2009 First Class Love Stamp by Jeanne Greco, © 2009 United States Postal Service.
I’m not usually a fan of “love” stamps—give me a Universal Monsters or Elvis stamp any day—but when I finally ran out of my leftover Christmas stamps and spotted this clever design at the Post Office, this poker junkie knew he’d found his next go-to stamp.
I also appreciated the following from Greco’s press release:
In recent years, Jeanne has enjoyed more intimacy in her work—she has found her designs shrinking in size: “I like to work within the borders of a limited space. I am drawn to the details of a letterform and enjoy the challenge of a logo project. I am inspired by small, beautiful objects. No wonder it led me to a postage stamp.”
I’ve long felt that self-imposed limits on creativity (though not on expression)—a word count, the blank frames of a cartoon, a theme, use of certain language, restrictions on adjectives or adverbs—can rev up the mind in ways that boundless space and shifting formats can’t. Blank pages can be daunting, but making a deal with yourself to write for 15 minutes, or fill two facing pages of a Moleskine with whatever words or art comes to mind, can ease the pressure and keep your hand moving.
Someone once told Gary Larson that his choice of format—a single rectangle of fixed size—unconsciously led him to develop a unique style and script those “plots” that would work within it. Though incredibly diverse in sum, the “plots” of his weekday works all had to meet that physical stricture. And the 100 Words writing site—where users meet daily devotions of that many words in 1-month chunks—paradoxically seems to engender creation by only setting one boundary and leaving the rest to the writer.
But back to these delightful stamps. The linked nature of the design also appeals to me. I’m sure the USPS wouldn’t mind folks not wanting to part the couple by sending them together. And it wouldn’t be the first time I’d gone all in on K♥Q♥. Plus it’s nice to see the Suicide King treating himself a little better.