October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween from my REAL wall

Me and Elena always take a few of your cards out for walks with us when we go out. This week we got a Halloween card from B, who has sent at least one a month for the last few months.

Apparently Halloween is huge over in the states, but over here, we’re still just starting to get it. I actually still don’t get it, hence today’s REAL wall is not at all scary. Halloween in the UK is still very much a costume party I feel, as it’s an import really. Personally, I’ve never known what happens if you say "trick" – do you get beaten up or something?

I never done trick or treat as a child myself. Growing up in Thamesmead in south London, knocking on someones door and asking for money was a ticket to getting your head kicked in, so I never really quite understood what the whole thing was about.

The other artists who will be having a happy halloween tonight with a glow in their bellies for appearing on my REAL wall are Mim, who has been really encouraging about my mailart lectures, Dewi, who has a few new fans as a result of the lectures and Ammy from Singapore.

Ammy has sent me a cool pic of her wardrobe and wall covered in postcards. One of them is mine, hence why it is also todays your REAL wall!

So it’s a pic of someone elses wall on my wall. I think I may just send her a pic shortly, and see how long we can keep this joke going…

Second from bottom is a postcrossing from Natasha from Belarus. That’s my first ever card from Belarus so thanks and happy Halloween to you too Natasha!

October 31, 2010

your REALwall – post from Ammy from Singapore

Ammy has been a long time correspondent with my REAL wall and I am proud to say that I’m on her postcard list, so when she goes away I get postcards from exotic places. Recently I sent Ammy a card for her wall and you can see that she’s now run out of wall space, so mine is on her wardrobe. Ammy is on her way to Macau and Hong Kong soon, so keep your eyes peeled for some more post from the far east soon.

This is the second pic of one of Ammy’s walls with one of my postcards that I’ve received from Ammy’s camera, the first one shows that Ammy is as keen on postcards as I am!

I’d love to know who sent some of those other pieces – is that a Grthink piece on the main wall perhaps?

October 24, 2010

First timers

First timers, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

All of these pieces were made in my second mailart lecture by my students. We didn’t have long to create, but that’s one of the nice things about mailart – it doesn’t need to take a long time to create a masterpiece! These will all be sent out this week along with my own lecture slides, so watch your postboxes.

October 24, 2010

Lecture slides 2

Lecture slides 2, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

My second REAL wall of the night (I must stop taking these shots at night with naff cameras) show my lecture slides for my second mailart lecture. Strangely, you readers will be the first and last people ever to see all these slides in the same place at the same time, as I never got around to showing all of these.

Being that it was a Friday, I was totally exhausted by the time the lecture came around, and I totally forgot what I was meant to say. In the end, I ended up showing off some of your mailart, which was already on the wall, which I get very animated about as you can imagine, then set the students off making their own.

Less work for me and more production for them – makes sense for everyone and sometimes less is indeed more. I may not have covered everything I did in the first lecture, but it was still great fun and I got a whole bunch of postcards made, which you will see in the next REAL wall of the night

October 24, 2010

Stars of the show

Stars of the show, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

The first of 3 REAL walls tonight and the first to be taken on my new iPod to test it out. As you can see, it doesn’t handle low light too well, which isn’t altogether surprising.

Most times when me and Elena go on a long trip, we take along some of your postcards for the trip too, and this weekend we went away with my best mate Stew to the New Forest in Hampshire, down to the south. All of the postcards on the first of tonight’s walls came with us, as they all went up in this weeks mailart lecture, but we had such a great time riding horses and mountain bikes that we forgot to put up any REAL walls on the trees or amongst the autumn leaves.

We hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive us…

October 21, 2010

Reasons to be cheerful

My REAL wall today contains a whole lot of things that have brought a smile to my face this week and I want to walk you through some of them in detail.

Last week I ran my first mailart lecture at the university that I work at, and as a result I’ve received a lot of supportive mailart and post. All of the pieces I received mention the lecture and it’s been such a pleasure to know that mailart has touched so many people.

Feltypants, who sent me the postcard in the top right was one of the mailartists that was with me in the very first Twitter #mailart swap, and we have become regular correspondents, both by mailart and on twitter. Earlier this month, Feltypants said to me "Mailart absolutely gave me the confidence to pursue my art & painting. It was a great way to test out showing my work to others & I got great feedback, wouldn’t be arting now without that" How’s that for praise of the art!

Another contributor to the #mailart project was @museumnerd, whose cut out mask can be seen in the centre. This is on display again, because I aent it by Royalmail a few months to a friend, who was meant to take it to Dubai to do some REAL walls. However, it got lost in the post, and 2 months later, via a message on Twitter to @Royalmail, I got it back today!

In the top right hand corner is my new mobile phone case, which was handmade by S.P. Grimm, who goes under the name KapomCrafts on Etsy. I only started getting into Etsy this week and made my first purchase from Pal Grimm this week, who customised an iPhone case for my Motorola Milestone/Droid and sent it out so quickly. Elena loves my case and has now confiscated it until her own Etsy case comes through. Meh.

B, The Snail Mailer and my newest regular writer has written again to put me straight on a few issues. Last time I received a postcard from B, who lives in Bethlehem, PA, I had assumed that PA stood for Pasadena. Apparently it stands for Pennsylvania. Yes yes I know I’m a dumb Brit, but honestly we don’t hear much about Pennsylvania where I live. I’ve now found out that Pasadena is actually in California, so I consider myself now educated. B has also included a handy map, which I shall revise thoroughly next time I make any comments on American states.

The quilled pieces are made by Elena, who is learning to quill at the moment. She’s getting better and better, and is putting all her creations up on her flickr site. Drop by and give her some encouragement!

The other postcards were donated to me by Stevie at work. At she heard I collect postcards, she decided that she should give me all the postcards she had, and I thought that that deserved a spot on the wall.

The fish in the background was drawn by my best mate Stew, who looked after our fish when we went on holiday a few months ago. When I came back, he had drawn a fish on our whiteboard that made us both smile, and I’ve never had the heart to erase it.

With all the great stuff I’ve got from distant and close friends, it’s hard not to feel loved. That’s why this wall makes me particularly happy.

And with all this support, I felt like it was time to do something amazing myself. Last week during my mailart lecture I said I had always been uncomfortable with drawing. However, my students were so encouraging about my artistic abilities, that I left feeling an urge to overcome my fear of drawing.

Inspired by Stan Sakai’s wonderful comic "Usagi Yojimbo" I decided to go home and put pencil to postcard and made my first ever REAL drawing, which was of Usagi himself!

So fired up was I after that, that I went on to draw Katsuichi from Usagi Yojimbo too. I’m really proud of them and I’m even more proud that my students have made an artist out of me.

The support that mailartists give each other is great, and I hope that through my REAL wall and my lectures and shows that more people can discover their inner artist.

October 16, 2010

my REAL wall at Hampton Court Palace

Me and Elena went to Thames Ditton this afternoon for a talk and short film about Oxfams latest campaign against climate change.

After the presentation, we walked over to Hampton Court Palace and posted your postcards on a wall at the Great Gatehouse.

From top to bottom, we see cards from

Bianca Jagoe from Australia, who runs Goodnight Little Spoon, and in my opinion is a wonderful doodle artist. She’s far too modest about her talents I feel as well!

Heleens great Pimped card (I pulled this out for the show this week and remembered how great it was, so just had to take it out again)

Katie R, IUOMA’s newest mailartist, who is only starting to get the thrill of mailart in her mailbox. Those first ones will stay with you forever I promise you!

An Oxfam campaign petition postcard against climate change, which I’ll send to Chris Hulme MP

Feltypants‘ new card which came in this morning just as we were leaving our house. This piece is fab, and echoes my own work, with a transparent slide embedded within a slit card. Great execution Feltypants, I love it!

Katerina Nikoltsou from Greece, one of the most active mailartists of the moment.

October 16, 2010

My REAL wall goes to Kew gardens

Elena had to do a little work today. Luckily she works in Kew Gardens so I
decided to take your postcards out for a walk.

I put this lot up by myself, and it was a little windy. Just after I took
the pic, a massive gust of wind blew 2 of the postcards off and towards the
lake. By some fluke I managed to catch them both with one swipe of my arm
just as they flew off the fence, or it would have been curtains for
Feltypants and Katie R. Phew!

October 16, 2010

The old and the new

I got 2 gems in the post today and they couldn’t have come from 2 different people.

The first one was a small handmade postcard from Katie R, one of my students from my first mailart lecture, which I took earlier in the week. I was so pleased to receive some post from that class as it’s always so easy to say you’ve been inspired, but another thing altogether to prove it! This had me beaming from ear to ear.

In addition to sending me a card, Katie also joined IUOMA earlier this week and has been really active. I feel like a proud father to IUOMAs newest mailartist.

The other package came from the opposite end of the spectrum altogether, as it comes from Ruud Janssen, who is in fact the father of IUOMA, who set up the International Union of Mailartists and has run the site since. The first and last in one place at the same time.

Ruud kindly sent in a huge package of historical pieces from the mailart archives of TAM, his mailart project for me to use in my lecture.

Sadly it arrived a little late for the lecture that it was intended to provide for, but luckily…I’ve been invited to do another next Friday! Yay!

If you missed your chance to be in the first lecture and want your work to be seen by my next group of students, send it to the usual address…

my REAL wall
PO Box 63138
W14 4BR

October 15, 2010

Has anyone seen the postman?

Has anyone seen the postman?, originally uploaded by andytgeezer.

I dropped by the art class today at work on the way to the post office and
they were making casts of clingfilm and sellotape and putting them out in
the soil outside beneath a tree. I couldn’t resist adding a bit of my
outgoing mailart to them.

These bits will be appearing in some of your postboxes soon…