Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art

Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art

“What is a good mail day?” A good mail day is a day when, instead of just bills, catalogs, and advertisements, your postal carrier delivers artful, beautiful, personal mail from friends and acquaintances all over the world. Mail art is a collaborative art form with a long and fascinating history populated by famous artists as well as everyday practitioners. The term “mail...

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Title:Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art
Author:Jennie Hinchcliff
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Edition Language:English

Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art Reviews

  • Jan

    What fun. This book is filled with such great ideas & cute pictures I had to start reading it as soon as it arrived in my mailbox.

    Love the "Ten Commandments of Mail Art," the chapter creating a traveling mail art kit, fun ways to decorate envelopes, and they even included an envelope template and stickers. In short, it's filled with great ideas that even a non-artistic person like myself can use to send creative mail.

  • Jaina Bee

    Fun, fancy, and full of ideas, technique, and just enough mail art history to send you searching for more. This book inspired me to get back into sending things via post.

  • Christine

    Innovative, bright ways to re-invent your junk mail and build relationships via the old-fashioned art of correspondence wait for you in this book. Gone are the days of the pony express, sadly. Yet we humans still loiter around the mailbox, rallying our hopes if the postal worker's bundle looks interesting. If I received any of the resourceful and occasionally stutter-inducing missives pictured in Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art, I'd probably give Phillip a hug. I'm not

    Innovative, bright ways to re-invent your junk mail and build relationships via the old-fashioned art of correspondence wait for you in this book. Gone are the days of the pony express, sadly. Yet we humans still loiter around the mailbox, rallying our hopes if the postal worker's bundle looks interesting. If I received any of the resourceful and occasionally stutter-inducing missives pictured in Good Mail Day: A Primer for Making Eye-Popping Postal Art, I'd probably give Phillip a hug. I'm not sure he would like it, but there it is. Mail as an art outlet is definitely the kind of mail you want to receive.

    Enter this book. Authors Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler cover almost everything you might wish to know about paper salvaging and minimal skill, down-and-dirty crafting, leading into hardcore artistry. Included are tips for careful mailing, postal regulations that might affect your creative boundaries, guides for building envelopes and keeping your delivery person happy, even some starter postcards and "mailing seals" (I call 'em stickers) in the back. Those newly pondering a stamp-based relationship can even find a pen pal and kick-start a friendship by post, all within the bounds of this book.

    Good Mail Day offers a scrapbook-style design, brightly-lighted photographs, scads of information and backstory, and puffy clouds of space to let the ideas drift straight off the page and into your brain. In back, a gallery by name, but, really, it's a museum of shiny ideas that didn't quite make it into the how-to section. Don't be frightened if there are umpteen things you want to make immediately.

    What's fantastic about the book is how simple the ingredients are for such complex, memorable mail. Around 95% of the materials are free, gleaned from old cards, labels, catalogs, anything made of paper and then other things as well. Think of the book as a jumping-off point, portable inspiration for a lifetime of postal interchange. A primer indeed.

  • liberal sprinkles

    I'm so happy I stumbled across this book in the library. I love it! The photos are lovely, the artworks delicious and the book is pure fun.

    - It sets down rules: among them, "no returns" - yay!; "give as good as you get"; "document".

    - It spells out the 10 commandments. My favorite: Thou shalt be irreverent.

    - It gives plenty of advice (the 7 seven sins of mailing; 7 suggestions for shepherding your mail art safely to its destination) and

    - there are great tips and reminders on looking out for inspi

    I'm so happy I stumbled across this book in the library. I love it! The photos are lovely, the artworks delicious and the book is pure fun.

    - It sets down rules: among them, "no returns" - yay!; "give as good as you get"; "document".

    - It spells out the 10 commandments. My favorite: Thou shalt be irreverent.

    - It gives plenty of advice (the 7 seven sins of mailing; 7 suggestions for shepherding your mail art safely to its destination) and

    - there are great tips and reminders on looking out for inspiration, collecting junk (oh dear, I see I'm going to need another house to store more of all that wonderful collectible treasures I'm going to be picking up)

    - It shares techniques for paper folding, making your own stamps and stencils, etc etc...

    - and of course it gets you started on designing and creating your wonderful mail art.

    Time to make some cards, envelopes and stuff to send to the rest of the world.

    5+++ !!

  • Rachel Kopel

    I read this book in a morning at Borders. I used to do a lot of mail art, but rarely do any these days. This book was a delight, I referred it to two friends right away. Mostly I knew what it had to say, but the information was wonderfully clear and presented in a fun way and very inspirational. I came home and did a little mail art. Great for a beginner, but also inspiring for someone with experience. More eye candy.

  • Tracy

    This is a nifty little book. It doesn't blow up the world for people who've been naturally signifying their correspondence, but the authors provide affirmation that others are doing it too and show you how to connect with your postal art comrades. There might be a few nuggets of interest for mail artists who already know this world and explored various techniques. I don't consider myself an expert. I would assess myself as intermediate-level. I do try to make my notes, letters, cards and envelop

    This is a nifty little book. It doesn't blow up the world for people who've been naturally signifying their correspondence, but the authors provide affirmation that others are doing it too and show you how to connect with your postal art comrades. There might be a few nuggets of interest for mail artists who already know this world and explored various techniques. I don't consider myself an expert. I would assess myself as intermediate-level. I do try to make my notes, letters, cards and envelopes beguiling, but I don't send my efforts beyond my circle of friends and family. I definitely enjoyed this book. The flexible, sturdy trade binding and eye-popping illustrations delighted my eye. I appreciated all the pertinent websites that could help me create art, share it and document it. The authors pepper the sites throughout the chapters, but also include an index of all the them in the back. There were new ideas (artist stamps!) for me that launched new projects. The text is written capably and concisely, so I was able to clip through it quickly. That's because I'm acquainted with many of the concepts. This book, ideally, would be a game-changer for someone who compulsively decorates their envelopes with stickers or makes their own cards--someone who hasn't taken the next step of completely tweaking out a missive with hand-stitching, paper collaging, hand drawings, etc. One of the best things the author, Hinchcliff, does is reiterate that it's a very open, accepting and rewarding experience in which to participate. My neighborhood postal clerks enjoy inspecting my wrapped-up bonhomie, and they share tips and advice all the time. Hinchcliff also expresses that courtesy and patience will get you very far in a post office, which I also know to be true. This is a unique book that's not too heavy-handed and offers all kinds of encouragement to experiment. I would actually recommend this book as a gift idea for an art/craft-inclined tween and up, as well as for people in your life who take the time to brighten up your mailbox with messages handled with care.

  • Hannah Greendale

    is a comprehensive introduction to the art of handcrafted envelopes and is packed with colorful images to inspire creativity.

    The authors provide a brief history of mail art along with a list of rules for newbies who wish to join the mail art community. Tips are provided on how to win over one's mail carrier along with guidance on where to discover unique ephemera for free.

    Much of the book encourages readers to make everything from scratch, so helpful information is provided on cu

    is a comprehensive introduction to the art of handcrafted envelopes and is packed with colorful images to inspire creativity.

    The authors provide a brief history of mail art along with a list of rules for newbies who wish to join the mail art community. Tips are provided on how to win over one's mail carrier along with guidance on where to discover unique ephemera for free.

    Much of the book encourages readers to make everything from scratch, so helpful information is provided on cutting and folding envelopes, creating customized rubber stamps, and generating faux postage and air stamps.

    An envelope pattern, postcard paper, and stickers are provided to get the reader started with his or her next mail art project.

    The best part of

    is the abundance of color photos. Every envelope is drastically different, making for a unique array of visual motivation.

  • Chris

    Enjoyable look at the history of mail art, with plenty of tips and ideas for creating and sending your own mail art.

  • Antigone

    Once upon a time there were letters. This was the Olden Days, of course. Back when people used more than their thumbs and a bunch of short-handed spelling to communicate...which is, in itself,

    a labor I know, because there should be emojis for

    . (Someone you've actually met is nodding their head right now.) But no, these were hardy folk some might mistake for pioneers who picked up pens and filled several sheets of paper with their thoughts and questions - then signed their names

    Once upon a time there were letters. This was the Olden Days, of course. Back when people used more than their thumbs and a bunch of short-handed spelling to communicate...which is, in itself,

    a labor I know, because there should be emojis for

    . (Someone you've actually met is nodding their head right now.) But no, these were hardy folk some might mistake for pioneers who picked up pens and filled several sheets of paper with their thoughts and questions - then signed their names at the finish in an ancient style of manual font called "cursive." Once this was accomplished, the pages were folded and slipped into an envelope. A stamp was licked (they were fairly free with their DNA during this primitive era) and positioned in the top right corner above a "street address." The project was then considered complete and dropped in a mailbox, to arrive some days or weeks later at the home of the person with whom the writer wished to remain in contact. Yes, yes, it took hours and a lot of labor, yet the argument might be made that such time and effort confirmed affection and commitment in a way an iconic little thumb's up sign most certainly does not. The argument could also be made that we, as human beings driven by hearts in various stages of wind-swept emptiness and yearning, may require proofs of this sort. They may, in fact, be vital to our very well-being.

    is a joyous little confection of a book that not only encourages a return to handwritten correspondence, but offers up avenues of creative flourish to further the act of expressing and connecting through the mail. There is, apparently, an entire underground movement of certified "mail artists" who have been churning out such missives for years; masterpieces that test both the boundaries of personal vision and the restrictions of the myriad international postal services. Hinchcliff and Wheeler introduce us to this subculture through a bountiful selection of photographs depicting their work and provide the opportunity (through relaying the history, the etiquette and the contact information) to hop on board.

    While I don't have the desire to enlist in this epistolary army at present, I did find the samples and examples produced by the artists to be ridiculously inspirational. It may be time for me to sit down and write a nice long letter...and who's to say a flourish or two would go all that far amiss?

  • Tricia

    I wanted to like this more than I did. I think I was expecting more of a primer - more "how to" content. Instead, it addresses the "why to" and provides a lot of inspiring examples. The examples are great, but the book was not what I expected overall.

    Go make a good mail day for someone - send mail art! Or even just a card. :^)

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