Start Here at IUOMA

A group with information for newcomers to the IUOMA. Some hints and tips written by VHM and BJ  to help you find your way at the IUOMA platform. For mentor of the Month we are always looking for volunteers.

New members are encouraged to join this group.

Location: Worldwide
Members: 162
Latest Activity: Jun 12


Welcome to IUOMA – the International Union of Mail Artists. You are now part of a world-wide artistic community that was created in 1998. Currently it has over 4000 members from around the world.

Newcomers to IUOMA sometimes find its scope and complexity a little intimidating to start with. It is not. It’s a friendly community of like-minded artists who are linked with each other and who participate in joint projects on an individual-to-individual basis or through IUOMA’s 125+ specialised Groups.

IOUMA is also a very democratic organisation. We are all equal, even though some of its members have been Mail Artists for 30 years or more, and you might have just joined 20 minutes ago. This doesn’t matter as you can establish links with as many or as few Mail Artists as you like, and participate in as many or as few projects that you choose. Don’t be shy, don’t be hesitant -- we are all Mail Artists together, and we all respect each other whether we are old or new hands at this Mail Art experience.

This 10-point Guide is intended to help you to find your way around IUOMA’s web-site and its members by setting out some simple things that you can do to now that you have become a member.

1. Start by looking at the Photos section of the web-site to get an idea of the type of Mail Art we are making and exchanging. Click on a photo to get an enlarged version of it.  If you like, you can send the Artist a Comment as to why you find a particular piece of mail art interesting.

2. You’ll also find the name of the Artist there. Click on that name and you will be taken to the Artist’s IUOMA Home Page, where you will find some Profile Information that usually sets out in some detail why the artist is involved in Mail Art and contact details (including web-sites). Also on the Artist’s Home Page you will find a complete set of Photos posted in IUOMA and (on the left hand side of the page) any Blog Posts and Discussions that he or she has initiated.

3. IUOMA is all about exchanging Mail Art. If you’d like to exchange Mail Art with an Artist you have identified then Send (him or her) A Message, introducing yourself briefly, and asking if you can become IUOMA Friends. You will soon get a Message back saying something like, ‘Yes, let’s be Friends. Let’s exchange Mail Art’. Take it from there, build up a network of Friends and keep a close eye on your physical Mail Box as Mail Art from all over the world will soon start arriving in it.

4. And when you receive Mail Art it’s customary – and courteous – to acknowledge it by updating the ‘What Mail-Art did you receive today?’ box that appears at the top of your Home Page, and/or write a short ‘Thank you’ to the sender.

5. What you now need to do is to post some of your own photos on your My Page. This way your friends and friends-to-be will get an idea about the type of Mail Art that you are interested in. Also, revise and up-date your Home Page from time to time, as it serves as a combination of CV and visiting card for you.

6. Now that you’ve started the process of making Friends what you should do next is look at the Groups section of the web-site and identify some Groups that interest you. There are 125+ Groups in existence, covering all sorts of weird and wonderful subjects such as Arti-stamps, Postal History, Visual Poetry, Tombstones and PO Box Owners. (There are also Groups for French, German, Dutch and Spanish speakers). Click on the title of a Group and you will see from the Discussion Forum list the type of subjects that are being considered by each Group. If you’d like to join a Group, the process is very simple – just click on the Join... icon on the Group’s Home Page. Then you’ll be able to follow and contribute to the work of the Group, join in Discussions, and – again, don’t be shy! – start new Discussions.

7. And that is basically the two main things that you need to do to get started in IUOMA – exchange Mail Art with your Friends and participate in the work of the Groups. It’s a very democratic organisation. But there’s a lot more going on in and through IUOMA.

8. For example, read and follow the daily Blog Posts that appear on the left of the IUOMA Main Page. Another example – look at some of the Links on the right side of the Main Page: these will introduce you to a wide variety of sites and sources. To pick just one of these, look at the MAIL-ART projects where international Mail Art projects and exhibitions are promoted. You are an International Mail Artist and these projects provide you with the opportunity to have your works displayed to international audiences.

9. These Links, and this short Guide, may not answer all the questions you have. There are two other sources that you can turn to. The first is the Ask Anything Group run by The Founding Father and Today’s Leader of IUOMA, Ruud Janssen. The Group’s description says, ‘There are lots of basic questions on Mail Art that are often asked and answered. This Group might be the first place to look for answers.’ Ruud has been a Mail Artist since 1980 and has unparalleled experience: ask him a question (however simple you might think it is) and he will unfailingly give you an answer.

10. The second source is your very own IUOMA Mentor who will help you in whatever way he or she can to ease you into the IUOMA community. There are 12 Mentors, and yours is dependent on the month you joined IUOMA (see below).* If you have any questions at all about IUOMA, then ask your Mentor.

Finally, and when you’ve become integrated into IUOMA, you might like to Welcome New Members as they join – they are the most recent names listed on the Members Page. They are new to IUOMA as you once were – help them into the IUOMA community.

Happy International Mail-Arting!


Ruud Janssen


Mentor(-s) of the Month (2019):


January = Mim Golub Scalin  / Cascadia Artpost

February = Bonniediva

March = Boo Cartledge / Mary Cartledgehayes

April = Mim Golub Scalin

May = Bonniediva

June = Bonniediva

July = Bifidus / vacation time / Cascadia Artpost

August = Mim Golub Scalin

September = Bonniediva

October = Bonniediva

November = Katerina Nikoltsou

December = Bonniediva


see also : for a database with questions and answers on mail-art and working here.

The mentorlist is for 2019 but may need some updates in names. If you want on or off the list, please send the moderator an e-mail ( IUOMA network is free for everybody. The hosting is paid with kind donations by members (see

Discussion Forum

Some Primers

Started by Gerald Jatzek Oct 17, 2021.

What Do I Do With Add/Passes?

Started by Bonniediva Apr 23, 2019.

la mia mail art

Started by Bruno Cassaglia - poet@rtist Feb 21, 2017.

DO's & DON'Ts 2 Replies

Started by Poison Label Productions. Last reply by Poison Label Productions Oct 12, 2011.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Start Here at IUOMA to add comments!

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on November 1, 2023 at 7:17am

For all new members to IUOMA in November, 

come visit this group for help getting started.

Any questions, I will try to help, as "mentor" for November :-)

Welcome to IUOMA!

Comment by Rebekka Schmidt on February 19, 2023 at 7:58pm

thank you Ruud for this kind introduction and overview. very good for getting started here.

Thank you also for creating this space. I`m very happy that I can be a part of this very inspiring place. :)

Comment by Marcia Rosenberger on January 8, 2023 at 4:57pm


Still need help updating your address?

At the top of the page, enter the link of your page (My page), in Profile Iinformation, click on Edit and just change the information.

I hope I helped you.

Best wuishes, 


Comment by Daniel de Culla on December 6, 2022 at 1:05pm

Season's Greetings¡

Comment by Laurence Roberts on October 13, 2022 at 11:43am

hi i  how doo i change my postal address please ?

I have moved !

Moved from the E7 9QE address i London to


6 Downview Road,



East Sussex

BN12 6QR

many thanks,


Comment by Severino Domenico on February 21, 2021 at 12:16am
Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on November 1, 2019 at 10:40am

Welcoming new members in November :-)

the TORmentor,


"November = Katerina Nikoltsou"

Comment by Headguy on August 13, 2018 at 3:08pm

Thank you Ruud for the guide.  I look forward to sharing my project(s) with the community.

Comment by Bruno Cassaglia - poet@rtist on July 6, 2017 at 8:49pm
Comment by Ruud Janssen on January 6, 2017 at 7:11am

For specific questions there is a special group where already other members asked questons and members gave their answers. That is a first place to find answers........


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