From Art Cyberstamps to Real Postage Stamps
by Pygoya, October 8, 2004
My fellow American artists, did you make your art stamps? If not, well tough luck, you're too late!
Stamps.com was granted a trial period by the U.S. Postal Service to permit customers to create their own custom stamps. As simple as 1, 2, and 3- go to their site, upload an image from your hard drive, choose a layout design, pay by credit card, and the postage stamps would be printed and on their merry way to your mailbox!
The press said this was more than a ploy for Stamps.com to improve their bottom line but also desperate effort to assist snailmail in its tremendous lost of ground to email. The target customer base was cutesy baby and pet photos, plus wedding announcements and company logos. But for me, the life long fantasy of having my art someday on a real U.S. postage stamp was today! Thank you God for snailmail's enemies, the Internet vehicles of e-commerce (Stamps.com) and freely delivered email! I have done my share of virtual cyberstamps but now this was the real deal. I took great pride in watching the clerk at the local postal office manually slam the stamp cancellation postmark unto my first stamp. They did accept it, it was an OFFICIAL and LEGAL American postage stamp! Canceling it voided its intrinsic monetary value in American currency.
I blog this terminated opportunity to search for other opportunistic artists that timely produced their stamps during the trial period. The Web's existence has opened yet another venue for artists to gain exposure, to promote their work, and to develop a new display niche, do I even dare say "medium," for art. I was so grateful for the chance to display my art on American stamps, not having to be dead and famous for at least 50 years, and not having to have my work selected and juried to gain national philatelic posterity, that I splurged and did 40 design orders. I must have been one of their best customers.
Call for entries to other artists with their secured art stamps: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, send jpeg files of your art stamps. I am planning a virtual show at Truly Virtual Web Art Museum as well as local exhibiting in a Honolulu stamp and coin collector show.
The U.S. Postal Service now has 90 days to return a verdict whether they will honor future "Photostamps." Negative publicity concerning stamps depicting a mass murderer and a past dictator, slipping pass the scrutiny of the design radar, does not help Stamp.com's odds of gaining permanent licensing of the popular and successful money making venture. Do I care whether common folks can continue to make their own vanity stamps? If the project ends here, my rare art stamps are more valuable. If it continues, why, I can continue my fun-to-make art series to ad nauseam!