Address Unknown - Mail Art 5: The GHOST of Mail Art


I recently went on a quick, abbreviated trip, exploring my new home state of Washington. There were lots of interesting things I stopped to see. But almost everywhere I went, I searched out where the post offices were and got all 17 pieces of Mail Art I had been waiting to send dropped in a mailbox and sent. Time will tell if they reach their intended mailboxes. (I'm anxious about the one going to Russia. The USPS has suspended mail there at the moment due to the war in Ukraine. I wonder what will become of it. Will they hold it for future delivery?) But at last, my Mail Art chores were done. Or were they?

I came home to...more mail! ARGH! 

This marvelous vintage postcard came from a woman I met on IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), P. Landon. So crazy cool!

Inspired by the amazing "Hello From Venus" postcard she'd sent, I created this for P. Landon (D)

Then I had some birthday cards---suspiciously Mail Art-y from friends. The first was from Robin & Skye in Oregon.

Vye actually sent a series of three postcards:

My friend Linda sent me a packet of artist postcards made by her old friend from college, Nick LeForce. She then sent me an email about my previous Mail Art post: "Thanks for sharing this art — and it IS art! — unfortunately for you, I sent you some postcards in an envelope…"
The implication was clear. Knowing how I feel compelled to respond with Mail Art of my own when it is sent to me, I have to go back to the drawing board (or would that be the cutting and pasting board?) and churn out a few more pieces...

But Linda and the birthday greeters would have to wait. I had to leave for California for three weeks to finish getting my house ready to go on the market. I would not have time to make them anything yet.

However, I was already working on other things. In addition to the space-y thing I whipped up for P. Landon, I whipped out two other last-minute quickies before my trip. This one is nothing special and turned out disappointing. I made it for another IUOMA member (William M) who commented once on a post. (D)

Again, this rushed, pre-California trip for an IUOMA member. I'm NOT thrilled with the final result either. The cutie monster stamps actually help balance it out, I think. (?)

That was all I had time for before leaving. I got them mailed off from Clovis, California the day after I arrived. P. Landon in Florida received her piece. William M (all of the way in Taiwan) got his. No word on the other one as of yet that was only going to Oakland. Hmm.

My friend Erich found a Xeroxed copy of something I had sent him years ago and sent a picture to me while I was in California. It actually resembles (to an extent) the stuff I've doing these days...and sort of gave me ideas for what I can do now (to respond to any new Mail Art that arrives. UGH!) I WISH I had some more of those wonderful Universal monster stamps from back then.

When I returned home to Washington, exhausted from a grueling, arduous three-week trip, I was expecting a lot of mail...but not MORE Mail Art! Eeeek! (Well, I thought there might be some---but I certainly was NOT expecting it and wasn't looking forward to having MORE replies to make.)

This first piece is unusual--unlike anything I've gotten before. It comes from an artist in Santa Barbara, CA named Ferranto. It is a postcard with paint drips on one side with a neatly organized set of sticks affixed to it.

Since I had a medical appointment on Friday the 13th with Dr. Black (how ominous sounding is that?) in Seattle, I decided to quickly slap something together for (Matt) Ferranto. It came out rather creepy/horrifying (and looks better in real life). I didn't like it at first...but the more I looked at it, the more it grew on me. (D)

This next piece I was amazed and delighted to receive. It's from this nice guy named Ilya who lives in Moscow. (Yes, as in Russia.) As I said, because of Russia's war on Ukraine, mail between our countries has been halted. Somehow is postcard got through. I can only hope the piece I sent him eventually arrives. 

Canadian Theo Nelson (of the Republic of Whimsy) graced me with more mail. How very kind of him.

In addition to his colorful envelope and nice letter, he also sent an old poster for his ACT club and three ACTs. (I had no idea what ACTs were. It turns out that they are Artists Trading Cards. Who knew?)

With Ferranto's hastily created piece out of the way, I thought I'd try to whip one out for Theo Nelson. I came across the image of this really creepy-looking man. I pulled together what I could and...I absolutely HATE it. It SUCKS big time. I'd trash it---or try to doctor it up, but I ran out of time. That's the way it is and I had to post it as-is. Oh well... We all strike out sometime...  (D)

Then I received mystery Mail Art! Hmm. There is NO return address. The stamps are not even canceled, so I can't even glean where it came from via post marks. It is a true mystery.

It has a UFO theme. Inside there was a poster print from the 1960's cheesy-bad movie MONSTER A GOGO (from which I take my name...). But the outer envelope has a sci-fi/flying saucer theme.

I have NO IDEA who sent it---but it's kind of fun. Whoever* sent ROCK!!! Thank you. (*I suspect it may be P keeping with our sci-fi/space theme. Hmm...)

Getting the new Mail Art (and having to make more responses), I got curious about a lot of pieces I had sent out, but had never heard whether they arrived okay or not. So I printed pictures of those missing-in-action envelopes and made postcards to send off. I mailed them when I went off island again for that appointment on the 13th.

After my medical appointment, I stayed over in Tacoma (to hit some tiki bars among other things) and did not get home until the afternoon of the 14th. When I did, there was Mail Art waiting from Mike P in Iowa. Ugh... MORE to respond to. I have been telling everyone I am trying to "re-retire", but still mail keeps coming. 

Oh well... In responding to Mike I was hoping it would give me a chance to redeem myself after the disastrously LAME thing I made for Theo in Canada...

It didn't. If anything, this came out WORSE.  Zzzzzz... What crap... (D)

Another piece of Mail Art arrived. It was from dear BonnieDiva and featured one of her o' so delightful Bon-Zines! Whoo hoo!

So, for the Diva, I had this ready to go-go. It's an ode to the 60s BATMAN series. Here I feature all three of the Caped Crusders and the queen of ferocious felines herself, Julie (ME-owww!) Newmar as Catwoman. I hope Diva remembers and likes BATMAN fondly... (?)

There was one IUOMA member I needed to send something to. Mark Johnson is new and friended me right away, We chatted a bit on the site before my trip to California. He asked for my address so we could exchange mail. I never gave him mine as I wanted no more Mail Art to respond to. But he deserves something anyway. What I came up with was a  novel idea that ended up not working. As I was thinking about it, I thought it might be interesting to have tentacles wrapping around the envelope. Thinking of the tentacles made me think of H.P. Lovecraft. I am not all that familiar with his work. I read one collection of his short stories decades ago and I've seen a small handful of film adaptations of his books. But I was aware that he has something called Cthulhu, which is a monster/"old god"/thing that I believe is out of the old book of the dead, the Necronomicon (which is a fictional book mentioned in his stories...). I found creepy background images, slapped on the tentacles, added a picture of the Necronomicon to better convey the Lovecraftian inspiration (which I don't think works at all.) It's a mess...but I tried. (?)

Moving on to the friends who sent colorful birthday cards...With the bizarre-O backing paper and eyeball people, I thought I was on to something silly-fun for Robin & Skye. turned into a big, pink eyeball-filled turd. UGH! (?)

For Vye's trilogy of artsy birthday cards, I was in the process  of pulling up pop cultural icons from the last fifty years or so. Divine was going to be one of them...then I realized that it was the 50th anniversary of PINK FLAMINGOS and made a mini-commemorative envelope. It didn't come out so well... Who could I send it to though that would appreciate it? Vye was the only person I could think of would get it and be excited. (D)

For Linda, as a thanks for her art cards, she got this explosion of pop icons from the 60d-70s. (Can you name everything on here or what show it came from?) It's rather pedestrian and there's not a lot of "pop" in this Pop Culture posting--literally. The only thing outside of the confines of the envelope is the I Dream of Jeannie bottle...and that's just barely  popping up at the top. Ho-hum... (D)

Those last six envelopes will be mailed out this coming Monday, when I have to go off island again.

One person, Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) from Greece got something I sent her this past Monday. She wasn't wild about it because it contained spiders (pictures) on it.

"It came 'naked,' not in an envelope," she exclaimed to another member she was chatting with. "It even upset my postman/ mailman."

Yes, my Mail Art is sent as is. What happens to it on the way becomes part of the final piece. I've always done my Mail Art this way, but apparently that is frowned up now. Today, people send artistic postcards or art inside of envelopes.

Anyone can be a Mail Artist. It's free (well, except for postage and supplies) and there is no experience required. I certainly had no training. I just did it. There's no right or wrong way to do it. As you can see from the examples of what people have sent me, it really is an anything goes art form. You choose what to do--paint something and send it, create 'zines (homemade magazines), make artist trading cards or stamps, or simply decorate envelopes or design your own postcards. Whatever it is you want to do, the International Union of Mail Artists (IUOMA) is a great starting point if you are interested. 

I have a handful of people I'd like to make envelopes for still---but I am no rush. I am technically "caught up" for the moment on people I owe Mail Art to.  I'll still work on those other pieces---but I'm not stressed for time to get them done. I could say I am completely done and just stop. That is a great feeling.

Thanks for visiting.


Continue to Part 6: CLICK HERE!

In case you've missed the others in this series, here is Part 1: CLICK HERE!

(D=Delivered. ?=Fate Unknown)


Great stuff. Everything from cute to creepy.
Monster A Go-Go said…
Christa!!! Howdy! Thank you for your visit to the page. It is ALWAYS swell to see you here. I'm glad you liked some of the stuff. EVENTUALLY you will receive something Mail Art-y. Just wait a bit...
Thanks again for the visit.