USPS Heart Stamp

February 1, 2016

The idea for the new stamp was to make something warm&tactile with positive energy and personality and not generic. I was given a creative freedom to decide on weather to incorporate lettering or stick to the pictorial image, which key motif/element to use. 


Obviously a stamp is a unique medium that requires to take into consideration such things as dimension of it, the obligatory info that stamp must carry and so on, however it is amazing how these constraints help the creative process rather than intervene with it. Because of the small format I chose to go with the obvious motif of a heart shape as my key element, but make it a one of a kind heart that no one has seen before. 


For the inspiration I looked through my own body of work that I created over the years and selected several paper styles that I thought would work well for this task. I've made several rough pencil sketches utilizing these different styles e.g. one being a heart shape made of circle elements, another with lines as a dominant feature and also this heart made of fluid drop-shaped elements that has eventually been selected for the stamp. I developed and refined the selected sketch, added colours, and after several rounds of tweaks and fine-tuning the design has been approved and I started the most crucial part - the paper work.


This paper craft technique is quite a slow process: I take a strip of paper, shape it, place onto the marked surface to adjust the shape and see how it looks, then dip into glue, place back onto the surface and hold it in place until the glue can hold the paper strip on its own, then take another strip of paper, repeat all the manipulations and so on....and on....and on... I always find it difficult to say how long exactly the work took me because I try to do everything possible to distract myself from counting the hours and realizing how long the process actually takes - instead I usually distract myself with music, audiobooks or competitive cooking shows; but very roughly, the paper execution of the Heart artwork took me about 7 full working days. I did take my time with this design because I wanted it to be as perfect as a hand-made art can be.  


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