I got fed up of posts on my facebook wall, so I thought I'd close my facebook account and get back to my blogging roots so I set this site up to receive REAL post. From REAL people. Any post sent to me will be put up here and photographed every day until new mail comes in. Don't forget to click on each photo to go through to it's flickr page where you will find full annotations.
- Your REAL Wall
- Featured Artists
- Mailart Shows
- Little Big Stories
- Browse more categories
- 5-picture story
- Benjamin Shaw Designs
- Boo Cartledge
- Cappuccino And Art
- Chuck Scalin
- Clara Yoon
- Engagement ring
- Escape Artists
- Gabby Cooksey
- Honourable mention
- i'm a superhero i can like fly and shit
- jennifer zoellner
- Katerina Nikoltsou
- L-plate Big Cheese
- Lady L
- Little big stories
- mailart call
- mailart show
- My Extraordinary Imagination
- Noah Scalin
- pimp my photos
- Plays The Thing
- rachel Freeman
- Royal Mail
- send me your status
- The 100
- Tracy's topics
- Twitter Art Exhibit
...and loads of great postal prezzies for us!
Check out the gems from Camel (30 minutes to open - Airplane repair tape!), Louise (she's discovered she's quite an artist and is sending me her mailart 12 once a month) and Paula (Inner Child)
Other artists in the mix are Douglas Galloway (addressed to Elena - yay! I still owe you one Douglas, I'll get round to it I promise!), Pierpaolo, Feltypants, Ria and Ammy.
Some of these are coming to Romania with us this Christmas!
It's Christmas Eve and I was at work this morning. It's not all bad of course, as obviously there wasn't really a great deal to do, but the worst bit was thinking that I would get no REAL mail when I got home.
How wrong I was! When I got home, I had so much post I couldn't open the door properly! Didn't I say that MailArt365 was an inbox explosion!
In amongst these gems are Cameloramas superb stiched #1 and his superscary post with pimp-up dollar (which Elena has given me strict instructions to "hurry up and put that up so I can hide it at the bottom of the postcard box and never see it again"), one from Snookie and Angie, 2 from Box 652 ("Missiletoe" and "Eyes"), a new years wish card from Rebecca Resinski
Elena received one addressed to her (she does feel somewhat in my postal shadow) from a new quilling contact called Martinaquill whose work has really inspired her. That's the first bit of quilling she's ever received in the post!
Not enough time to post a proper REAL wall today, but wanted you all to know that your work has arrived. All these pieces will be making their way with us on holiday this Christmas, so keep your eyes peeled!
As most of you know, I've been running mailart365 since December 1st, so the amount of mailart I'm putting out (and receiving) has gone up astronomically in the last month. I had hoped this would lead to more REAL walls as my mailart started hitting the walls of mailartists the world over.
This was the first sighted postcard on someone elses wall, over at the Coffee and Cappuccino art blog. Pamela is an artist in San Francisco and a late entrant to mailart 365
Maybe I've not been quite clear enough, but I'd love to see pics of my post when it arrives on your walls too! Happy Christmas!
Since discovering skulladay, I've been meaning to make a skull wall and today I finally got round to it! A REAL skull wall of mailart and postcards.
Can you spot your postcards in it?
With Mailart365 in full swing now and nearly 2 weeks in, mailart is coming in from many of the participants already. I'm really honoured to welcome so many of their #1/365's onto my REAL wall today, including the very first piece made for the project by JJalltheway, Postmuse's hilarious Frosty regrets, Mim's Colour experiment with Carolina Wren and Katerina Nikoltsou's #1
The wall also displays Camel's REAL wall 2.0 prominiently, as well as a piece of mailart from a school in Zionsville. I still owe them a piece and hope that they get a few more for their efforts. Their call can be seen, along with all the other mailart calls I receive from schools on my side blog Schoolswaps
It's rare that I get a piece that dominates the whole wall as I do try and make sure that everyone gets an equal showing.
However, this piece from Edie S made equality a little tough!
The poster, a limited edition mailart-inspired piece is so good to look at that it may well spend a little while up there.
At the moment, Pola's piece is complemented by a knitted brooch from Okadascat, our favourite yarn bomber, and an old piece from Mim, which has been on our fridge for months. It fell off just as I was making this piece, which I took to be a sign that it wanted to get involved in this shot.
With mailart365 in full swing, mine and Elena's time has been mainly devoted to making mailart to go out rather than displaying the incoming stuff.
Today I had so much mailart to catch up on, that it didn't all fit on my wall. In amongst the mailart there is my first postcrossing from Belarus and my first postcard from Michalis Kotsaris, a Greek Mailartist whose work took my breath away when I saw it on IUOMA.
Katerina Nikoltsou, another Greek mailartist and mailart365 contributor was the first mailartist through the postbox and her envelope made it on, but her piece will be on the next wall.
I included the advent calendar too, as Elena had never had an advent calendar before. Being Romanian, they don't have advent calendars, and last yearit didn't occur to me to get one, so this year she's experiencing daily chocolate every day for the first time. I'm not sure I really approve of this.
Much of the wall is taken up by pimped photos from Dodo. I sent him a bunch of photos a while back for pimping and interestingly he chopped EVERYTHING up, including the envelope and mailart I sent for him and glued it together with various extras! It was great!
Under the date, you can see the beginning of "The Swarm" by Cornpone. A fascinating idea, but I only have a small inkling of what is happening on this one...
Postmuse and Camel O'Rama are also represented in pre-mailart365 pieces here, as is DosankoDebbie, an etigami artist based in Japan. Take a look at her site, she goes from strength to strength!
This week has been a stellar week for mailart, with Mailart365 kicking off today like a whirlwind! Such a vibrant community of mailartists with a mission!
In the post this week is a nice mix of mailartists, postcrossing and schoolkids!
It's a great mix too, Camel sent me the template for the tattoo on his leg, B sent me a huge surprise package complete with some rubber stamps from Bethlehem, PA and we see the return of Cornpone, who has sent me a very slightly different wasp as part of "The Swarm"
Great to see so many mailartists creating their first ever pieces. B sent her first self-made postcards, and a 13 year old from a school in Wandsworth sent me his first piece.
What I'd really like is for people to send more postcards to these schoolkids and encourage mailart at grassroots level.
This schools address will be put up on *yet another) mailart that I run at the moment and I'd love it if readers could send a postcard to them. The blog is called School swaps and I post up all the addresses of classes seeking mailart that I receive there. Please give it a visit and send any addresses there if you get them!
Me and Elena decided to drive up to the Peak District this weekend. Perhaps this wasn't the most wise idea, me suffering from a terrible cold and all, but I spluttered my way through and we were rewarded with the beautiful snowswept scenery you see before you.
Thanks to all of you who sent mail, which came with us. It was so cold on Friday night and not once did I consider using any of your mailart as firewood. Oh no not me.
This weekend me and Elena hired a car and drove north. Stopping off in Oxford to see my brother, we decided it only humane to take your postcards out to see the sights.
Camel, Louise Dodo and Ammy, your cards are in front of the Radcliffe Camera, which was the idea of John Radcliffe, a great Oxford physician (the hospital in Oxford is called the John Radcliffe). He wanted to build a library and today the Rad Cam, as it's locally known, houses the Radcliffe Science Library
Last week I had an idea - I would make mailart every day for a year. Simple idea really, and a 365 that I thought I could stick to, with a little help from my friends as I have very poor willpower myself.
So I merrily toddled off and bought mailart365.com, and invited some people along for the ride.
Most of the mailartists who have signed up to join me in this marathon endeavour are people who are long time fans of my REAL wall, and there are one or two surprises thrown in too.
Today's REAL wall is a homage to the people who are coming along for the ride and contains post from as many of them as I have post from.
The participants list so far can be seen on the site at mailart365.blogspot.com, and includes Postmuse, Mim4art, Katerina Nikoltsou, L-Plate Big Cheese, Rejin Leys and Elena
Up in the middle of the central column is Elenas latest piece, a quilled skull. This skull was made for Mim4art's son Noah Scalin, who runs Skull-a-day and this is Elenas contribution - you saw it here first!
The large black piece is extremely fragile and rarely sees the light of day. This was found by L-plate on holiday in Portugal. Apparently it was given to her as a sickbag on a ferry, and strangely, each one had been intricately decorated by someone with Tippex/whiteout! One of my lesser known collections is a collection of sickbags, and so people I know tend to bring me sickbags (unused) from their holidays, and this is a true gem. In case you're thinking of sending me one, please make sure it's not soiled or blank, as it's jsut depressing when it looks like a sanitary bag.
A cheeky one to include on this wall is a mailartist called Valentine Mark Herman, a French mailartist. It's still not clear whether Valentine will be submitting for mailart 365, but he is currently doing a 365 of sorts where he sends envelopes that he sends to himself, one a day for a year. It's art. It goes in the mail. It lasts a year. So who knows maybe he'll come around to the idea...
Not much post in this week, and I have been really busy organising my newest mailart project, Mailart 365 at the moment.
Among the posts this week comes one from Camel-o-rama, a Seattle-based tattoo artist and postcrosser. This awesome piece is a design for someones tattoo, and has got Elena badgering me to have a tattoo again. Who knows you may see a Camel-o-rama special on my REAL skin one day.
The Homer Simpson post comes from Lorraine Kwan. Lorraine's last post was a pimped photo that she sent from Vancouver a few months back and this time she's pimped up Homer, oggling some Dim Sum buns.
The Okadascat piece next to that is a favourite of mine and Elena's, so much so that it is used as a bookmark most the time and travels around with us daily.
The Sweet Raisin post comes from one of my oldest REAL friends. Not old as in OLD (I have to clear that up before Louise beats me) but old as in, I've known her since I was about 5 years old, and we're still friends. Imagine that!
Of the remaining items, there is a letter from British Gas, apologising for the terrible customer service they put me and Elena through over the last few months. Having cut us off for a mistake that was none of our fault, they took 2 months to replace our gas supply, and finally they have held their hands up and admitted that they could have done better. The letter is a long overdue apology, in which they refunded us some of the money that we spent, and they also bought us a pair of tickets to see the Lion King in the West End. They also bought Elena a large bouquet of flowers 2 weeks ago, so I think we can consider that issue closed now.
Look closely and you'll see a little bride, so you know what I've been thinking about for the last week. The date has now been set for our wedding - 19th March! Yay!
Mim has been a long time contributor to my REAL wall and is a co-conspirator when it comes to mailart talks. It was partly because of her that I started giving lectures in mailart, so I thought it was only right to send a postcard to her designed by my students from my mailart lecture.
The big green Male art card in the centre was drawn by one of my students in a recent lecture. She had assuemd that my talk was going to be on MALE art as opposed to female art (or mailart) and hence the pic.
Nice to see it made it up on to Mims REAL wall all the way over there in Richmond, VA.
Here's what Mim has to say about the whole thing:
My REAL wall is a jumble. I hesitate to remove anything because it's like a house of cards with one thing propped on another's pushpin or sharing pins. Plus, I like looking at things for a long time, remembering who sent them to me, like the little Dutch shoes, or keep things at hand like my MimPost stamps or the collage going into an exhibit.
One day, I'll take it all down and start fresh, or not.
Our favourites wall has stayed pretty static for a while, and Elena decided to change things around a bit. The thing about this wall is that we need sticky velcro to stick things on, so it's a bit of a pain to change, but Elena has changed a little since the last time. Have you made it on?
Always a pleasure to come home and find that Elena has put up a REAL wall in the house.
On Friday, I got home and Elena had tidied the place up. She gets Friday off, so she decided to tidy up the piles of post that were lying around waiting to be posted up.
There were some real gems among the piles of post. Benjamin Shaw from Australia has sent one of his self-designed envelopes to the wall with a card. You can find more of his designs on his site, which is on something called "facebook" whatever that is.
Mim Scalin and me have been chatting a lot lately. I didn't make the connection, but she is related to Noah Scalin, the one behind Skull-a-day, one of my favourite craft blogs. At the moment, both me and Elena are hatching our skullduggery for him, so watch that site for our stuff, and pretty soon you'll be seeing another new project by me inspired by Noah launching.
In the top right corner is a letter addressed to "Employees of my REAL wall" - it seems that a local gym has got hold of the address of my REAL wall and has offered any employees of mine a discount. Which is rather nice of them.
Ammys REAL wall is below a pic by Rebecca, who is one of Elena's favourite regulars. Even since she wraped up her sky project, we've still kept in touch, which is a great thing.
Early this week me and Elena were invited by L-plate Big Chese for a postcard dinner.
Yesterday, we went over to her house, via the Garden Museum, which is just around the corner from her place.
Still wondering what the heck a postcard dinner was, we sat down in the Russian kitchen at about 2.
After making sure that we were properly settled in with smoked Sprats and a fresh loaf of bread, L-plate explained the concept.
"Today's meal is made from postcards I found in my Russian grannies attic" she started, "she kept a load of postcard of recipes in Russian and when I saw them I just knew I had to invite you over for dinner!"
An excellent idea, and so great to know that postcards can inspire dinner invites and bring people together. In case you're wondering, we had Котлеты "Украина" с соус-винегрет и Троядна украинсрая, and if you want the recipe, then I'm sure that L-plate would be happy to oblige!
my REAL wall has always been about connecting to people and since it began I've loved not just seeing what comes through the postbox but also what people bring me. It's been great seeing how creative my friends are, and this one made me laugh.
Me and Elena were out with L-plate Big Cheese, who put together the phenomenally successful "Tetris Tetris Everywhere" gallery on flickr. I've known L-plate since we met in Romania in 2004 and she's a huge fan of my REAL wall. Having read that Elena was learning quiLLing on my twitter feed, she decided to make Elena a little present, adapted from a quit smoking campaign mug.
However, as quiLLing is not a particularly well-known art, L-plate had assumed that Elena was into quiLTing and put one of her custom L-plates on the mug, so that it now reads "Serious about quiLTing?". D'oh. Quitting. Quilting. Quilling. Chuh!
Keep your eyes on your postboxes for some of Elena's quilling, as she is on a roll at the moment. And not a quilt or a cigarette in sight.
Also on the table today are a postcrossing from the US and a letter of thanks from Katie R, who has started to get her pupils into mailart at school.
In the background is a cheque from British Gas, which nearly ends the British Gas Saga. After more than 2 months they finally put back our gas meter and sent us a bouquet of flowers and possibly a pair of tickets to a west end show by means of apology, as well as this cheque, which compensates some of the costs that we had to waste. I'll keep the grumbles aside though, as we now have gas and some compensation, so we can say that this saga is closed at last.
As a former teacher, I love to see students getting involved in mailart, and lately I've been lucky enough to be on the receiving end of some of the mailart produced.
Todays posts on the REAL wall come totally from schools, one in the UK and one in Indiana in the US.
The one from Indiana is in the centre, a mailart call called "Where do you belong?" To contribute to this, write to
c/o Mandy Jared
Zionsville High School
1000 Mulberry Street
All of the pieces on the outside are the fruits of my mailart lecture a while back. One of the student art teachers who attended is now working at a school called Glenthorne, and has taken up mailart as a way to get the students into art.
I have a confession to make about Glenthorne. I was very surprised to find a bunch of post from Glenthorne in my postbox, as I myself taught in that school 6 years ago in exactly the same circumstances! When I was training to be a physics teacher, Glenthorne was the first school I was sent to and I have a lot of love for the place, so thanks to all of the students there who sentn mailart my way - I think it's great!
A while ago, someone called Ann contacted me about putting up her mailart call on my REAL wall and I agreed to do so as it sounded intriguing.
Ann is part of a photography class is Zionsville, Indiana in the USA and as part of their course they have decided to make and send out their own postcards and they asked me to post their poster for their mailart call on my REAL wall, which I will do.
The mailart call theme is "Where do you belong?" (in society, the world, your role, where you would like to live).
To contribute, send your interpretation to
c/o Mandy Jared
Zionsville High School
1000 Mulberry Street
Good luck with that and I'll be sending something your way soon!
All the cards on todays wall are from REAL wall regulars, 3 of whom have only caught my attention in the last 3 or 4 months.
Mim, whose card on the right hand side, is a mailart and post fanatic from Richmond, who gave me some great ideas when I was putting my mailart lectures together. She's been lecturing on the subject of mailart for a while and is someone really good to know if you are thinking of talking about mailart.
The remaining mailartists, Dewi and B on the left hand side and Valentine Mark Herman in the middle, came to my attention in the last few months.
Dewi was highly praised in the first mailart lecture by the students who were very impressed by his consistent and subtle artwork, which I admit passed me by the first time. On having this artwork pointed out to me, I took a closer look and realised it was actually damn good. Too subtle for me the first time!
B writes words, so I usually bring her stuff with me on the bus to work. This time the front of the postcard is a collage of veterinary stickers that were destined for the dumpster. I personally rather liked the effect, although B thought it could have been better. Enclosed in the envelope were also a bunch of photos, that I will be sending off to people for pimping soon and will put them up when they come back. If you want them send me an email or comment and I'll send them to you for pimping!
Valentine Mark Hermann is one of the most active mailartists on the scene at the moment and always makes me laugh. This time his work shows a scary tyrannosaurus who has an even scarier big brother. Yikes!
On our trip to Dublin it rained every single day, so opportunities to stick your cards on walls were scarce.
It just so happened that on the day we walked past James Joyce's house on the way to the Lansdowne stadium, the rain stopped for a moment and I decided that this was a sign.
Whipping out your postcards and some blu-tac, me and Elena rushed in to post your cards hastily on James Joyces front door.
This was the first time we saw James Joyces house, as after this we kept noticing plaques around the city saying "James Joyce lived here from xxxx to xxxx"
With all that moving around, it's little wonder that he ended up writing a homage to the Odyssey
It's been a while since the last time that your postcards got me in trouble, but this one got me a telling off from a security guard.
Me and Elena have just spent the week in Dublin, Southern Irelands capital, where we've just been recharging our batteries and taking your postcards for a walk.
In the corridor of the gallery, they had set up a few tables and chairs with crayons and A4 paper. Being on an artistic bender at the moment, I decided I had to draw, and knocked out that pic on the left.
Deciding to leave it there, I pinned it to the display and thought it would look a whole lot better with a load of your postcards, but couldn't bring myself to remove all the great stuff by the kids, hence why your postcards are barely visible!
Anyway, the telling off came when I got my camera out to photograph the scene. Just as I took the shot, a security guard came over and said, "No photography allowed in the building" and looked at me sternly.
Anyone would think I was trying to take a picture of the Caravaggio that they have on display and not crayon drawings by under-10s!
Anyway, I left feeling very pleased with myself after having created this piece, until Elena said "Maybe you should have signed that 'By Andy, aged 30' to give it a little perspective against the other pieces there"
She knows how to put me in my place!
At the moment, Elena and I are going on a lot of walks through the autumnal countryside of southern Britain in our weekends.
Most of the time we leave the house, we take a bunch of postcards with us too, so that they can share the view. After all, England has some of the most wonderful countryside.
Today we walked from Woldingham to Oxted in Surrey, on one of the most beautiful routes we've ever walked. The autumn leaves blazed deep red lining the wood fllor and this route was puncuated at intervals with tranquil and beautiful ponds which took our breath away.
Unfortunately for you, I forgot to pack my trusty blu-tac, which would have allowed me to stick your postcards on trees and that sort of thing, so you'll have to miss all these sights and content yourself with a humorous roadsign that we saw instead, which was about the only place I could safely park your postcards.
Sorry about that folks!
Me and Elena always take a few of your cards out for walks with us when we go out. This week we got a Halloween card from B, who has sent at least one a month for the last few months.
Apparently Halloween is huge over in the states, but over here, we're still just starting to get it. I actually still don't get it, hence today's REAL wall is not at all scary. Halloween in the UK is still very much a costume party I feel, as it's an import really. Personally, I've never known what happens if you say "trick" - do you get beaten up or something?
I never done trick or treat as a child myself. Growing up in Thamesmead in south London, knocking on someones door and asking for money was a ticket to getting your head kicked in, so I never really quite understood what the whole thing was about.
The other artists who will be having a happy halloween tonight with a glow in their bellies for appearing on my REAL wall are Mim, who has been really encouraging about my mailart lectures, Dewi, who has a few new fans as a result of the lectures and Ammy from Singapore.
Ammy has sent me a cool pic of her wardrobe and wall covered in postcards. One of them is mine, hence why it is also todays your REAL wall!
So it's a pic of someone elses wall on my wall. I think I may just send her a pic shortly, and see how long we can keep this joke going...
Second from bottom is a postcrossing from Natasha from Belarus. That's my first ever card from Belarus so thanks and happy Halloween to you too Natasha!
Ammy has been a long time correspondent with my REAL wall and I am proud to say that I'm on her postcard list, so when she goes away I get postcards from exotic places. Recently I sent Ammy a card for her wall and you can see that she's now run out of wall space, so mine is on her wardrobe. Ammy is on her way to Macau and Hong Kong soon, so keep your eyes peeled for some more post from the far east soon.
This is the second pic of one of Ammy's walls with one of my postcards that I've received from Ammy's camera, the first one shows that Ammy is as keen on postcards as I am!
I'd love to know who sent some of those other pieces - is that a Grthink piece on the main wall perhaps?
All of these pieces were made in my second mailart lecture by my students. We didn't have long to create, but that's one of the nice things about mailart - it doesn't need to take a long time to create a masterpiece! These will all be sent out this week along with my own lecture slides, so watch your postboxes.
My second REAL wall of the night (I must stop taking these shots at night with naff cameras) show my lecture slides for my second mailart lecture. Strangely, you readers will be the first and last people ever to see all these slides in the same place at the same time, as I never got around to showing all of these.
Being that it was a Friday, I was totally exhausted by the time the lecture came around, and I totally forgot what I was meant to say. In the end, I ended up showing off some of your mailart, which was already on the wall, which I get very animated about as you can imagine, then set the students off making their own.
Less work for me and more production for them - makes sense for everyone and sometimes less is indeed more. I may not have covered everything I did in the first lecture, but it was still great fun and I got a whole bunch of postcards made, which you will see in the next REAL wall of the night
The first of 3 REAL walls tonight and the first to be taken on my new iPod to test it out. As you can see, it doesn't handle low light too well, which isn't altogether surprising.
Most times when me and Elena go on a long trip, we take along some of your postcards for the trip too, and this weekend we went away with my best mate Stew to the New Forest in Hampshire, down to the south. All of the postcards on the first of tonight's walls came with us, as they all went up in this weeks mailart lecture, but we had such a great time riding horses and mountain bikes that we forgot to put up any REAL walls on the trees or amongst the autumn leaves.
We hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive us...
My REAL wall today contains a whole lot of things that have brought a smile to my face this week and I want to walk you through some of them in detail.
Last week I ran my first mailart lecture at the university that I work at, and as a result I've received a lot of supportive mailart and post. All of the pieces I received mention the lecture and it's been such a pleasure to know that mailart has touched so many people.
Feltypants, who sent me the postcard in the top right was one of the mailartists that was with me in the very first Twitter #mailart swap, and we have become regular correspondents, both by mailart and on twitter. Earlier this month, Feltypants said to me "Mailart absolutely gave me the confidence to pursue my art & painting. It was a great way to test out showing my work to others & I got great feedback, wouldn't be arting now without that" How's that for praise of the art!
Another contributor to the #mailart project was @museumnerd, whose cut out mask can be seen in the centre. This is on display again, because I aent it by Royalmail a few months to a friend, who was meant to take it to Dubai to do some REAL walls. However, it got lost in the post, and 2 months later, via a message on Twitter to @Royalmail, I got it back today!
In the top right hand corner is my new mobile phone case, which was handmade by S.P. Grimm, who goes under the name KapomCrafts on Etsy. I only started getting into Etsy this week and made my first purchase from Pal Grimm this week, who customised an iPhone case for my Motorola Milestone/Droid and sent it out so quickly. Elena loves my case and has now confiscated it until her own Etsy case comes through. Meh.
B, The Snail Mailer and my newest regular writer has written again to put me straight on a few issues. Last time I received a postcard from B, who lives in Bethlehem, PA, I had assumed that PA stood for Pasadena. Apparently it stands for Pennsylvania. Yes yes I know I'm a dumb Brit, but honestly we don't hear much about Pennsylvania where I live. I've now found out that Pasadena is actually in California, so I consider myself now educated. B has also included a handy map, which I shall revise thoroughly next time I make any comments on American states.
The quilled pieces are made by Elena, who is learning to quill at the moment. She's getting better and better, and is putting all her creations up on her flickr site. Drop by and give her some encouragement!
The other postcards were donated to me by Stevie at work. At she heard I collect postcards, she decided that she should give me all the postcards she had, and I thought that that deserved a spot on the wall.
The fish in the background was drawn by my best mate Stew, who looked after our fish when we went on holiday a few months ago. When I came back, he had drawn a fish on our whiteboard that made us both smile, and I've never had the heart to erase it.
With all the great stuff I've got from distant and close friends, it's hard not to feel loved. That's why this wall makes me particularly happy.
And with all this support, I felt like it was time to do something amazing myself. Last week during my mailart lecture I said I had always been uncomfortable with drawing. However, my students were so encouraging about my artistic abilities, that I left feeling an urge to overcome my fear of drawing.
Inspired by Stan Sakai's wonderful comic "Usagi Yojimbo" I decided to go home and put pencil to postcard and made my first ever REAL drawing, which was of Usagi himself!
So fired up was I after that, that I went on to draw Katsuichi from Usagi Yojimbo too. I'm really proud of them and I'm even more proud that my students have made an artist out of me.
The support that mailartists give each other is great, and I hope that through my REAL wall and my lectures and shows that more people can discover their inner artist.
Me and Elena went to Thames Ditton this afternoon for a talk and short film about Oxfams latest campaign against climate change.
After the presentation, we walked over to Hampton Court Palace and posted your postcards on a wall at the Great Gatehouse.
From top to bottom, we see cards from
Bianca Jagoe from Australia, who runs Goodnight Little Spoon, and in my opinion is a wonderful doodle artist. She's far too modest about her talents I feel as well!
Heleens great Pimped card (I pulled this out for the show this week and remembered how great it was, so just had to take it out again)
Katie R, IUOMA's newest mailartist, who is only starting to get the thrill of mailart in her mailbox. Those first ones will stay with you forever I promise you!
An Oxfam campaign petition postcard against climate change, which I'll send to Chris Hulme MP
Feltypants' new card which came in this morning just as we were leaving our house. This piece is fab, and echoes my own work, with a transparent slide embedded within a slit card. Great execution Feltypants, I love it!
Katerina Nikoltsou from Greece, one of the most active mailartists of the moment.
Elena had to do a little work today. Luckily she works in Kew Gardens so I
decided to take your postcards out for a walk.
I put this lot up by myself, and it was a little windy. Just after I took
the pic, a massive gust of wind blew 2 of the postcards off and towards the
lake. By some fluke I managed to catch them both with one swipe of my arm
just as they flew off the fence, or it would have been curtains for
Feltypants and Katie R. Phew!
I got 2 gems in the post today and they couldn't have come from 2 different people.
The first one was a small handmade postcard from Katie R, one of my students from my first mailart lecture, which I took earlier in the week. I was so pleased to receive some post from that class as it's always so easy to say you've been inspired, but another thing altogether to prove it! This had me beaming from ear to ear.
In addition to sending me a card, Katie also joined IUOMA earlier this week and has been really active. I feel like a proud father to IUOMAs newest mailartist.
The other package came from the opposite end of the spectrum altogether, as it comes from Ruud Janssen, who is in fact the father of IUOMA, who set up the International Union of Mailartists and has run the site since. The first and last in one place at the same time.
Ruud kindly sent in a huge package of historical pieces from the mailart archives of TAM, his mailart project for me to use in my lecture.
Sadly it arrived a little late for the lecture that it was intended to provide for, but luckily...I've been invited to do another next Friday! Yay!
If you missed your chance to be in the first lecture and want your work to be seen by my next group of students, send it to the usual address...
my REAL wall
PO Box 63138
I dropped by the art class today at work on the way to the post office and
they were making casts of clingfilm and sellotape and putting them out in
the soil outside beneath a tree. I couldn't resist adding a bit of my
outgoing mailart to them.
These bits will be appearing in some of your postboxes soon...
I got a lovely post from @Feltypants today, sent from her annual camping trip
Obviously, after a long trip the plate needed a bit of a wash, but I couldn't wait til it had dried before I photographed it and put it up here.
my REAL wall - 12 October 2010 - The First Mailart Lecture slides, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.
Today I ran my first ever mailart lecture for the Art teaching students at my university.
After chatting with Jo, the senior lecturer about mailart a few weeks ago, it was decided that I should introduce it to the students and that they wold keep their journals in mailart form.
I decided that the lecture should show as much mailart as possible, and decided that instead of wasting all that lovely postcard joy, I would use the medium of mailart to creat the slides and then send them out straight after the show to the mailartists who had been kind enough to send things in for the show.
This meant that every time I ran the talk, which is scheduled to be once a year, I will need to make the whole thing again, and each presentation will be unique.
The session went down really well, students realising that the medium, with it's dimensions and it's constructive community, would be really good for some students in their classes.
By the end of the session, we had made some first cards, and some students had already taken the addresses of some of the mailartists on display with the intention of sending them something.
So here, for the first and last time, presented in the style of the PowerPoint Slide Sorter view are my slides for this session, roughly in the order they were presented.
At the bottom are the first two submissions from the art teachers themselves, and I hope to receive a few more in time.
All of these cards will be sent out shortly, so watch your inboxes!
Tomorrow is the big day - I'm holding a lecture with Art teachers on the topic of mailart.
So far the plan is pretty sketchy, but tonight will be what the Romanians call "A white night", meaning an all-nighter of mailart fun for me. I decided that I wanted to present the trainee teachers with a view of mailart using mailart as my medium of transmission. Instead of using Powerpoint and that sort of thing, I would present everything in 6x4 postcards, which I will be up all night making. Then when the lecture is over, I'll send them all off to my contributors.
And that's where you guys come in. I want to say a huge thank you to all the mailart community who have rallied to my side for this call, and this is what came in in a week for my call.
First and foremost, thank you to Ruud Janssen, the man behind IUOMA, who sent me his book of mailart statements, which is a fascinating read. 28 years in mailart and also a physics teacher to boot.
The mailartists on this wall today exemplify what mailart is about. Each piece of post is an expression of their art, and through sharing the pieces find completion in a sense.
Ruud has selflessly run IUOMA, the International Union of Mailartists since 1988, which connects mailartists around the world. He's been doing mailart since 1980, which is when I was born (sorry Ruud)
The other mailart is captioned on flickr (click on the pic then hover over the picture to see where they came from)
Thanks again and wish me luck!
my REAL wall - September 29, 2010 - Mailart and me and some exciting mailart news!, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.
I feel guilty that I still haven't taken the time to do the Sudoku mailart, as I suspect that there is a very clever postcrossing reference number in there as the other side has LOTS of references to NL (The Netherlands) and there are 6 boxes to fill. I just don't want to ruin the effect!
In addition to the new postcrossings on the wall (from Brazil and Turkey as well as the US and Finland) I have some great private swaps from Ammy (Singapore) and from a contributor in Bethlehem, PA.
Down at the bottom are two piece of mailart from regular mailart contacts @okadascat and @grthink, who are incidentally great follows on Twitter.
Grthink is the person who first introduced me to mailart after responding to an ad I put on gumtree a year ago. After pointing me to postcrossing, he then showed me the way to mailart and I found my way onto IUOMA
Since that fateful day nearly 2 years ago, I can honestly say that mailart has heavily changed my life. Whereas before I discovered mailart, I was a science and technology person with a passing interest in art, I can now say I am an artist. Mailart has done this.
For me, art lessons at school were always a nightmare. I couldn't draw to save my life and I wasn't raised in an artistic family where images and sounds were valued. I could look at something and say it was quite nice, and I still do, but no more than that.
When it came to critiquing or creating art, I could not do it. Throughout school I was hopeless at art and deemed by the teachers to be a non-starter. So I gave up on it and labelled myself a scientist. Heck, so much so I became a physics teacher!
When I found out about mailart, I decided to give it a go. Instead of having a cynical-eyed art teacher looking over my shoulder and creating works that were "just not good enough" suddenly I was creating works that were bringing a smile to peoples faces all over the world. They would show their appreciation by putting something cool back in the post to me and by posting on my blog. my REAL wall, along with IUOMA and you people out there made this happen.
I found in the REAL world, that REAL people don't need perfect lines or subtle chiaroscuro or whatever the hell it was that my art teacher wanted me to do. They wanted pretty pictures in the morning made by another human being that expressed whatever I wanted to express at the time.
This was my liberation.
I still can't paint. I still can't draw. But I photograph and I rubber stamp and I do things on 6x4 inches that I wouldn't dare on a larger canvas. On top of all that, I put together all your works and stick them on my wall all the time, thus discovering installation art in my own way. It's not about books.
So now that I've discussed mailart and me, let's get onto the big news for today.
As some of you know, I work in a university in the education department. Today I was chatting to the Art education department and conversation strayed onto my REAL wall (as it temds to do when you talk to me these days). I explained how mailart had changed my life and the head of Art Education was fascinated.
"I' HAVE to sign you up to talk to our trainee art teachers about mailart" she said, and we went on to discuss how we could use my experience of discovering art in the classroom.
Yes it does seem a little odd, a physics teacher teaching art teachers how to teach art, but perhaps also it makes perfect sense. So on the 12th October, I'm going to teach a session entitled "Mailart - art in the global dimension" to a group of art teachers, starting with a mailart show of pieces received and will encourage them to send out mailart. We then intend to encourage mailart exchange within the group while they are going through the course with a view to putting on a show at the end of the year!
So this is a mailart call with a deadline to be received by 12th October in London. If you have been affected by mailart, please send a postcard to my REAL wall at the normal address,
my REAL wall
PO Box 63138
with any design at all and I will put these up in my inaugural mailart lecture and try to convince them to send you one back!
Some new postcrossings in from Finland and New Mexico with a little rearrangement thrown in for good measure. It's been ages since I got a chance to send some post and I thought it would be a good idea to ease myself slowly back in with postcrossing before getting on with the serious mailart stuff. I sometimes feel I have to work myself up for these things!
Some lovely pieces in this week from some of my regular contributors and a few mysteries in to keep things interesting too.
The beautiful green cat comes from REAL wall regular Okadascat. Being that she is such a great knitter, I sometimes forget she also does mailart so receiving her customary green envelope with spider and cat stamps on it I was pleasantly surprised to see a postcard emerge.
The cool manga-type one is promoting Singapore's 2010 Youth Olympics, and comes from another REAl wall regular Ammy, who is a prolific Postcrosser.
The large one with the Sudokus and Eurythmics lyrics is a mystery. It comes from the Netherlands, so I suspected it was Jelmer, especially as it's huge. Apparently it's not though, and there is no return address, so I'm scratching my head. Anyone admit to this?
The tickets to the theatre were free from the Lyric in Hammersmith, on the local residents free tickets scheme. Bargain!
In the last few months I've been busily getting on with other things, most of which have eaten into postcard time.
In addition to eating into postcard time, artefacts of my non-postcard life have been impinging into the space usually reserved for my REAL wall in the kitchen.
On the wall you can see traces of what i've been up to and what is to blame for my poor post record of late.
In the top left you can see the library timetable for Ealing libraries, which have an awesome graphic novel section. Lately, Ive been spending a huge amount of time reading graphic novels in Westminster libraries (where I have my latest Yaa on the Road photo exhibition), and have read pretty much everything that they have now. Elena told me that Ealing libraries have a large graphic novel section too, so I recently went there to join up.
The long strip that runs down the right side is 5 pairs of tickets for the Bush Theatre, which is my local theatre. We've bought tickets to every show of the next season. as local residents we get tickets for only 90p each, so this whole set of tickets cost us only £9!!! Given that the last show, The Great British Country Fete, was absolutely brilliant, I can't wait to get all these shows in.
Down at the bottom are all the Tesco clubcard points we are collecting obsessively. These are worth 4 times as much as their face value when you buy university courses from the Open University, so we have been scavenging these wherever we can.
Up in the top right corner are some 2 for 1 vouchers to some UK attractions. We used oneof these vouchers this weekend to get 2 tickets to Warwick castle, where we saw knights and princesses, jousting and sword-fighting and medieval historical plays and birds of prey. It was great!
So yeah, this last few months I've settled into domestic bliss, with all the associated highs and lows.
But still, you guys haven't abandonned me, and that makes me very happy indeed! In amongst the few pieces of post I've recieved in this quiet time are a Ryosuke Cohen Brain cell (centre) and a collage from Madmadge (centre left).
Also, just arrived through the door today from Italy, a lovely mixed media piece called "The Flow of life", which I think is no. 150 in a set! Thanks to Walter Festuccia for this!
Finally, I get a little breathing space in amongst all the work and exhibitions I've been doing lately.
Here are the latest gems, including the long-awaited The Intercostal from Gareth.
As you can see, Elena is collecting vouchers to see Sex and the City. Not because she has any interest in the folm but cos it's free. You need 4 vouchers for a ticket, but I keep slipping one in the bin when we get to 3. I can't bear the thought of having to waste 90 minutes of my life watching that shit.
I'll start sending post again this month, as I've got some time in my schedule, so watch your mailboxes and thanks to everyone for all your great post!
my REAL wall in Bielefeld, Germany at the start of carnival season, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.
Summer is here at last for us Europeans and for the last 10 years or so that has meant only one thing.
I've worked with Yaa Asantewaa, a carnival arts group in London, voluntarily since I left university and have made and worn costumes in Notting Hill Carnival almost every year since 2002.
After the costumes are made and worn in London, we take the show on the road the year after and travel to Denmark, Germany and France to tour.
This year our carnival season kicked off in Germany at the Bielefeld carnival and me and Elena had a great time on the road at this relatively small street party.
We did manage to get some time to look around the pleasant little town after the carnival and found ourselves a nice statue to put your postcards up on right outside the town hall
Now finally settled into our new home, me and Elena spent Bank Holiday Monday doing odd jobs and DIY around the house. One of the DIY jobs we had to do this weekend was to change the way that the door on the fridge opens.
When we moved in, the door was fixed to open on the left (hinges on the right) which was really inconvenient because this meant that you were squeezed in between the wall.
Changing the door around was riddled with all sorts of little puzzles and the final one was to move the handle from the left to the right of the door, for which we had to drill some holes.
This left us with two pretty glaring holes, which I suggested we fill with polyfila.
"Chuh!" exclaimed Elena "Let's just stick a postcard on it"
So we got the fish out that was sent to us by Okadascat and stuck that over the holes. Elena was still not happy with how lonely the card looked on it's own and insisted that we put more cards up, so here they are!
It's a Bank Holiday here in the UK, and with three days off you would think that me and Elena would be off on adventures with your postcards or I would be paragliding the skies above the South Downs.
But this is England, where Bank Holiday weekends can only mean one thing.
So with paragliding rained off and our trip to Kew gardens butterfly exhibition called off we decided to do what most newly settled couples do and get some DIY done around the house.
Initially reluctant, I finally got into the swing of things and by lunchtime we had already managed to put up our first thing in the house!
The hanging kitchen utensil rail has been propped up against the wall since we bought it about 4 months ago, waiting for the moment when the two of us would have the time to drill some holes into the wall.
Today we finally done it and after 5 other major drill jobs in the house we moved the REAL calendar into the kitchen and had a well deserved cup of tea.
I've never posted a picture of someone else's REAL wall without a postcard from me on it before, but I feel I have to give an honourable mention to Tracy from South Africa, who writes at Tracy's Topics.
A while ago, in one of my less busy phases I was searching for other people who may have created cool postcard walls on the web and intended to send out postcards to them to create REAL walls, for the your REAL wall section of the site. One of the coolest ideas I saw was on Tracy's site. Using a pin board and some ribbon, she had created a postcard board that you could easily slip cards in and out of.
I knew I had to get a postcard on there!
However, as you may have noticed from my recently reduced output of REAL walls, I have been increasingly busy this year, what with being given a football team to run, paragliding courses, study, photography team and carnival commitments and a full time job and girlfriend to juggle (yes she is going to slap me silly when she reads that part) I haven't got around to sending a card.
Still, Tracy has just posted the latest shot of her REAL wall, complete with all her other cards up at her blog. Check it out!
An honourable mention then, a new category created just for you Tracy!
Back in January I met a whole bunch of folk at a photography exhibition and
before long I was talking about, suprise surprise, postcards and my REAL
It was no coincidence that, as usual, I had a whole set of postcards in my
bag, and Vlad the Russian amused himself greatly with a series of eFit
It's been a while since these photos were taken and I wondered what had
happened to them, then by some stroke of luck I bumped into Russian Vlad on
the 94 bus last night!
So here are my eFits made from your postcards a little belatedly. Enjoy!