I like postcards. I like sending them. I like receiving them.
They offer everything I want in a form of un-spoken communication. On one side, there’s some sort of photo or picture. On the other side, there’s room to write anything between 8 words (“Having a lovely time. Wish you were here”) and 100 words (and if you can’t say what you want to say in 100 words, then you can’t say it at all), add the address and stick on a stamp or two.
In his book The Postcard Century, Tom Philips describes the historical importance of postcards: “The postcard was the phone call of the early part of the (19th) century, the mode of making arrangements, placing orders or just keeping in touch. With up to five deliveries a day, local cards were amazingly fast ways of communicating: it is not uncommon to find messages written at lunchtime to say the writer will be late home for tea.”
Does this sound like an e-mail? Or an SMS? Or some form of 'social (sic) media' communication?
Phillips again: “The postcard message while being informal developed its own prescription and tacit rules and, rather like haiku, contained necessary elements. The greeting, the weather, health of writer, enquiry as to health of correspondent, signing off; such was the basic pattern.”
I’ve adopted this in my Postcard Art, maximising the visual elements of the card in Stamp Art and/or Collage form, and minimalising the written, often reducing the latter to just a few words. This presents an interesting artistic challenge - how to visually present a theme in a 10.5 x 15 cm space (the front side of a card), and about half of that on the reverse side?
Some recent examples of my Postcard Art is in the 'Postcard Works' section here.