I was asked when I started doing Mailart. Good question. Like many artists, I was making and mailing art without even knowing it had a name or was a "thing." I'd send to my friends and to family. Decorated envelopes mainly, but I have no record of them. We do have a record of what my now husband sent me when he was "wooing" me, as I saved them. Beautifully collaged envelopes.He's framed them! And has even had them included them in his solo exhibitions.
Officially, I became involved in Mailart, with a capital M, when I went back to teaching art as an adjunct in a university foundation program in 2000. I'd been away from teaching and from making art for 15 years because I started a business unrelated to art making.
I made art in my head only. I had long drives on not very busy highways, so I keep busy in my mind making stuff. BUT when I got back to teaching art, I felt kind of like an imposter artist. I had nothing to show for those years of art making in my head. What to do what to do. Our son had introduced me to PostcardX, which was an early (2000?) online group of people who exchanged postcards. That was fun. BUT the best thing, they chatted about ATCs and Mailart and I was "what the heck is that?" Well, it was a perfect way to start out with my freshman students it turned out.I began to make small collages, postcard and ATCs and realized that I could create experiences for these new art students that were not intimidating, that didn't require perfection, that were accessible, and fun, and it worked. The students took to these experiences and soon were producing larger works having been freed up from whatever.
And I then connected with IUOMA (the International Union of Mail Artists) but can't remember who told me about that or how I found it. I began to enter Mailart "calls" to send work out to be in exhibits in other countries, or US locations. And I even had some exhibits myself. Small work led to bigger work. But over the years, I've stayed small as I have a small work area.
What I enjoy doing - altering old postcards, using bits from magazines, text, and circles, lots of circles.
I did 3, yes three, 365 day projects with Mailart. Instigated by a young friend in England and I was up for the challenge. It got me into my little studio EVERY DAY and that was the best thing that happened, plus I ended up with a self-referencing archive. Here are a couple links to Flickr albums. Hope they work.
PS I actually met the man who started Artist Trading Cards!! An artist from Zurich Switzerland named M.Vançi Stirnemann. We were all in the same building for an artist residency in Paris one year. I was like a crazed fan meeting some famous pop music group.