What Is Mail Art?

Mail art is a type of art that uses the postal system as its canvas. It is a global, interconnected community of artists who exchange pieces of art through the mail.

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What is mail art?

Mail art is a type of art that is created by sending physical artifacts through the mail. It is often seen as a type of outsider art, as it does not conform to the traditional rules and conventions of the art world.

Mail art can take many different forms, but it often includes elements of collage, found objects, and handwritten or typed messages. Mail art typically has a strong DIY ethic, and is often created for the purpose of exchanging ideas and artwork with other artists.

While mail art has been around for centuries, it gained increased popularity in the 20th century, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s. Many well-known artists have created mail art, including Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ray Johnson.

The history of mail art

Mail art, sometimes called Correspondance Art, is a nontraditional artistic practice that emphasizes sending small scale works through the postal system. It began in the early 1970s as part of the mail order and zine scene, and has since evolved into a global subculture united by a do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos.

While there is no one way to make mail art, common techniques include collage, decoupage, rubber stamping, and mixed media. Mail artists often use found materials and repurpose everyday objects into surprising works of art. The act of sending and receiving mail art can be as important as the artwork itself, as it allows for a personal connection between artist and recipient.

Mail art can be political or personal, sentimental or irreverent. It is an accessible way for anyone to make and share art, regardless of skill level or financial resources. Whether you are a seasoned artist or just starting out, we encourage you to give mail art a try!

Mail art today

Mail art today often takes the form of stamped postcards, made using rubber stamps, stencils, or other printing techniques. Many mail artists also incorporate found objects or images into their work.

The benefits of mail art

Mail art is a great way to connect with other artists and express your creativity. It can be used for any purpose, from sending a simple greeting to sending a more complex piece of art. There are no rules or restrictions, so you can be as creative as you like.

There are many benefits to mail art, including:

-It’s a great way to connect with other artists.
-It’s a great way to express your creativity.
-It’s a great way to stay connected with friends and family.
-It’s a great way to send gifts and cards.

The drawbacks of mail art

Mail art can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, but there are some drawbacks to consider before you start sending out your own artwork. First, mail art is often very personal and can be difficult to mass produce. This means that it can be time consuming and expensive to send out large quantities of mail art. Additionally, because mail art is often one-of-a-kind, it can be difficult to sell or trade. Finally, mail art is often reliant on the postal system, which can be slow and unreliable.

How to get started with mail art

Mail art is a type of artwork that is created by sending it through the postal system. It is a way to connect with other artists from all over the world and to exchange ideas and perspectives.

There are no rules about what mail art should be or how it should be made. It can be as simple or as complex as you like. You can use any materials that can be mailed, including but not limited to: stamps, postcards, letters, envelopes, magazines, newspapers, photographs, drawings, paintings, collages, and three-dimensional objects.

If you are interested in getting started with mail art, there are a few things you will need:
-A supply of stamps
-Pen or pencil
-Decorations (optional)

Once you have gathered your supplies, you can start creating your mail art. There are many ways to do this, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
-Draw or paint a picture on a piece of paper and mail it to a friend.
-Fold a piece of paper into a unique shape and mail it to someone special.
-Create a collage on a blank postcard and send it off to someone afar.
-Write a letter to a friend and decorate the envelope with pretty stamps.
What you create is up to you! There are no limits to what you can do with mail art. Be creative and have fun!

Mail art resources

Mail art is a worldwide movement of artists who exchange art through the postal system. Mail art is usually free, and anyone can participate.

There are many resources available for mail artists, including websites, newsletters, and books. Below are some of the most popular mail art resources.


-The International Union of Mail-Artists (IUM) is a website for mail artists from all over the world. IUM provides a directory of mail art shows and events, as well as a forum for discussion.
-The Mail Art Network is another website for mail artists. It includes a directory of mail art shows and events, as well as articles about the mail art scene.
-The Mail Art Gallery is a website that showcases the work of mail artists from all over the world.


-The Mail Art News newsletter is published monthly by the International Union of Mail-Artists. It includes news about upcoming events, as well as reports from recent events.
-Mail Art Listings is a quarterly newsletter that lists upcoming mail art events from all over the world.
-Network News is a bimonthly newsletter published by the Mail Art Network. It includes news about upcoming events and articles about the mail art scene.


-The Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Arts (cca): This book includes an extensive section on mail art, with biographies of dozens of prominent mail artists. It’s available in both print and electronic versions. -Mail Art: A History (MAH): This book chronicles the history of the mail art movement, from its beginnings in the early 20th century to its present day incarnation. MAH is available in both print and electronic versions.

Mail art FAQ

Mail art is a type of art that uses the postal system to create and exchange works of art. It can be traced back to the early 1900s, when artists began using the postal system to exchange ideas and artwork. Mail art can take many different forms, from postcards and letters to parcels and packages.

Mail art is a type of art that is created and sent through the mail. It can be anything from a simple postcard to a more elaborate work of art. Mail art often has a political or social message, and it can be used to send a message of support or solidarity. Mail art can also be simply aesthetic, and many mail artists create beautiful and original works of art.

Mail art tips

Mail art is a form of creative expression that is enjoyed by people all over the world. It involves the exchange of mailed, hand-crafted items between artists, and can take many different forms.

The simplest form of mail art is a decorated envelope, often with a stamped self-portrait on the front. This can be embellished further with drawings, collages, found objects, or just about anything that strikes your fancy. More elaborate mail art creations can include three-dimensional sculptures made from recycled materials, mini books, and much more.

If you’re interested in trying your hand at mail art, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it’s important to remember that the focus is on the process, not the final product. Don’t get too caught up in trying to create something “perfect” – the fun is in the experimenting and exploring. Second, be sure to include a return address so your artwork can find its way back to you. And finally, have fun!

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