The Story of the ‘Strange
The artists of wonderstrange first met online on the world’s largest mail art trading site. Through swaps, trades, and daily chatting, we built relationships based on mutual admiration, a shared sense of humor, and of course, wonderful strangeness. In the summer of 2010, despite the fluttering of nervous spouses and friends, we made plans to meet in Rochester, New York, where absolutely no one turned out to be a wild-eyed, machete-wielding maniac, and where perfect strangers became perfect friends. It was in Rochester that the idea for wonderstrange arts was born.
Ann Pierson D’Angelo was born on the Great Lakes Naval Base but spent most of her childhood in rural Indiana, where she read copious amounts of age-inappropriate science fiction, staged intergalactic adventures in her tree house, and wrote short stories in her bedroom. After high school, she matriculated to Northwestern University and was accepted into the two-year poetry writing program, by the end of which, she had learned enough to stop writing poems altogether.
She applied to Boston University, earning a Master’s degree in English literature and teaching classes while pursuing a PhD – and a very cute boy, whom she wisely married before leaving academia in hopes of writing fiction for a living. To pay the bills, she secured a day job that mysteriously turned into a career, and suddenly, she had no time for any of the six novels she had started – or the 16 more living in her head.
Years later, when she could tolerate no more, Ann quit her job, and she and her husband moved to Indiana with their son so that Ann could write full time. That Christmas, seeking some way to make gifts on a budget, Ann started creating cards for her friends’ children. As her cards grew more elaborate, friends began to encourage her to sell her work on the side, and she finally accepted her first commission in 2006. With the discovery of mail art, she began to create Artist Trading Cards, post cards, and eventually, three-dimensional assemblage pieces. She has had work published in Take Ten and Art Trader magazines, and she recently illustrated her first book cover.
Email ann for information on commissions or to ask her about her favorite color. Visit Ann’s Shop to buy some of her awesome stuff!
Sarah Trumpp was born in urban California but raised in Colorado farm country in a town with more cows than people. She was always the weird girl, the supposed devil worshipper, the only mohawk in a sea of mullets and bouffants, and she spent most of her adolescence reading horror novels and trying to talk to ghosts. She joined her first band at the age of 16 and turned her creative mind to writing soul-searingly bad song lyrics and horrific poetry. Once of legal age, she wandered.
She spent a year hating college in Illinois before moving back to Colorado and taking up life as a waitress, writing more horrific poetry and filling journals with angst and weird little doodles. This habit followed her to Las Vegas where she once again joined a band and wrote bad songs on purpose, found her love, had a child, and moved back to Colorado where she married her love and had another child. She spent the next few years bouncing around the country, moving to North Dakota, Arizona, back to Vegas, and finally ending up in rural New York where her itchy feet at last found solace. She had yet another child, and her family began to grow roots.
Sarah had (thankfully) given up on the idea of being a cringeworthy lyricist and poet and had started devoting her creative energy to drawing, painting, and occasionally tattooing. She happily discovered the world of mail art in August of 2008 and found inspiration in the most bizarre places and joy in the surreal, and the thought of little pieces of her art wandering through the world satisfied her gypsy heart. Most of all, she found kindred spirits.
Now she spends her days working from home while wrangling a toddler, a teenager, and an in-betweener; annoying her husband; dabbling in debauchery; creating sometimes-pretty and always bizarre art; and generally making a nuisance of herself. She’s back in a town with more cows than people and is finally home.
Email sarah for information on tattoos or commissions or send her your bad poetry. Visit Sarah’s shop to buy some stuff you didn’t know you needed!