What is "Art In A Carton"?
"Art In A Carton" is essentially a three-for-three swap. It's an artsy little "Pay It Forward" idea I dreamed up over Christmas, while hunting around for something small and sturdy in which to package and send out an item of art. While surveying my kitchen-come-art-studio, I picked up an empty milk carton. All of a sudden, my mind went "click!", and an idea was born. Standard milk- or fruit juice cartons are a perfect way to package and sent small items of art, and they can be turned into art objects in their own right, too!
One thing I love is making small art and craft objects. Another thing I love is sharing what I make with other artists. If you're like me, you'll know the thrill of the postman handing over an art package, the anticipation of unpacking it, and the delight at holding another artist's creation in your hands.
With all that in mind, I decided to launch "Art In A Carton" as one of my 2008 art projects. I'd like to invite you to take part. The project works like this: I kick off the project by sending out "Art In A Carton" packages to various other artists. I'll tell you further down the page how you can be one of the recipients.
What you get
When you receive your "Art In A Carton", you'll find some small art items in the box, plus a project description sheet, as a reminder, plus several address labels with the names and addresses of three artists who've done "Art In A Carton" before you. Each label will have a date on the back.
The contents of each box will vary, depending on what I feel like making or what I use from my art gift stash. Items might include mini art chests filled with artsy delights, ATC, little art journals, paper dolls, journaling , art clay faces, matchbox art, unused rubber stamps, tags, ornaments, and the like.
The important thing at this stage is to understand that you will receive art before you are asked to make and send out art of your own, so you gain, whatever happens. If everyone plays fair, you'll receive more art from artists further down the art line, too. That's what your address labels are for.
What you do to take part in "Art In A Carton"
You find three half-litre or litre (or one-pint or one quart) milk or fruit juice cartons and make sure they are clean. You decorate the outside of the cartons, then fill them with small items of your own art. See the list above for a few starter ideas.
You send one "Art In A Carton" package to the person who sent "Art In A Carton" to you.
Then you take a look at the address labels, find a label with the oldest date, and send the second "Art In A Carton" package to that person.
Send your third "Art In A Carton" package to an artist of your choice. It might be a good idea to ask the person if s/he'd like to play, that way it's more likely they will keep "Art In A Carton" moving along. For this package, choose someone whose label is not already included in the "Art In A Carton" label collection. Along with the third carton (only the third carton), you package up the project description that came in your package, the remaining artist's address labels, and pop in two labels with your own name and address. Remember to write the date on which you package up your project on the back of your labels. At some point a little further down the art line, your labels will carry the oldest date, and other artists will send "Art In A Carton" to you as a gift.
You are welcome to make and send more than three "Art In A Carton" packages if you wish. Just make sure each package that you send to a "new" artist (the third and further packages) contains a project information sheet and a set of labels with dates. Make copies of the labels if necessary. Email me if you need a fresh or additional copy of the project information sheet.
How to get an "Art In A Carton" package
I will send out 52 "Art In A Carton" packages this year. Recipient will be the first 52 artists to send their details. This project has me so excited that I'm already in production line mode, so you won't have to wait all year for your "Art In A Carton" to reach you.
If you want to be one of the receiving artists do this: send me an email with your name and mailing address and the URL of your blog or website to me at the email address in my Blogger profile. Then all you need to do is place a link from the main page of your blog to the Art In A Carton blog. Once you've done that, let me know, and I'll send out your package and list you here on this blog as a participant, so everyone can see who is taking part.
Tracking "Art In A Carton"
It's going to be great fun to see what you make, where the packages go, and what other artists include in packages they send to you. So, when you send out and receive "Art In A Carton", tell us about it on your blog. You are also welcome to leave a message about art sent and received on the "Art In A Carton" blog. Include a link to the post you make on your own blog, so other artists can visit and see what you received.
Above all, have fun!