Saturday, August 26, 2017

stamp people desk calendar (and give-away results!)

The Stamp People desk calendar is now listed on my Etsy shop. Details are HERE. Thank you for your encouragement and feedback in the long process of making and selecting the stamp people who went into the calendar.

Joanne Tomooka is the lucky winner of the give-away, and will get a free Stamp People Desk Calendar at the end of November. Congratulations, Joanne!

While the desk calendar can be ordered from Etsy, the Wall Calendar version is available on my Red Bubble shop. It features a slightly different selection of Stamp People on gorgeous, silky-to-the-touch paper stock. Unlike the desk calendar, which will be listed only until November 10, the wall calendar will be a permanent addition to my calendar series and can be ordered any month of the year, any year. You just have to be careful to set it to the right year and starting month before you put it into your cart.

Yes, I know it's still August! But winter comes early and stays long in Hokkaido, so we are already busy preparing ourselves and our homes to successfully endure the hardest 5~6 months of the year. Makes you want to move here right away, right?! Well, come for a visit at least. Really.

Monday, August 14, 2017

cover art

Pablo Picasso
For the cover of the Stamp People desk calendar, a horizontal image gives better balance than a vertical image. So I tried doing horizontal collages in the same style as the vertical cards, with a limited color palate matching the stamp being used. But, after several attempts along those lines, I feel in my gut that the cover art needs more dynamism and color.

So right now, I'm trying to choose between the two stamp people cards posted here. I did them on washi cards that are double the width of the ones I used for the inside pages of the calendar, so that I could fit more action and color without making them feel too cramped.

The postage stamps themselves (from old Czechoslovakia) are about twice the size of most of the stamps I used for the images on the inner pages. I could give you the full context that inspired my images-- passages from which I distilled the words used on the cards. But you can easily google them to track down the sources. Is that mean? heh heh

Anyway, if you have a preference for the cover art, let me know. I sure do appreciate all the feedback you gave me on which stamp people to use for the inner pages. I love it that so many of you are participating in this project.

Ernest Hemingway

Monday, August 7, 2017

request for input and a give-away!!!!!!

I'm thinking of making a limited edition Stamp People desk calendar for 2018, and I need your help in choosing the images to go into it. Please link to my portfolio on RedBubble and choose your TEN favorite Stamp People images. Then list them in order of your preference in a comment below. Name them by the words in the title brackets (baby, cyclist, Lincoln, etc). This would be an ENORMOUS help. THANK YOU. (I also have some as-yet unpublicized images I plan to include, so the final selection will include some surprises.)

In appreciation for your help, I will put the names of everyone who leaves a comment into a deep bag and randomly pick out one name to receive a free Stamp People desk calendar by the end of this year.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

stamp people (the sparkler)

In Japan, August is the month for school vacation, cool cotton kimonos called yukata, hand-held flat fans called uchiwa, honoring deceased ancestors, telling ghost stories, and community festivals with folk dancing and firework displays. 

I've always been partial to the hand-held sparklers called senkou-hanabi (incense sparklers) myself. When the sparkling ball at the end of the thin stick dulls and plops to the ground, we are reminded that summer (like life) does not last forever. Which is the sort of bitter-sweet, melancholic symbolism that delights the Japanese soul. 

The writing on this Stamp People collage is in Japanese, and translates to: "When You Sparkle The World Sparkles With You." You can see that I tried to hide the hands on the postage stamp by adding hair. But it doesn't quite work. Cute stamp though, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

stamp people (the siblings)

I thought I was getting my Stamp People obsession under control, but it reared its wild head again and dragged me down a tangent. This tangent resulted in a new crop of Stamp People inspired by each of my five siblings. The images posted here were all created from used postage stamps and old cooking magazines.

I'm the oldest of six, you see. My younger siblings are all unique and possess much more than one talent each. Such as my sister, the poet. My next sister, the chicken lady. My next sister, the sign language interpreter. My brother, the philosopher. And my youngest sister, the poster designer. None of them can be captured in just one image. So it's a safe bet that there will soon be alternate versions of the sibling series. Such as the last image I posted below, which was also inspired by my first sister.

It may be a while before I get back onto the main road of traditional etegami. But not too long. I think.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

stamp people

It has been two years since I first encountered Jacki Long's "stamp people." I was utterly charmed from the very start, and I couldn't wait to imitate her style. But the idea must have needed time to ferment deep inside of me, because I couldn't seem to act on my intentions.

Two weeks ago, I was dusting off a stack of stamp albums that remained from a long forgotten childhood passion. This led to the merciless culling of a box full of cooking magazines I'd meant, but failed, to throw into the recycling bin.

Suddenly, the time was ripe, and stamp people collages began popping out of me at the pace of one a day.  It has been LOADS of fun.

The postage stamps themselves are rather boring as stamps go, but the men depicted on them rightly earned their places there, and their stories and characters are fascinating. So here I present to you my first crop of stamp people collages. From the top: Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, John Muir, Albert Einstein, and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Many more are on their way. Prints are available from my RedBubble portfolio.