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Blog > Ashwin's sketched postcards


Awhile ago, Dutch postcrosser Paulien (aka Paulienvdmeer) received an amazing illustrated postcard from India… and was so impressed that she immediately wrote to let us know about it. Following up on her suggestion, we reached out to Ashwin, the illustrator behind these special postcards, to ask him a few questions!

How did you discover Postcrossing? What made you stay?

It was on a 2015 trip to Ladakh in the Himalayas that I posted my first ever postcard — to my parents back home. By the time I got back home, the postcard had already arrived, and it was fascinating to know that something could travel 2000+ kms and from 11500 feet altitude to sea-level — for as little as 6 rupees (8 cents USD). Ever since I got back, I knew there must be more people in love with postcards and I googled for postcard exchange platforms. Postcrossing happened to be amongst the top results and I was impressed by its member base. I am a huge travel buff and the fact that you get to hear stories from across the world by the way of postcards is the secondary reason why I continue to use the platform. The primary reason, of course, is that I imagine postal services might be discontinued someday (they shouldn’t be) and my postcard collection will be worth millions then! 😄

Ashwin's sketched postcards
What attracts you to urban sketching? How do you choose the buildings/sceneries that you focus on?

My training as an architect-urban designer led me to sketch and doodle a lot of ideas. But it was my Bachelors thesis professor, Ar. Shrikant Sathe, who insisted that I never give up sketching. I simply followed his advice and now I end up sketching even while waiting at airports and train stations! Life in urban environments is very interesting and I usually pick a small frame of a large and chaotic surrounding to sketch it. At the moment, I am focusing on drawings humans better in my sketches!

Ashwin's sketched postcards
Do you have a favourite postcard that you’ve made?

I doodled a map of my city titled 'A-Z Bombay’ for a heritage travel company called Khaki Tours I work with. This map chronicled the 26 must-do experiences in Mumbai alphabetically laid out on a map.

Ashwin's sketched postcards

Since then, I have used the illustration across posters, mugs and postcards. It remains my favourite card till date. But I am always looking to find a new favourite.

What are members reactions when they receive one of these sketched postcards?

While posting the cards is a reward in itself, it is heartening to know that my recipients love my postcards. I have made friends with so many people from around the globe and many are in touch via Whatsapp/Instagram with regular exchange of postcards. I am happy when my sketches inspire people to visit my country. Perhaps someday my life partner will show up on a postcard too!

Which materials do you use to make these cards?

Sketches are usually done in my sketchbook that I carry with me at all times. They’re then scanned and laid out on my computer before being printed on a thick 300gsm textured paper. I am extremely finicky about the finish and take the delivery of the cards from my printshop myself.

Ashwin's sketched postcards

Thank you so much Ashwin! We love it when people pour their talents into the postcards they send — it’s so inspiring! 😍 If you’ve received a particularly nice handmade postcard lately, let us know in the comments below!

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76 comments so far

GoCindy, United States of America
Wow! These drawings are splendid! Thanks for this post.
alterego, Canada
Beautiful!! I hope to receive one some day. Ashwin is a real talent!
anniewilsonpaquin, Canada
Wow ! So much talent ! Congratulations !
Thanks to your blog got to know this talented Postcrosser from my city Mumbai...Loved your sketches Ashwin...Keep it going...Best wishes...Happy Postcrossing...
Geminiscp, Portugal
Very pretty sketches, congratulations to all talented people that make this world brighter. :)
Cassildra, United States of America
What a splendid spotlight! Thank you, Ashwin and other artists of Postcrossing, for making the world brighter--especially now!
carameljuniper, Brazil
Very well done! I love urbank sketch so is specially nice to find this kind of treasure
Olddutch, Spain
Wow! Amazing! I love those urban sketches. I do hope that one day someone will send me a card like that.
mounten, Italy
Congrats to Ashwingreat urban sketches love them. Thanks for this blog brightens up these days of crises all over the world. Stay safe and smile ciao.
AnnewithE, United States of America
You are fantastic to make your drawings intocards. I hope I get one some day. Thank you for sharing you re talent!
Roha, United States of America
What a great story. I hope I get your postcard someday. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing the story.
Tranchile, Guernsey
Awesome. Keep on showing the world your wonderful talent. 👏🏻
lostresviajeros, Austria
Well done! *Thumbs up*
Di_M, Russia
Thank you for sharing Ashwin's story and sketches with us! What a bright idea to make postcards of sketches, they are awesome and unique 👏 Keep on doing your great work, Ashwin, and good luck 🍀!
mapa, Belgium
Nice and Original! Hope I get one of your cards one day!
AnimalLovingSwimmer, United States of America
WOW! So, cool! I would definitely support this artist if these postcards were for sale!
Walle_yo, Germany
That is really Beautiful! Thank you for sharing
booboo_babies, United States of America
Love these drawings! Ashwin, if you ever decide to print these and sell them, I would be happy to buy some from you! I'm always looking for artistic postcards to share with other Postcrossing members.
Gen24, United States of America
I love seeing other Postcard artists out there! As an artist who sends handmade cards, it's so encouraging to see other fabulous drawings from others. ;)
Sophyxo, Germany
I LOVE this :D I just started studying interior architecture and we do a lot of urban sketching and stuff too. This is so inspiring. ❤️
NIDUSKA, Finland
thank you,great postcards
Ineminemutte, Belgium
Very nice illustrations! My sister also illustrates postcards, and I'm always happy to send out one of her postcards. It just feels so unique :).
Carygirl, United States of America
So much talent!
Jacque53, United States of America
Fabulous postcards Ashwin! Your illustrations are gorgeous!

I love homemade postcards! One of my favorite handmade postcards was done by Svemapaan (Svetlana and her sister) in Germany. I received it in July of 2017 and I have had it up on my wall ever since :)
mysweetlife63, United States of America
Oh my gosh, fabulous! Such talent. Thank you for this article.
BellSmallburrow, United States of America
I think my favorite cards are the handmade ones! These are beautiful -- thanks for sharing them and Ashwin's talents.
WuLeike, China
Why i can not meat you,your paint are excellent!
rainss61, United States of America
What an incredible talent!! Thank you for sharing your gift!!
lilsis, Germany
Absolutely amazing, Ashwin!! Would love to get one of your postcards one day, too!
sacdalton, United States of America
Thanks for sharing your story! So cool and you're so incredibly talented.
firstdi, United States of America
Wow, amazing talent.
saikat_das, India
Yulia-and-Mark, United States of America
So beautiful postcards! And great job! Thank you for sharing )
shieru, Russia
This is really inspiring. I am happy when people are that generous to share their art! <3 Thanks for this amazing spotlight.
RyanWeng, China
Thriveaholic, Spain
I send hand made postcards too, it depends on what the other people want to receive. If I don't have, I paint! Awsome work Ashwin! <3
Mosshumla, Sweden
Great postcards! I hope Ashwin will draw my address one day.
Hotaru, Norway
Really inspiring and talented person! Thank you for sharing your art with us! And thank you PC for giving us the chance to discover several illustrators and designers around the globe thanks to all the postcards we receive!!
SaikaK, United Kingdom
Lovely sketches! Have inspired me to try it out so thanks! 🙏🏼
Demmi, Romania
Awesome! I hope to receive one someday!
Great work Ashwin > #realtalent

Take care everyone and stay healthy!
Happy Postcrossing!
:) :D
sienemien, Belgium
Your"re very talented and I'm happy you share your art with us in this article. I also hope to receive one someday. And about your country: I visited my foster children in Cochin a few years ago. Great country!
Talal90Ahmed, Iraq
CindyMc, United States of America
Ashwin is a very talented man! His drawings are so beautiful! His professor was right--he should always continue to sketch and draw and illustrate. ❤️ Thank you, Postcrossing, for highlighting Ashwin in this blog. I love to learn about other Postcrossers. 😊
Agentin23, Germany
Wow that's really great
Mapswell, United States of America
"Do Epic Shit" = Great advice :)
mail_geek, United States of America
Very cool!!! Hope to be a recipient some day :)
zomertje, Netherlands
Wauw they are beautiful, didn't get one yet but hope to get one soon. that would be marvellous. thank you for sharing
Maxi85, Germany
Wow, that's really impressing! Love it very much <3 <3 <3
libbymay1996, United Kingdom
I would love one, one day!
Sprinkledonut, Canada
Loved this profile! Thank you. What's Ashwin's Instragram link? I want to follow him and his amazing sketches.

Ashwin, I hope you will also share your sketches with this blog. They've put out a couple of books as well.
josephvm, India
Finally, someone from India got featured on Postcrossing blog! 😍
Flippie, Canada
Amazing talented. I hope that I find one of them one day in my mailbox!
LuSays, United Kingdom
I am always impressed by the sheer talent of some people!
quichelady, Japan
Wow! I hope I get his postcard someday. I love drawing, too. Thanks for sharing the story.
littleadventures, United States of America
Wow! Ashwin, your sketched postcards are amazing! So much fun and thoughtful. And I think you’re adorable too lol!
CarlaW, Netherlands
Awesome work! To receive such a card is really a present .
I like to make handmade cards with ink and rubber stamps,
sending them all over the world feels good.I don't know why so may postcrossers don' t want handmade cards .They are my favorite to receive .
alison41, South Africa
Great article. I'd love an Ashwin card one day.
nediam_nori, Finland
wonderful, you are so talented, Ashwin :)
swonild, Italy
A great idea! I am an illustrator and I really like the style of your sketches. Maybe one day you could receive a card from me and I'll get a card from you. That sounds great :)
flowerdogs, United States of America
These are fantastic!! Keep up the great work Ashwin!
foysalratul, Bangladesh
Love the cards, amazing sketches. Thanks Postcrossing for sharing the story with us.
robinmp, United States of America
Your talent is amazing and how thoughtful to share it on a postcard. Truly inspiring!!
harrickson, United States of America
Epic talent and blog!
mikel101, United States of America
Amazing talent first of all. I wish I can draw....but even stick figures are unknown for me :)

And love the book cover page - DO EPIC SHIT!!!
Luluz, Finland
Wow, great talent! I’m happy to get known your art!
volvomom, United States of America
Thank you for showing us the view of your world! :)
seattlestacia, United States of America
What wonderful sketching! I'm delighted to have a chance to see your work. Thank you for sharing it with us. May our paths crossing on Postcrossing someday. :-)
Hohdin, Finland
What a wonderful skill!!
ClairePC, Canada
Love those postcards, Ashwin! I hope to get one some day. I make my own postcards, too, with my little plein air paintings. People seem to like them.
Teadear, Netherlands
one word; #Gifted that is what you are Ashwin. A ma zing!
Shelley333, United States of America
Absolutely amazing sketches! I hope to find one in my 📫 someday! Thank you for sharing your talent!!!!☘️
BridgetLarsen, Australia
This is very unique Ashwin, can you do each Capital city in the world like this? It would just take off in Postcrossing
ATLASkeeda, India
(Long comment, sorry!)
Thank you to the postcrossing team; I am extremely grateful for this feature. Every interaction with Postcrossing gives back so much more than it takes, and I was caught up with something that you all might like:

With too much negative news around, I had started an instagram experiment on 25 March - the same day when the lockdown in India began. The purpose was to create and post one artwork a day. It's keeping me in routine and good mental shape besides improving art skills as well. I also ask a question alongwith the artwork, with one correct answer getting a postcard by snailmail! So everyone who wish to get a postcard (and even if you don't!), you might want to check out (ATLAS = Art, Travel, Language And Stories)

Although I never created postcards to be sold, the comments here have gotten me thinking! I have begun designing new postcards and will keep posting updates on the same instagram handle.

Special shoutouts to...
danielle110305 and booboo_babies : for your encouraging words.
Sophyxo and SaikaK : Never give up sketching!
WuLeike : I would love to meet you as well, just not during this pandemic!
Sprinkledonut : and
littleadventures : Swiped you right too! :D
BridgetLarsen : Very valuable suggestion. Will definitely work on it :)

Lastly, I hope everyone is safe and supporting your loved ones. When things are back to normal, I would like to invite you all to India - fabulous place and you know whom to contact :)

Thank you!
Annalouisa, Netherlands
Polenz, Netherlands
Very cool sketching! I only draw portrets from the postcrossers when they share there pfotograph in there info. Very nice to do! Or when they are fan of a specifiek person...I draw it sometimes for them. When they like it...then i am very happy person :)
Kincaid, Netherlands
Amazing, Ashwin!

I once received a wonderful card especially drawn for me by Anke (AnoukBahr)
I loved it!

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