Mailart and Artistamps, an introduction

Mailart is anything that can loosely be described as "art" by any definition, which is sent through the mail.

Usually, the art is on the envelope (or whatever you're mailing--I've even seen a decorated toilet seat sent through the mail, without a box).

If you've been receiving my snailmail newsletters since the late 1970's, then you know what I mean, because it's what I've often done with my envelopes, even before I knew about mailart.

Artistamps sometimes look like real postage, but aren't authorized by any "real" government (though they can be issued by a fantasy country--my fictional country is Ballynafae).

Sometimes--but not always--they feature a country or postal authority and/or some denomination, emulating real postage.

Other terms used for these stamps created by artists, include: cinderellas, postoids, and faux postage. However, those terms can mean other things; for example, in stamp collecting, "cinderellas" can mean stamps issued by charities, such as Easter Seals, in exchange for donations. "Postoids" sometimes mean rubber stamps that have the image of real or fantasy postage. And so on.

I have been creating artistamps since about 1996. Recently, I've become very active with artistamps, exploring different design techniques. Frankly, it's pretty difficult to create recognizable art on a "canvas" small enough to be confused with real postage.

Of course, that's part of the challenge--and fun--of artistamps!

For more info about artistamps, visit my artistamp pages at this site.

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All original text, photos, and art are 2000, Aisling D'Art.