's totally cool! I've done a few post card type mail art exchanges and always loved the process, but I've never thought of mailing out randomly. What fun. :D