The United States Postal Service is previewing stamps from the upcoming 2012 program on their website beyondtheperf.com. There's some great designs by Louise Fili, John Mattos, Craig Frazier, and Jim McMullan. I’m very happy to have two stamp designs included.
The first is the Cherry Blossom Centennial Stamp commemorating the anniversary of Japan’s gift of 3,020 cherry trees to the city of Washington, D.C. In March of 1912 the first two trees were planted and in 1927 local citizens held the first celebration of these trees. Today, the National Cherry Blossom Festival draws a million visitors each spring.
USPS art director Phil Jordan gave me the assignment of capturing this panorama of spring on two stamps. Throughout history there have been a lot of stamps depicting our nation’s capital, and the challenge on this one was to make an image that fit that tradition and also had a fresh modern feeling. And, I had to figure out a way of dealing with all those cherry blossoms.
The second stamp being issued in 2012 is a Holiday stamp featuring Santa and Sleigh, another subject that has already had a lot of designs produced over the years. I worked with art director Howard Paine on this one and when he called about a Christmas stamp I cringed a bit because I was worried about how to approach this corny subject without making it look corny. I took a look at the holiday stamps from the past and also drew on my memories of Christmas picture books from my childhood. This design had to work over four stamps as a complete image and each individual stamp had to be a satisfying design when used alone.
It’s always an honor to be asked to design postage stamps, and the entire process is a pleasure, from the first sketch to the first time a piece of mail arrives at the studio with a stamp I designed on it.
We’ll have to wait for 2012 for these two new designs, in the meantime, Jazz Stamps are still available.