Russian Postcards

When I was a child I collected candy wrappers (I quit it when I turned five), pocket calendars (I quit it by the age of twelve, and gave away the whole collection of 700 calendars to my schoolmates and friends) and postcards. I enjoyed signing postcards and sending them to my relatives and parents’ friends all over the Soviet Union. I quit doing that by the age of fifteen.

Phone calls substituted writing letters and signing postcards, and later on e-mail replaced phone calls. In 2019 Viber, Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram and dozens of other messengers became the number one means of communication, having pushed down live chats.

I have to say I am not a big fan of messengers and social networks. I prefer good old phone calls (a minute or two) to say when, where, what, how, etc. and then meet over a cup of tea.

By the year 2014 I had had on my hard drive, Flickr, clouds and DVDs over 100 000 images (both scanned paintings and photos from my trips). Some pictures looked like decent postcards and I thought it would be cool to make some cards.

Since 2014 I have sent over three thousand postcards to various destinations. I also had a sponsor (one of the Russian banks) which paid for cards and postal stamps.

I would like to share some thoughts from the perspective of promoting your artistic project – what benefits you may get when sending postcards.  

If you are an artist or a photographer you might definitely want to expand your audience. Instagram is OK but some artists have forgotten that many people still prefer to see artworks in museums and exhibitions, turn pages of a book with illustrations, and hold in their hands a physical image whether it is a photo, postcard, drawing, etc.

I think that postcards is one of the best ways to promote your art offline. I am not talking of making postcards for sale. I am stating that a postcard or a fridge magnet (I will write a separate post about that way of promotion) is a unique way to reach your target audience.

In 2018 I created over a dozen of watercolor postcards, printed them in bulk and sent to the places I’ve been to for the past five years: museums, libraries, cafes, restaurants, universities, theaters, etc.

I sent my postcards to almost all the museums of the cities and towns of the Golden Ring of Russia: Vladimir, Suzdal, Yaroslavl, Pereslavl-Zalesskiy, Rostov Velikiy, Sergiev Posad, etc. Some museums made posts on their social networks where they shared their impressions on how exciting it was to get a postcard. The posts included the links to my blog where I had my watercolor paintings posted.

Over 120 postcards I sent to Russian theaters to greet them with the coming year – it was stated that 2019 is the Year of Theater in Russia.

I also sent dozens of postcards to so-called twin cities of my hometown of Belgorod, the cards were sent to Germany, England and the USA.

I had a couple of interviews on “Radio of Russia” dedicated to my postcards project. I arranged four exhibitions at the libraries and cafes of Belgorod where I showed my postcards. Each exhibition lasted from two to six weeks.

I keep sending postcards for two reasons. The first reason, it is fun and nostalgia. The second reason, you do something unusual. A message about your new blog sent via e-mail as a blind copy in most cases will get into spam folder. A postcard with a bright photo or painting will evoke a genuine interest, as it really did happen with some theaters and museums – there was much feedback.

I always encourage artists, photographers and other creative people to make postcards and fridge magnets to promote their art.

Here are some types of postcards sent in 2018. One example of each kind.

Watercolor postcards.

July 2018. Belgorod, Russia.
One of the central streets of “old” Belgorod. This building will be demolished soon.

Literary postcards. Text only.

An abstract from short story “Amnesia”.

Literary postcards with watercolor illustrations.

An abstract from novel “Memoirs of Marta. Youth”. Chapter 6.

Photo postcards.

Rakitnoe. Belgorod Oblast. September 2014.

Markovich Marketing Tips:

Postcard #2

Suzdal, Vladimir Oblast, Russia.

Photo: Alex Markovich.

Postcard #1

Suzdal, Vladimir Oblast, Russia.

Photo: Alex Markovich.

Suzdal, Russia Postcards

On February 6, 2019 in Belgorod Business Library there was an opening of the personal art exhibition of Alex Markovich (author, artist). More than 30 original postcards of Suzdal, Russia were presented at the show.

Alex Markovich in his interview on “Radio of Russia”:

The exhibition is dedicated to my project SUZDAL.TRAVEL.BLOG, which was launched on February 5, 2019. I’ve been blogging for 10 years and decided to create a separate blog on a single Russian town. Why Suzdal? I’ve been to Suzdal several times with my artist-friends; we went there for plein air painting sessions. Suzdal is one of the most famous towns of the Golden Rings of Russia theme route, and I’ve got much art material on Suzdal.

I’ve been creating postcards with my paintings and photos since 2014. The postcards presented at the exhibition, show picturesque places of Suzdal. These are not typical tourist postcards. Some pictures were taken through a bus window, some at museums and monasteries. The exhibition will last till March 10, 2019; at the end of the show all the postcards will be sent to various parts of the world, mainly to my SUZDAL.TRAVEL.BLOG followers.