Saturday, August 31, 2019

Happy Letter Writing Day


“The proper definition of a man is: an animal that writes letters.”- Lewis Carroll

Song of the blog:
"Wait, oh yes wait a minute Mister postman
Wait, wait Mister postman - Mister postman look and see
Is there a letter in your bag for me
I been waiting a long long time."

- Diana Ross
 


Today isn't just the first day of September, my birth-month - it's also kinda the start of Spring here in New Zealand - plus we have our father's day on this Sunday and to top it all of it is International Letter Writing day... Do people still write letters and if at all, would they still be writing them by hand or is are they just typed on the computer and printed out. Have emails and social media hacked so deep into the art of creating letters it's come to the point of extinction. 

I remember one of the first letters I ever wrote back when I was nine years old. It was sent to the EPPO magazine, my favourite Dutch comic magazine back in the 70s and 80s. I believe I wrote several letters and it was always exciting to get a reply, in those days done by old fashioned typewriter. Around that time I started reading Stephen King I even wrote him a letter and got a cool little reply back in the early 80s. It was also the time I had made a friend during a primary school trip and wrote letters with him for many years. Mid 80's my letter writing got even more elaborate. I still have quite a collection of letters I wrote to and from friends in Holland. The other day I got a nice message from one of my friends, she had found a box with old letters from me and send me a photo of the envelopes (her address has been obscured for privacy reasons).




Creating different envelopes became a real a real art for me back in the 80s. I would like to think that most of these little pieces of mail-art are still kept by friends in a box in their spare room or attic. I've got photo-copies of some of my creations, but it would be nice to see photos / scans of any of these little 80s treasures. With my friend Joris there were crazy mail-war battles where we created the most outrageous postal pieces of madness. One time he send me a wallpaper sized letter, that actually lived on my wall for quite a while.

Once I emigrated to New Zealand, for the first few years (before the internet took off) there were still a lot of letters to several friends - like the amazing correspondence with my fellow KABK student and artist Pepijn - but overall the level of letter writing soon started to die a slow death. These days, people share their life on social media. Photos of holidays, their family etc. But, it's not the same as the old letter in the mail. The excitement of a cool arty envelope. something you can touch - and look back at decades later. Maybe with people coming back from digital to vinyl and people giving up Netflix for books, the old retro letter writing will return to replace its digital email cousin.

SAFE the letters - write me a one today! 
Send me a cool envelope or home-made postcard:
eRiQ, PO Box 18038,
Merrilands, New Plymouth 4360
New Zealand


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