College students rediscover the joy of handwritten letters

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HOUSTON — Patrick Medina is a throwback.

“A lot of things are digital nowadays, so it’s nice to give someone something they can hold and cherish as a sentimental thing,” said Medina, a student at Lone Star College.

He and his artist friends are making sketches they plan to send in the mail using the good old-fashioned U.S. Postal Service.

“This is something that invokes a sense of nostalgia in people,” said artist Donovan Johnson.

This project is the brainchild of Alex Kurkowski, an MBA student at Rice University. He partnered with two dozen local college students to tell personal stories through art and send them by traditional mail.

“So kind of like a fun joke, what I started doing, at least with my mom and brother, is I’m not that great an artist, but I started drawing out stick-men drawings, reminiscing certain periods of our past,” Kurkowski said.

But one of his classmates suggested he should turn it into a business. So he did.

It’s called Tellinga. The website allows customers to pick out a story they want told regarding their lives, and then the artists go to work.

“They get to choose their details about how long they want that story to be, whether they want it to be an action tale, adventure tale, comedy tale”, Kurkowski said.

One client couple loves movies, so the artists put them in different movie settings. 

You can buy just one sketch for $6.99 or a month-long series for around $50.

“If a person orders this, it will then get sent out every other day, 12 images every other day, for that one month, and the whole point is to find out what that next point of the story is going to be,” Kurkowski said.

He wants people to rediscover a thrill from their childhood, a thrill you can actually touch and hold.

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