Bats and pumpkins and skellingtons, oh my!
September 19, 2011 11:16 AM   Subscribe

I need the perfect public domain image for my Hallowe'en postcards!

I'm throwing a massive, semi-structured Halloween celebration at my friend's creepy old farmhouse this year! I'm really excited as it's a great venue and a great bunch of people and we even have some entertainers lined up. I'd like to send out invite/reminder postcards to the people coming, and I'm looking for the perfect image, painting, drawing, etc. to put on the front. Obviously it needs either to be out of copyright or Creative Commons licensed.

I looked at some Dore and some Bosch and a few other things but none were hitting me quite right. So hope me, Hivemind-- what illustration would surprise and delight in addition to getting everyone excited for Hallowe'en? Spooky or kitschy, new or old, it doesn't matter, let's see your favorite pieces of autumnal art!
posted by WidgetAlley to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Are you looking for something cutesy? Scary? Cartoony? Photograph...y? Would you prefer, say, a picture of a spooky old farmhouse to a drawing of a bat, a pumpkin, and a skeleton dancing together?

My personal vote would be to either 1) draw a picture yourself (or have a friend draw a picture) or 2) take a picture (or have a friend take a picture) of your friend's creepy old farmhouse. That way you wouldn't have to worry about licensing at all.

But there's really not enough to go on here.
posted by phunniemee at 11:27 AM on September 19, 2011

Response by poster: Mostly I'm looking for illustrated, painted or drawn art, not photography. A little creepy but also artistic would be nice: to give you an idea, I thought of Harry Clarke's Poe illustrations, Aubrey Beardsley, Waterhouse's "Circe", and vintage Halloween illustrations, but none of those quite fit. Anything to do with witches, autumn, folk tales, Hell, or creepy paintings in general would be appreciated.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:35 AM on September 19, 2011

Have you looked at the Clipart Etc database? It's the holy grail of public domain art. Be creative in your searches. For example, if you search farmhouse you get this nifty piece. I like creepy and weird as opposed to cute or literal. The People and Architecture categories have some really good stuff. The NYPL image search is also really great.
posted by iconomy at 11:35 AM on September 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Library of Congress.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 11:44 AM on September 19, 2011

Response by poster: Just to clarify, while easily searchable smallish-databases such as the Clipart Etc. are of course helpful, I'm really looking for single artist or single-piece suggestions that you as an answerer would think is appropriate for this or would like to see on a postcard. Thanks! (I'm done thread-sitting, really!)
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:47 AM on September 19, 2011

The Graphics Fairy has a ton of public domain vintage Halloween images. I like this one for a party invite (because it *is* a party invite!), but there's lots to choose from. Have fun!
posted by faineant at 12:08 PM on September 19, 2011

You can search Flickr for Creative Commons licensed images, for example: haunted house (and you could then use an image editor to convert a photograph to a drawing).
posted by humph at 2:25 PM on September 19, 2011

My favorite from humph's link. (Wednesday with poison)
posted by cda at 3:25 PM on September 19, 2011

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