Mail Art 12: What? MORE??? Ugh...

 On and on and on it goes. It would seem there is no escaping from mail art. When I "retired" from it, I was thinking retirement would simply take away the pressures of having to respond to pieces sent my way and/or from people who wanted some mail art themselves. I thought it would allow me to work on mail art projects of my chosing and/or send mail art off to those I thought would like some--with the understanding I did NOT want anything back. But, it just doesn't seem to stop--no matter how much I protest. I could just stop, cold turkey...but I do enjoy it so. I guess I am just stuck doing it until my arms stop working (they have been in such terrible, constant pain lately--thanks to my neuro-muscular disease) or I drop dead. But things could be worse, I guess...

On the brighter side, another of my friends sent me a picture of themself holding the piece of mailart I'd sent them--showing it had arrived. Below is my friend David in Australia. Hooray! It arrived okay. (But it is the one with the messed up title. That still bugs me. So down the line I may send him a replacement. Ha!)

Coco is a mail artist on IUOMA (International Union of Mail Artists), the mail art website where I lurk (mostly). When I post one of my blogs about my mail art, I post a link on IUOMA--but I also warn the artists receiving items shown in it that they might not want to look if they want to be surprised. In my last post, Coco was not mentioned--and she playfully whined about it. And then she inexplicably posted that she was going to send me something. NOOOOOOOO, I begged her. But I whipped her up something anyway. (D)
Bonnie Diva was one of my favorites when I first joined IUOMA. However, she seems to have disappeared lately. I wanted to check on her...and also send her a piece of mail art since most of the others I've sent her failed to reach her. Oh my STARS! How did I miss that? UGH! Instead of MANSION OF THE MACABRE I somehow ended up with MASION. It's not even MAISON (French for house) so I could pretend I did it on purpose. UGH!!!  It's in the mail now. I can't pull it back and try to fix it. DARN IT ALL!!!! Any way, I hope Bonnie Diva is well and that's just been busy with back-to-school stuff. Hmm. (?)

Maxima Strange is a fantastic mail artist on IUOMA. She has a series of projects where other mail artists contribute to them that she refers to collectively as her "Goth Emporium". The first was themed black & red.  I participated. (The results of which can be found HERE.) That first project and all future projects called for 13 artists to make 13 copies of the same card. Her current project is different though. She wants 31 artists to make 31 copies of the same card (it being nearly Halloween and all...) That is a LOT of copying, cutting, arranging, pasting, etc. I had done one for the project (also visible in the link above), but hated it. But I dutifully made 31 copies of the card and sent them off. Then, since I was so disatisfied with the end result of that card, I decided to make a second one. This is what I came up with.

I churned out my 31 cards...such a lot of work. But again, by the time I was done, I hated it. (D)
Even though I grew to hate the cards as I was assembling them, the backstory for the image developed in my mind, so I turned it into an envelope. I am, of course, annoyed to see I left out the hyphen between 50 and FOOT (GRRR! Or maybe the font didn't have hyphens? That does happen sometime...) Another boo-boo on my mail art. Darn it all. I should have sent this to Maxima, but I sent to another IUOMA person to inspire her to make cards for Maxima's project. Plus, the only other piece of mail art I had ever sent Pam was kinda crappy. I hope this makes up for it. (D)
But onward to card #3 for Maxima's project... Her project is actually called SAMHAIN, which is the ancient Celtic festival celebrating the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. Many aspects of Samhain evolved into what became our modern Halloween. We were free to interpret Samhain (the original version of the holiday on up to the modern take on it) anyway we chose. For this third card, I went with my usual faux movie poster look. It's NOT that exciting, but there is a little inside-joke. (Well, actually there is an inside-joke within the inside-joke.) The first is the reference to the star of the faux movie, Sam Hain. Most people will pick up on that when they receive the project. What they probably will not realize though is that the guy pictured and probably supposed to be Sam Hain is actually me. This photo was a selfie (with a digital camera back before cell phones were more versatile) taken about 20 years ago at the Dunsmuir Mansion in Oakland, California. The house was used in such films as BURNT OFFERINGS, PHANTASM, and HOW I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER. So I was making a face as if I were running from a scary place.  Perfect.
And, of course, I pumped out 31 copies of the card...and grew to hate it as well. It really is rather plain and boring. Oh well... But that's it. I am DONE with the Samhain project. NO MORE! (D)
Like I did with the previous card though, I did expand the card into an envelope. The psychedelic background and additional ghost really helped. Despite my IUOMA profile clearly stating I was retired and not accepting any more mail, etc...I STILL received a new friend request from a woman named Marcia in Brazil. Okay. Fine. (GRR!) I chalked it up to her being from another country and possibly not undertsanding English that well. (Although she seems rather fluent in her posts.) And, again, I hate STAMPS! They ruin everything...(D)
Moving along (and temporarily "caught up"---even though I am retired and shouldn't have to worry about being caught up), I don't know if I should A) make envelopes for people who've never commented (but I think would like one), B) make envelopes for those who never received the originals I sent out, or C) make envelopes for those who got crappy ones originally.  With Pam's (above--ATTACK OF THE 50-FOOT ZOMBIE), she got a piece that made up for a lame piece. So, for the next one I went with choice A--making something for someone I think would like an envelope but has never commented on them. This creepy piece is on its way to Kim in Wisconsin. She digs spooky stuff and has even gone ghost hunting several times. I hope she likes this.(D)
And here we have a Choice B--making something for someone who never got their original envelope. This is off to Robin & Skye in rural Oregon. It's my simple haunted house template (house, ghost, scared people), but it IS better than the thing I originally sent them. The haunted house envelopes are a favorite among others. I feel almost like a small-scale, mail art version of Margaret Keane. She was forever trapped with her big, sad-eyed children paintings...and I am trapped with these campy haunted house things. I love them and enjoy making them...but I feel as if I am in a rut. (D)
P. Landon is an IUOMA member. I haven't seen her on the site much lately. I have corresponded with her quite a bit--and her mysterious quietness/disappearance is a tad worrisome. I was going to check in with her anyway, but instead of just a postcard or something, I figured I'd go ahead and make her an envelope. Hmm... While it is okay, I wasn't very pleased with the outcome. I think I am missing my campy scared people---but they really wouldn't go well on this one.(D)
And yet ANOTHER haunted house (what a surprise! Not.) envelope. Let's see, I've had HORROR MANSION, NIGHTMARE MANSION, and MYSTERY MANSION. But TERROR MANSION? Not yet...but I am running out of derivitive titles for these derivitive envelopes. Don't get me wrong. I like them and they are fun to look at (and hopefully receive), but despite using different elements in each one (and different titles--barely), they are essentially the same thing over and over and over. This is for my dear friend Christa. She never received the original piece o' mail art I sent her. I think this is better than the one I originally sent her anyway. I do hope THIS ONE arrives. We shall see... (D)
And just because it would be completely unexpected and original, here is GHOST MANSION. Ha! I actually just went ahead and did that on purpose, as it was bound to happen anyway eventually. This is another envelope that replaces a "lost" one. Mikey apparently never got the one I sent him before. I think I liked his original better (I wasn't wild with how this came out.), but I'm not sure. Once again, stamps suck. (D)
Eh... That's enough for this time. I should get busy and check if some of the older envelopes have been received yet, but it can't wait. I need to get to bed.
Happy postal dreams. (I don't even know what that means...)

See the parts you may have missed:


As it seems to happen to you, I don't like to see my work, at least when I see it repeating as in a print run. That's why in the Maxima challenge I made 13 different drawings.
Despite not being my type of plastic expression, haunted houses, witchcraft and ancient myths are part of Portuguese culture and my own identity. When I was a child I was told stories of witches and werewolves along with Aesop's fables. Portuguese culture has many layers, it is sometimes syncretic. Speaking of Samhain, the Day of the Dead is celebrated here, which is something similar to the Dia de Muertos in Mexico, although much less exuberant, but on November 11, São Martinho is celebrated, a festival where wine, chestnuts and the fraternity between strangers manifests itself.
This comment is already long, I'll leave it on IUOMA as well. I'm going to make some drawings for your good health and your well being.
Monster A Go-Go said…
Luis! How surprising and nice to find you here. Thank you for the visit. I don't "print" my cards. I only do collage. When I say print things, it's printing images from the computer to cut up and paste down. So all of the elements for the three different cards for the SAMHAIN project (93 cards) were printed out, cut out, arranged and pasted down. It was a tremendous task and I almost wish I printed stuff. But I think the completely hand-crafted cards I make will please the receiver more---like your individual cards you made.
How fascinating that haunted houses, witches, etc are so ingrained in your culture. i certainly had no idea about that.
Yes, I am familiar with Dia de los Muertos. It is a holiday of our neighboring country Mexico and is becoming a part of our collective culture as well. I LOVE the imagery of it.
I appreciate the drawings to my health. Very kind of you.
And thank you again for visiting my blog.
Sue Nan Douglass said…
Great envelopes Shawn! Including the "Thrilling Terror of Typos!!!" It seems like you've been helplessly sucked into the endless vortex of Mail Art Mania from which there is no way out! "Retiring" is such a normal means of escape. But I think you're going to have to literally claw your way out while beating off the bony fingers dragging you back into the never-ending cycle of horrific mail exchanges. If I could send you an escape module I would---meanwhile you're on your own!
Monster A Go-Go said…
Sue Nan! TERROR OF THE TYPOS is right. UGH! On the first SAMHAIN card (in the previous post) I ALMOST made a glaring error that would have been on 31 cards instead of just one. I had some schpiel about making sure you clean up your altar after your human sacrifice. Only instead of "altar", I had originally written "alter". Fortunately I caught that BEFORE pasting them all down. But I did have to go back and reprint everything. Groan...
Thank you for visiting as always.
Anonymous said…
Can't wait...ahhhhhhhhhh!
Monster A Go-Go said…
Hmm... Who could you be? Robin & Skye? Kim? I'm guessing you have an envelope coming. I do hope it is to your liking. CHEERS!
Pam said…
Maybe if you work on your mail art every other week. You can plan what you want to do on the off weeks while your arms rest. I know it's hard to give up something you enjoy, but maybe just slowing down will help.

Great envelopes as always, and your Samhain cards are great! I prefer not to make copies, but I did this time, otherwise I wasn't going to make this issue.
Monster A Go-Go said…
Pam! Thank you for visiting and leaving a note. I'm not one to sit and do nothing. When I sit with Shirley in the backyard (to make sure eagles don't get her) or watch a movie at home, I am always doing something else, like cutting out images for future mail art projects, writing postcards, learning/practicing Spanish on my phone, etc. So waiting a week between mail art projects....nice idea, but it ain't gonna happen.
I'm glad you got/are getting your entry in. Hooray! Sets 2 & 3 that I made are in Maxima's possession, but the first set is still in postal limbo... Argh!!!
Thanks for visiting the blog. Cheers!