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: 118
Latest Activity: on Thursday


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

What Do I Do With Add/Passes?

Started by Bonniediva Apr 23, 2019. 0 Replies

la mia mail art

Started by Bruno Cassaglia Feb 21, 2017. 0 Replies

DO's & DON'Ts

Started by Poison Label Productions. Last reply by Poison Label Productions Oct 12, 2011. 2 Replies

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Poison Label Productions on November 21, 2012 at 4:55pm

as another month blows by....
i prepare to take over mentor duties for December....

Comment by Poison Label Productions on November 9, 2012 at 9:17pm

i pass to Kat for November...

Comment by Poison Label Productions on September 6, 2012 at 2:03am

you will never get october from me ..

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on September 5, 2012 at 11:10pm

Only half of the year? Not good enough APLD aka  PLP!

I can take over in October if you like, BUT you must remind me to do so at the end of September.

I've asked Ruud to try and find other mentors: he must know people who are suitable, and whom he can approach.


Comment by Poison Label Productions on September 5, 2012 at 6:05pm

On Duty ....

Comment by Poison Label Productions on September 5, 2012 at 4:58pm

i will take it on Mim ....
i relieve you of your current mentor duties!

Mark - 
i think we need more mentors - but i have been asking people to mentor for almost a year...

I will back up anyone who needs a break - 
Hell, i already cover half of the year!!!

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on September 5, 2012 at 4:39pm

Ruud...can you bring some influence to bear on this please? We have 2500+ members, but only 7 or so mentors. Perhaps you could recruit some more of the 'old guard' to be the mentor of the month?


Comment by Mim Golub Scalin on September 5, 2012 at 4:34pm

I'm willing to continue on in September as Mentor until some one picks up the baton & carries on. Val explained it all very well. Anyone? Anyone? Let me know and I'll be able to tell you where I left off.

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on September 5, 2012 at 8:53am

Welcome Erni!

Delighted to have you on board. I am sure you will make an excellent mentor, given your wealth of experience.

We take turns to be mentor of the month. There isn't one for September, and mim is continuing 'in office'.

Would you like to take over from her? It's very easy -- all that you have to do is send new members a welcoming message when they join (the sooner, the better). The one I send them is at the bottom of this message. Then you sit back and wait -- some contact you for help, others just get on with things.

It's a good way to meet new people, and to get them started.

If you want to be the mentor for September, please tell Mim directyly. I'm going to Holland for a few days, and won't have easy access to a computer, but I'm sure that the two of you can sort things out.

Thanks again, Val.



Dear ,

Bonjour and Welcome to IUOMA!

It's a great bunch of folks and I hope that you enjoy exchanging Mail Art with us. I'm your Mentor, and if I can help to ease you into IUOMA in any way, then please don't hesitate to ask and I'll try to explain what's going on and how IUOMA works.

If you haven't already done so, I suggest you take a look at the 'New to IOUMA' page (4th from the left at the top of the IUOMA home page) where you'll find a 10-point Introductory Guide that should give you an insight as to what is going on.

You have to get started somewhere, and I wonder if you would like to exchange some Mail Art with me? If so, send me something to 1 Rue de la Vieille Fontaine, F-11130 Sigean, France, and I PROMISE to send you something back. (Make sure that you provide your mail address on your Page and/or the piece that you send me so that I will know where to reply to.)

Hoping you enjoy your IUOMA days.


Val Herman

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on September 2, 2012 at 10:27am

We need someone for September?

And possibly I will be traveling then ;-0


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