Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "artist"

Recently, on another of those random browsing sessions (which we like to call “research”), I stumbled upon some fantastic postcards! At first glance they looked like perfectly normal, vintage postcards… but upon further inspection you start noticing the suspiciously out of place aliens, robots and all kinds of terrific spaceships and creatures!

Vacanze Romane Austral Summer Games - Rio Odio l'Estate (I Hate Summer)

Whoa! Isn’t it amazing? I can totally picture Darth Vader having some ice-cream while levitating his journal! :D After marveling at his Flickr gallery for a while, I decided to ask Italian illustrator Franco Brambilla about his fantastic creations. He replied promptly and was happy to give us some insight into his geek postcards:

Can you explain to us in your own words what your project “Invading the Vintage” is about? And what inspired you to do it?

“Invading the vintage” is an art project that I started in 2007… mainly for fun and because I wanted to create some nerd art. :) Cute aliens invade grandparents postcards! I’m an Italian illustrator in love with sci-fi. I have been illustrating science-fiction books since 1998 for a big Italian publisher. I also love vintage postcards, I have a little collection of Italian and world vintage postcards from the 50/60/70s.

Invading the vintage meshes 3D models (which I have to do for work) with my postcards and the result is quite funny and surreal. After a while I started to invade postcards with characters and ships from TV shows and movies, and also sci-fi movies from when I was a kid in the 70s.

No, Not The Droids...
I can see that you sort of specialize in drawing science-fiction themes and geek art. Was this a deliberate move in your career or did it just sort of happen?

I started for fun but I was already a specialized sci-fi illustrator. My 3D artworks are quite different from “Invading the vintage” and usually have a different audience. “Invading the vintage” is quite popular in the internet and I’m not tired to create some more. Geeks and nerds like me love them, I found out I’m not the only one who started to personalize childhood sci-fi myths… geek art is a reality! :)

Are you a big fan of science-fiction? And if so, do you have any favorite series of your own?

I love sci-fi in any form, my favourite shows are the British Space 1999 and UFO, but also Star Wars and Star trek.

Jurassic Riviera
Which kind of science-fiction items do you prefer drawing? Are some more fun to draw than others?

Aliens and robots are the best, I love to put them in 60's postcards interacting with people… the result is so retro futuristic!

Where do you find your vintage postcards? Are you a collector?

I’m an amateur, not a serious collector, but I have 400/500 postcards… I usually buy them in street markets but my friends also give me more from around the world to be invaded.

Guess WHO's coming to dinner...

Thank you Franco, that was lovely!

Franco’s postcards are available worldwide on his shop. If you’re in Europe, you might want to purchase them through his UK, DE, FR or ES shops.


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Some time ago, we stumbled on katilemur's profile and were intrigued by a request which read “draw, please, the Dachshund – is a short-legged, long-bodied dog. It’s easy for drawing, really!”.

We wondered… did she receive a lot of drawn dachshunds on her postcards? Turns out… yes, she did!


From the top-left corner (with permission), drawings by zheka-french, Anja71, flooranna, Lord5005, cami21901, katkarapusalaatti, Bookorama, Ella_Grape and julykachanova.

A lot of drawers seem a bit reserved about their drawing skills, but they still gave it a go! How cool is that? :D

We were curious so we asked Ekaterina… why dachshunds?

“Once I wanted to get something more interesting than just ”greetings from… happy postcrossing". I thought how to encourage people to do little more than they used to. And I’ve decide the simple drawing is what I need. So remained only to choose a theme. It had to be something simple, have the typical features and everyone should know it and the result must be funny… I guess it’s very easy to draw the dachshund for anyone, even if you don’t know how to draw: long body with short legs! I’ve got the dachshund and I like this breed. So my choice was predetermined =)"
Hot dog dachshund

Drawing by BenjaminYuxin.

Great work, everyone! :) You can see more lovely dachshunds on katilemur's collection here.


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Last week, stampraider emailed us with a couple of tips about some postcard-themed Kickstarter projects. We’re big fans of Kickstarter (and postcards, obviously), so we thought we should share these two projects with you!

First up, Wise Words – Inspiration through design by Michael, Josh & Jordan, a trio of graphic design and business students from Toronto, Canada. They’ve put together a neat collection of 40 postcards, with quotes from some of the biggest thinkers, inventors and builders of all time. Here’s their video:

Cool, right? From Nicola Tesla to Coco Chanel, the collection seems inspiring and versatile… just the thing for postcrossers, we’d say! :)

The second project, also from Toronto, is The Mo Project by The Letterpress Shoppe. They’re making postcards (also coasters, prints and stationery) featuring a number of moustaches to celebrate Movember. We do have a soft spot for letterpress, and these seem quite high quality!

The Mo project

So there you go! Have you heard of any interesting projects involving postcards? Do share!


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Today we bring you the story of a stationery maker from another era… you’ve probably seen her designs in vintage cards floating around on Ebay – today we bring you the story behind them! :)

Ellen Hattie Clapsaddle was an American illustrator and the most prolific postcard and greeting card artist of her time. She was born in 1865 in South Columbia, New York, about 200 miles from New York City. From an early age she displayed great artistic ability. Encouraged by her parents and teachers to develop her skills, she eventually pursued a career in art. After finishing her studies at Cooper Union Institute for the Advancement of Science and Art, a well-renowned and competitive college for artists, she returned to South Columbia and began giving art lessons out of her home.

Hearty Thanksgiving greetings. Digital ID: 1588268. New York Public Library

While earning a living, she also painted in her free time, creating landscapes and commissioned portraits of families in Richfield Springs. She began to submit her work to publishers in NYC and quickly became known for her illustrations that were used in advertising, calendars, paper fans, and greeting cards, where she gained her most success. Eventually, her artwork was turned into single-faced cards that could be kept as souvenirs or used as postcards. She began to design her illustrations particularly for these increasingly popular cards.

In 1906, the Wolf Company hired her at a time where very few women artists were hired as illustrators. Clapsaddle initially produced her postcards under Wolf’s name and in time became their sole postcard designer. The golden age of these postcards ranged from 1898 to 1915, and Clapsaddle is attributed to creating over 3,000 designs during this time.

A merry Christmas. Digital ID: 1586998. New York Public Library

Her images express an innocence and joie de vivre that is very childlike in nature. The main themes of her cards are centered on holidays. Her Halloween cards are the most highly prized by collectors; the Christmas cards usually feature children, but sometimes include transportation designs of automobiles and airplanes of that time period; Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s, and Fourth of July themes were also frequently incorporated in her illustrations.

Check out some classic Ellen Clapsaddle cards here!

PS – PostEurop’s Europa Stamp competition ends this week – don’t forget to vote for your favourite stamp! :)


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One of the most popular cartoon characters of all time, Hello Kitty has been an iconic part of pop culture for over than 30 years. But where did this adorable white kitten come from?

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty was designed by Japanese artist Yuko Shimizu, who at the time was not trying to create an icon, but was simply doodling! She drew inspiration from Japanese bobtail cats and put her own twist on it, giving the drawing no mouth, and a bright red bow. She first captured the hearts of people all over Japan in 1974, when she appeared on a small coin purse, between a bottle of milk and a goldfish bowl!

Hello Kitty

Sanrio is the name of Japanese company that began distributing Hello Kitty all over the world in 1976. They’ve also introduced her family, and gave her a background… for instance, did you know that she was born in the suburbs of London, and weighs as much as three apples? :)

Sanrio has also featured Hello Kitty in mass produced collectible items like necklaces, folders, pencils and more. In the 1980s, a Hello Kitty craze swept the United States, and anything with her likeness sold like hotcakes – she was even featured on a couple of different cartoon shows and her image graced appliances, dolls and other items. In Japan, Sanrio has opened two Hello Kitty theme parks called Harmonyland and Sanrio Puroland, both of which delight millions of visitors every year! Hello Kitty Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty is beloved not only for her cute image in colourful backgrounds, but also for her optimism and happy messages – despite her lack of mouth. Sanrio representatives say this particular characteristic helps people project their feelings on the character, and that because she speaks from the heart, she isn’t bound to any language.

These days, Hello Kitty continues to appear on everything from jewellery to laptop sleeves… and of course, many beloved postcards! You can learn more about Hello Kitty’s stunning rise to fame and check her many themed products on the Sanrio website.


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