It’s 2010. It’s time for an artistamp swap.
Swaps are such fun!
Update: In 2010, I attempted some digital artistamp swaps at AJ (ArtistsJournals community at Yahoo Groups). It wasn’t a huge success. I’m not sure that people understand what artistamps actually are.
Artistamps are faux postage… totally made-up, fake postage, often from your own imaginary country. (One of mine is “Ballynafae,” a Celtic land of the whimsical faerie folk. I’ve been sending artistamps off & on since the 1970s.)
Artistamps aren’t designed to fool postal authorities. They’re a form of art, usually placed on the front of an envelope or on a post card.
(Different countries have different rules about where artistamps can be placed. Last time I checked, you can put artistamps next to your regular postage on mail sent in the U.S., but it has to be clearly separated from regular postage on British cards & letters.)
Within postage, artistamps are considered “Cinderellas” — faux postage. Artistamps are also a sub-group of mailart, which is art sent by mail, usually where it can be clearly seen by the postal carrier.
Here were the 2010 digital artistamp swaps, and their dates:
17 July – Stamps to celebrate the 1955 opening of Disneyland. Any artistamp with a Disney theme is fine. (Please, no raunchy parodies.) Though we generally don’t use copyrighted images in our art, this will be an exception, and only for private/fan use. (Here’s mine – A Disneyland Tribute to My Mom)
15 August – Best Friends Day! Celebrate this day with an artistamp swap about friendship, your best friend, or a group of friends.
19 September – Pirate-themed artistamps! Celebrate “Talk Like a Pirate Day” with an artistamp related to pirates, pirate treasure, maps of exotic lands, etc. Join the fun and parrrticipate in this arrrtistamp swap!
20 October – Halloween theme! I’m setting this artistamp swap deadline ahead of the celebration, so people will have time to download the stamps and use them for their Halloween cards… if you’re sending any. (I plan to.)
Also, if you’re interested in swapping actual artistamped mail, that month, include your name and postal mailing address in a text file in that month’s folder.
So, start thinking about artistamp designs. If you don’t have a graphics program to create artistamps, there are several free programs online. You can find some links and reviews at About.com:
What’s your favorite free graphics software?
* Linux users are often very enthusiastic about GIMP http://www.gimp.org (Also available for Windows & Mac) and Inkscape http://www.inkscape.org/ (ditto)
* Windows users often like Paint.net http://www.getpaint.net/
* Mac user…? Please share your favorites, too!
Questions? Better links? Suggestions? Share your thoughts! (And I hope you’ll join this artistamp swap, too.)