Tag Archives: history

1992: Humble Beginnings

Click for the gallery of 1992 stamps

Copy machines and grid paper to double passes and colored ink

I stumbled on  Artistamps and Mail Art at the same time that I stumbled upon Dominique. We began a correspondence and he sent me the most wonderful things. These magical gifts inspired me to renew my passion for collage and artistic things in general.

He introduced me to all things philatelic not by teaching and  explaining, but by doing and showing. He took me to several stamp conventions  where collectors bought and seller sold, real stamps from the United States and other places far, far away. We always looked for old stamps being sold at face value, so that we could use them instead of the boring going rate stamps. We  also talked to people about Cinderella’s (an official Philatelic name for stamps not used for postage.) I quickly became fascinated and began my own versions of  these miniature works of art.

 The Ecstasy Issue was the first one I made. I started with a drawing about 8 by 10 inches on a thin tracing paper. I  added text using a stencil and a background pattern based on a distorted  repetition of hearts and stars. All was created inside a simple ruler drawn box.  I then took this to Kinko’s and reduced it numerous times on the copy machines until I got a size I liked. Then with grid like graph paper I lined up several mini versions of the stamp on another piece of thin tracing paper. This was then  copied onto full sheet sticker paper. I actually managed to pinhole perforate some of these early sheets, although I don’t remember if it was Greg Byrd or Carl Chew’s machine that I used to do this. Or if even, someone did it for me.

A/NTPEX was the first art show I entered as an adult and as an Artistamp Artist. This gathering of other stamp collector and creators was small, yet filled with tables of fascinating people creating amazing little faux  postage. The piece I hung at that first show, sold even before the opening party. I was so thrilled that I haven’t stopped since

Due to their limited production, these stamps are very rare!

History: In my minds eye: The Eyeland Of Exoticia

The Eyeland of Exoticia is not a physical place. There is no beach with white sand and warm sun that will wash  away the worries of your work-a-day world. It is a place of introspection. A place of self-examination that begets growth and creation.What began as  a way to “box” a manner of expression, to define and label, became a journey and  then eventually a place.

As early as 1992 ExoticiaPOST printed and  distributed stamps. The earliest stamps were both a means of communication to an outside world and a means of exploring a sensuality within. The issues addressed  themes of love, sexuality, beauty and femininity.

Sheba was the  postmistress, the explorer and the lover in this land of creation. Her birth name translated by some to mean “The Goddess of the Moon.” She took this to heart and incorporated it into the world that was becoming Exoticia. The moon was venerated and Sheba was the goddess of the night. More than one stamp issue celebrated this connection to a spirituality that she was seeking.

Eventually, the POST was not big enough to hold the dreams of the  postmistress. A land was growing in her mind. The post name came from a desire to be exotic, like the elegant plumes of a peacock. From the need to be seen.  But what was exotic? Like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. So behold, the Eyeland was unearthed with in the heart of the post. And it was good. 

The first known event in the Eyeland was a failure. Plans originally started by “The Committee of Virtues” were never completed. To this day the event is still trying to get its feet off the ground. It seems the Eyeland was  corrupted, blackness filled so many parts after years of existence in a dark world only lit by the fickle moon. But it was known by the postmistress to be good and light under the layers of doom and gloom. It’s spirit must be  reawakened. So “The Committee of Virtues” belabors day and night and day to bring back the justice, the hope, the fortitude, the temperance, the chastity,  the love and the faith.

Can you or even should you visit the Eyeland of  Exoticia? Passports for entry are regularly distributed through the Passport Office. Tourist season does not exist as the Eyeland has yet to become a popular vacation spot. A few modes of travel are recommended to make your way. Prayer,  meditation, spending time in nature, creating art and playing like a child are  ways to reach the inner sanctum of the Eyeland. But it will be a local found only once and only by the seeker. It is rare to run into another visitor. To experience the parts of the Eyeland already discovered by the postmistress, you need only look at the stamps and mail art that has traveled out of the Eyeland.  Visit often, but remember “The Committee of Virtues” is working hard to make the Eyeland a brighter and more beautiful place,

so please take your darkness with you when you leave.

The future of the Eyeland is currently unknown. It will most likely always exist in some form or another. The postmistress will  likely find events and people to commorate and celebrate throughout the years. The “box” of a postage stamp will remain a favorite for putting boundaries on our vast world. And the Eyeland will remain a special place to return, to laugh, to cry and to sing.