In class we looked at illustrated letters. I found these very interesting because it is so much more engaging than just a letter with only words. Although at the same time it could be very overwhelming depending on how much art there is. I have always enjoyed doodling and drawing little things but with illustrated letters the drawings really have to mean something or add to the letter whereas doodles are just whatever comes to mind. I think it’s also important that the person is able to follow the text and not get too distracted by whatever else is happening on the paper. It makes me think that while illustrated letters are really cool and engaging it might be better in some cases to only have words on the page. I think the tone and the topic of the letter determine whether or not it should have drawings in it. If there is only text that means the text should definitely be focused on. With illustrated letters it probably also takes a longer time to make it than writing a normal letter. There is more planning because you have to figure out what the drawings will be and the layout of the page. I am interested in the history of illustrated letters because, especially before phones and other kinds of quick communication, illustrated letters must have been the quickest or easiest way to describe something to someone. I’m wondering if most of these kinds of letters were just art or if some of them actually were trying to show something. It can also depend on how the person receiving the letter interprets it. To someone it may be a picture but to others it could have a deeper meaning. Another thing that could be important in illustrated letters is making sure people will actually be able to see and know what the picture is. Although anyone can do an illustrated letter it is definitely more helpful if you are good at art or drawing. I really liked the illustrations from the Letters From Father Christmas book. The whole purpose of the book and the commitment put into it was also very sweet. Being Jewish, I didn’t grow up with Santa or other Christmas traditions but I liked the way everything was done in the book. The drawings made it look kind of like it was taking place in space or in some other futuristic world. I liked that because it was so different from how we see Christmas nowadays. It was interesting to see Christmas being portrayed without so much light and color. Even though one drawing shows the house breaking, overall it feels really peaceful and quiet. I also thought the polar bear letter was so cute.
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