Hey, I've gone now for four years -- count 'em -- FOUR YEARS thinking I had every book that Nick Bantock ever had published. He is one of my all-time favorite artist/authors. His art is genius. Well, it was my bad. For some reason I thought that his book, published in 2004, was the same as another book published in 2004 by another one of my favorite artists, Henrik Drescher. Drescher's book is Postal Seance (left) while Bantock's book is Urgent 2nd Class (right).
Geeze, when I get something in my head there's no shaking it! I'm sure that when I saw the title, Urgent 2nd Class, I just thought of Drescher's book (also a mail title) and figured I already had it in my collection. Duh!
Well, while I was watching issue six of the digital magazine, Indie Arts (more on this in another post later), I saw the cover of Urgent 2nd Class by Nick Bantock and realized I didn't have it -- had never seen it before! Of course I ordered it right away. It is exactly the very book I had hoped Nick Bantock would write - a how to of his art style. Wow, I love it. There are lots of pictures in it, too. I can't believe I could have had it four years ago!
All of this put me in a Nick Bantock mood so I tried a little of his style on my next mail art envelope:
This is actually a digital rendition of the envelope I sent to my talented artist friend, Deryn Mentock. I scanned it before I took it to the post office. At that point it was just the background and the image of the girls. Then after I added Deryn's address and some more postal cancel stampings, I forgot to scan it again. So when I got home, I rubber stamped the postal cancels on plain paper and digitally added her address and the stampings on the envelope I had scanned.
The best part of the story is the part about the post office. I actually took a distress ink pad, paper towel, and some postal cancel stickers to the post office desk with me. (Gutsy, huh?) It's the first time I ever tried this. I wanted to have the post office postage meter strip put on it (rather than a postage stamp) because I didn't want a postage stamp or stamps to detract from the composition with it's postage stamp at the bottom. So I went up confidently to the desk and told the clerk that I'd like her to print out the postage strip and let me stick it on the envelope. I also told her that I wanted to put a little ink on the strip so it wouldn't be so white. (I'm telling you, I was pushing it.)
Lucky me, the postal clerk really liked the envelope and handed me the postage strip because she said, "I don't want to mess it up." She allowed me to put the strip exactly where I wanted it and then step aside to apply the destress ink to it. YES! While I was at it, I added the sticker at the bottom for balance and distressed it, too. When I handed it back to the clerk, she said softly, "Wow, that's really cool."
Obviously, I couldn't take it back home and scan it. So, I mailed it. When I got home I pulled up the scan and digitally added a different distressed postage strip (of course, it cost me a little more than $.99 to mail it), the address, the other rubber stamped cancels over the address, and the little distressed sticker at the bottom. Don't you think I'm getting clever with my digital skills? This envelope looks very close to the actual one I mailed to Deryn, right Deryn? (Maybe she will send me a scan of it as it arrived to her and we can compare it.)
The back of her envelope is not really Bantock style - but similar. I thought you might like to see it anyway:
The next envelope I did was another attempt at the Bantock style:
This scan is not very good because the envelope has embossed gold and copper ink and some glitter glue embellishments which, unfortunately, don't scan well. This envelope is not finished because it is just an extra one without an address. (I had made it for someone in Poland who wanted to buy a copy of Altered Books 102, but decided that the international mail cost was prohibitive.) So there is space left on this envelope for an address and postage.
The back of this one is sort of a Bantock style. I had printed this image accidentally on paper that already had black bars on it (some kind of printer test sheet or something) that somehow got into my stack of printer paper. I decided to use it anyway on the back of this envelope:
This, too, is unfinished as I'm sure I'll want to add some small supplementary images and probably some more postal stamps, etc. Meanwhile, I'm still in my Bantock style streak. So maybe there will be more to share later.