mail art

I've been invited by Tammie of Beauty Flows to participate in the Around the World blog Hop and answer four questions.

What am I working on?

I've been making Mail Art these days. A couple of years ago, I joined liberate your art postcard swap which led me to mail art. Next I started decorating the envelopes of letters I sent to my relatives. Then this year I joined the letter writers alliance which promotes letter writing and a whole new world opened up.

Somewhere along the way, I learned about artistamps. These are faux stamps that you design. What fun! I got the perforated stamp paper from 100proofpress and went at it last week.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Although I am mostly self-taught, I studied sumi ink painting while living in Japan and that traditional art has been the biggest influence on my style. When learning sumi painting, I spent the first few months painting lines with the ink and brush. It was as tedious as you might imagine, but it was the backbone to learning how my body, the brush, paint and water work together.

After about a year and a half of studying, my teacher said I was ready to focus on painting what I wanted to paint. From that point on, I started painting portraits and figures.

Why do I create what I do?

I think Rainer Maria Rilke said it best in his letter to a young poet, Franz Kappus (translated by Mark Harman):

Go inside yourself. Explore the reason that compels you to write; test whether it stretches its roots into the deepest part of your heart, admit to yourself whether you would have to die if the opportunity to write were withheld from you. Above all else, ask yourself at your most silent hour of night: must I write? Dig inside yourself for a deep answer. And if the answer is yes, if it is possible for you to respond to this serious question with a strong and simple I must, then build your life on the basis of this necessity; your life, even at its most indifferent and attenuated, must become a sign and a witness for this compulsion.

How does my creating process work?

Ebb and Flow: There are times when I am quiet and ruminating on an idea and other times when my thoughts and actions are flowing simultaneously and laying those ideas down on paper.

Thank you for coming along with me on this journey!

If you haven't yet visited Tammy at Beauty Flows, have a visit. She has a magical world filled with her art and photography.


  1. I am always amazed at how different art is from person to person, genre to genre -- and yet how similar it is.

    Stop by my blog and see what I "toss" together for you!

    glen (QuiltSwissy) at Quilts and Dogs

  2. hello Juana,
    I so enjoyed reading your post and seeing your art. Learning a bit more about your ways. I love your stamps they turned out awesome. how wonderful that you write to people, it is becoming a rare art as far as pen and paper goes. i find that when i or a friend receives a letter it feels like a special event. Something that gets remembered and if it has art on it, wow.

    The legs in the last piece are awesome! the bird too.

    Thank you for joining me on this hop around the world!

  3. Very beautiful work, stamps and words!
    It`s always interesting read other people thoughts about their work. <3

  4. Quiltswissy, thanks for stopping by and I look forward to visiting your post for this around the world.

    Tammie Lee, this around the world hop has been fun and thanks for the opportunity. I agree that a handwritten letter carries more significance than an email.

    Nina koo, thank you for your kind words. I find it interesting to read other people thoughts about their work too.

  5. Wow so many interesting thoughts and techniques to take in this morning. I'm definitely going to check everything out. Such a wonderful post to share with us all.
    Thank you.

  6. I enjoyed reading about your art processes and thoughts. The stamp making is wonderful and I love the bird.

  7. Wowness...beautiful art. you are super-talented...what a gorgeous post filled with such poetic beauty..and so inspiring to read!

    Yes, I know Tammie...and I absolutely love her incredible soul..and her amazing artistic- spirit! Wonderful!
    Happy SS

  8. Your work never ceases to amaze me. Happy Holidays!

  9. I enjoyed getting to know you better Juana. LOVE your work, and those stamps are so cool! Thanks for sharing so much of your journey :)

  10. Mail Art... this is fun! Your faux stamps are BEAUTIFUL, Juana! This is such a cheeful idea. With so much communication being digial, and much less snail mail, this makes receiving something physical in the postbox very exciting. Love seeing these close-ups of your work, and not least the background behind your style and process. We're just back from an Thanksgiving/pre-Christmas trip to the US to see my family. I'm making a departure from blogland, but I'll still be around... ;o) Wishing you & yours a Happy Christmas and all the very best in 2015! ((HUGS))


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