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What Happened To The Art Of Postcard Sending?

Are postcards a thing of the past? Would we rather take the instant option and send 20 photos on WhatsApp instead?

Are you a creative person who's looking to connect with your friends but haven't got the time to make something perfect or 'finished'? Here's my attempt at inspiring you to send a postcard to your best mate this summer!

Nostalgic times

As a child, getting post through the letter box was exciting. It wasn't going to be the brown letter of doom from HMRC or a scheduled health appointment that involves being poked or jabbed.

No, it was going to be a postcard or two from your best mates who was off enjoying their time in Wales, The Isles of Scilly, or somewhere even further afield! They wrote to tell you what the weather was like, what they'd eaten or what they'd seen.

Two postcards containing brightly coloured Portuguese tiles.
I bought these two purely for my own collection

The days before a WhatsApp picture, postcards were little pieces of art curated by an experience. The postcard was chosen (maybe even paid for with pocket money), a pen was snatched and a stamp came from somewhere (probably mum's purse). Your friend then wrote out what they wanted you to know about their trip.

AND imagine what it was like when you then went on holiday! Finding the perfect postcard to send to their front door with your story all written out on the back. Even the details like using a found green biro or creasing the edge when it was in your bag or getting ice cream on it. The delicious design of a foreign or limited edition stamp. Imagining how excited your friend would be to see your masterpiece arrive, just for them. The time and effort you'd put into it.

(Yes, I'm missing the part where they got home before the postcard and they've already told you what's on it - but I'm being nostalgic).

Two graphic design postcards containing scenes of Tynemouth and North Shields
And these two too actually...

Making a story out of a trip

Even if you aren't going anywhere fancy over summer, just looking out of the window in a different light with fresh eyes can be enough.

How would you curate that experience for your friend? What would you write about? What would you draw on the front? If you used the materials around you, what would they say about your experience. What colours can you see? What animals or greenery? What are the people doing? What's the temperature like? What's the weather like? Is there a tiny little detail that you just love?

An open sketchbook containing two paintings of postcards
Two paintings of postcards I received in 2022

My recent trip up the road

I mentioned the other week on a newsletter that I went on an adventure to my friends house. It was only up the road from my house but a change in scenery and routine just shifted something in me - so I emailed my mailing list about it (you're all very welcome btw).

I wanted to share with you how I would sum up that experience and how I would translate it across. If I were to make a postcard about that week, what would it have looked like?

Your Turn

Let's share some love. How can you share your experience of a trip or surroundings with someone else. Send them something meaningful, get creative and sum up your experience just for them. Pack a load of love onto that little piece of paper and slap a stamp on it.

Every month I send out a big Round Up of inspiration (and a smaller in-between top-up) on my newsletter, click the banner at the top of my website to join in! P.S. I'll send you a free list of 30 prompts to get you started.

Have more ideas than an what you can squeeze onto an A6 postcard? Have you thought about making a zine?

Get your postcard opinions in the comments, I'd love to hear them!

A collage of various drawings from different places around the UK and Spain

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