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International Trade

Long Series #1064 by Stephan B. MacInnis (from the art trade)

I have just completed an international trade–one of the most satisfying trades of all my life. I traded art with an artist from Canada. We had found each other through WordPress, went through a back and forth process, came to a trade agreement and shipped each other pieces of abstract art across borders.

This little transaction has made me realize the power of the internet in a down to earth and thrilling way. Ah! The power of connecting over great distances and sharing visual treasures, audio gems and inspiring ideas. Double Ah! The power of sending analog material via the POSTAL SYSTEM. It’s so mind-blowing how we can drop a package in the mail and it can end up halfway around the world.

I haven’t received any handmade matter in the mail for a very long time, let alone Art—with real paint, brush marks, texture and soul all laid down on authentic paper. The internet has made mailing most communication obsolete. And sadly, we are missing out on that magical feeling of receiving a real package from a real person, made from their real hands and delivered by a human mail carrier.

I encourage you to make a trade. Trade a doodle, a small painting, a collage, a purse, a 7-inch record, a typed poem, a handwritten recipe, a scarf, a puppet, pottery, …and send it out. Send it out! And feel the magic!

You could add a link to your website or tagline in your email signature about your desire to trade–like Delanie Holton-Fessler, who has a link to “Barter” on her artist website.

We spend so much time online making a plethora of quasi-connections that, at the end of the day, can leave us feeling disconnected and more strange than ever. This simple act of trading art across borders has made me feel reconnected to humanity.

Do you trade things you make? What have you traded? What was your experience?

Photo: Long Series #1064 by Stephen B. MacInnis

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About Alyson Khan

Alyson writes and edits stuff for other people and does her best to craft words so they say the right thing and sound nice. When she is not slaving over the aesthetic flow of a sentence, you might find her in the studio slaving over the correct placement of a piece of paper in a collage. She's a meditator and an inspiration junky. It sounds cheesy, but it's true.

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