A completely unrelated mail art destination is also thinking about mermaids. Galerie LE LAB in Marseille, France is accepting mail art for a show with a mermaid theme. Anyone can send in a piece and something will be sent back when the mermaid mail art is received.
International shipping for an envelope is currently $1.15. I made my painted envelope using mixed media that includes Japanese brush and Rapidograph pens, colored pencil, metallic colored pencil and acrylic paint on watercolor paper, 5 x 8 inches. The black ink is waterproof so it is easy to paint over the drawing using thinned acrylic paints. The metallic colored pencils give a little bit of shimmer to the work.
If you want to join this art show the website is here, or go and see the other art received. The art needs to be at the gallery before May 10, 2014. I usually give two weeks or more for items to arrive in most parts of Europe.
On fun thing that artist trading card groups do is “Theme Swaps”. I joined in group trades for art with angels and mermaids. I usually work from imagination since it is hard to get a visual reference for either angels or mermaids. I keep looking but I have not managed to see either Therefore, I have to just make up some kind of cartoon and paint it. Here are some recent painted artist trading cards I completed.
Mailed to India, how exciting!
400 x 400 pixels
Here is the finished little “What’s in your mailbox?” animated GIF someone requested for a mail art group. It’s cute and it was fun to make. Too bad the GIF format pixelates color gradients. The animation looks better in the program because the glowing light and clouds are smooth. I have no idea why there is not an animated JPG format; only a programmer could explain why.
I put a lot of time into the second round of this little seven second animation. I forgot to save the original Photoshop file where I matched and laid out the layers of the rough pencil sketches. I just did a screen capture of the GIF I put online, dropped each screen capture as a layer for the new Photoshop file and up-sampled the roughs to 144 dpi.
I was going batty from slamming layers in Photoshop all day. Sal, my Hockey Blogger Boyfriend, insisted I find the Beavis and Butthead “Animation Sucks” episode, which further proves that Mike Judge is both brilliant and hilarious in describing reality. Animation is pretty exhausting. It helps to try and not do it all at once. You really need to take breaks when working on an animation project. It also helps to remind yourself that the professional grade work is done by huge teams of people using better software and hardware!
Small 250 x 250 pixels
I have been fascinated with animated GIFs lately. The ones I have made thus far have been photography based. Animated GIFs are a nice, compact way to show many images in one section of a webpage, like when I mushed over 100 of my artist trading cards into one GIF. Then I made pages of a zine I drew into a GIF. It was only a matter of time before I tried to make a hand drawn animated GIF. My mail art and swapping friend Lou wants some kind of nice graphic for a mail art trading group. I was thinking about a cute country mail box done as a digital cartoon.
This is the (very) rough animation so far. I have puffy clouds, grass and daisies to work in with the animation. My main idea is to have a country mailbox that opens up to reveal many envelopes and sparkles. It’s just a little 400 px square 144 dpi graphic. I am not going for a lot of detail, just something more interesting than a static image. I should able to make the door open more smoothly with the rotate tool in Photoshop and adding more layers for more frames. This is one of those unpaid type jobs that I am playing with for fun. I think if I do not use any black outlines -or just minimize black outlines- and use a lot of digital painting style it will look interesting.
I mailed two more collage art work to the Show Your Vision collage art show coming this September in Lviv, Ukraine. Here are the details and address to mail to: original post. It has been wonderful to send work that is enjoyable to make, that is wanted to by someone and may offer feelings of goodwill to people going through hardship. Please send a collage art item to support this mail art show and the artist that is hosting the exhibit.
Deep Water by Shellie Lewis, mixed media collage, 14.8 x 21 cm, 2014
New York, New York by Shellie Lewis, mixed media collage, 14.8 x 21 cm, 2014
I made an owl pattern you can use for free! Please no sales or commercial use involving this pattern. I am retaining copyright on this pattern; you may use it for personal enjoyment, gifts and swaps / trades. The weather in Chiberia still has us snowed in. I was pretty bored from being indoors and created this pattern for a small stuffed toy, hanging ornament or you could even use this pattern for a paper collage.
I recommend felt for a sewn pattern; t-shirt scraps will work well also. Embroidery floss and some hand embroidering is a nice way to embellish this pattern. Buttons make nice eyes. Using felt or any stiff fabric for the feet will make the stuffed toy version stand upright.
I find it helpful to print the pattern on thick paper like cardstock, cut out the pattern and trace it on the reverse of the fabrics being used to sew the owl. You can enlarge the pattern digitally or on a photocopier. The pattern here is made to be 4 inches tall. Right click and open the image in a new tab if you are having trouble getting the full sized pattern image to download.
Share artist trading cards with the world! Here is a zine I made as an animation you can link to, email, tweet and send any way you want. Share the idea of artist trading cards with as many people as you can. Short link to this post: http://bit.ly/1bHjcJy
UPDATE 2/08/2014: final draft
My friend Heather Loresch recently returned from serving in the Peace Corps in the Ukraine. Heather has also been very saddened and worried by the violent protests and civil rights challenges that have erupted in Kyiv. She told me about learning painting from her wonderful art teacher. I asked if her art teacher participated in artist trading cards and Heather felt he might like them, but it would be hard to explain the concept since he does not speak English. I have been doing a lot of zines lately in addition to artist trading cards and set to drawing what “artist trading cards” are in a series of comic pictures.
I have finished the hand drawn art and now I need translations for three words: “artist trading cards”. The cover tells what the whole zine is about. I am using Google Translate but I have no idea if anything is correct or not, so I am trying to find people fluent in other languages to fact check my Google translations. The cover of the zine will read “artist trading cards” in many languages. The rest is all pictorial. I think it really gets the point across. If IKEA can do it, I can do it.
My trades in non-English speaking nation have been in the minority. Maybe the zine will help me spread artist trading card creation to new areas. Nothing gets around faster than the internet, so I will also make the panels of the zine into an animated GIF and put that online. One two panel spread will throw the composition off a little but I think this will make a fine animated GIF.
Please email me a translation for “artist trading cards” or reply to the comments here. ARTG33K74 at gmail is a good email address. Thank you in advance!
UPDATE 1/29/2014: I got feedback from some friends and used a lot of Google Translate. I used “barter artist cards” a lot to try and indicate a swap and not commercial sales. Punjabi did not have a good word for “barter” and I used “mail artist cards”. It should make some sense, I hope. I tried to angle for as many non-Romance languages as I could fit in. Here is the first rough draft and show what I want for the cover. Changes will probably be made.
Self Publishers of Chicago has a call for entry for people to submit their own dictionary definitions for a collaborative zine. The deadline is soon and submissions need to be sent in via email by midnight on 2/26/2014.
The call for entry is here:
I am getting the impression that some of the entries they will be getting are going to be super funny. One example made me remember Sniglets from the 1980s. I went in for humor and the satire at the same time. I hope they pick my submission. Meanwhile, I may try to think of another one if there is time.
These are my two favorite photographs from a girls’ game back in December 2013. I wanted to get some reference photos of a goal net for an animation that is in progress and had some down time waiting for other people. I took some shots for the fun of it and love how fast these young players can zip around the ice. Now only if some of their parents would STFU or at least cheer without thinking they can coach from the bleachers…