Since I am into mail art I have been fighting with two major difficulties: how to integrate the address and the postage stamp in the design. I think I start to have solutions for the address but not yet for the stamp. Philippe Charron, who has sent me some absolute beauties as you could have seen on my blog, masters perfectly the art of integrating the stamp in the design of his envelope. Sometimes the stamp even disappears as it is so well integrated! Related to this point he recently asked me why I was mainly using definitive stamps (the one we call Marianne) on my envelope and not some of the numerous commemorative stamps that the French postal administration has issued so far. The question is even more valid when you know that I am a former philatelist (well I’m still a philatelist but I do not have time anymore to allocate to this hobby). I wanted to share with you the reasons I gave him. Because the topic of the stamp bothers me since a long time.
First I really like our current Marianne. I know it has been very criticized when it was issued but I really like it more than a lot of the previous ones. The main reason why I like it it’s because it is a drawing on a blank background, which I find better than the previous ones which were drawing in white on a colored background.
Second reason is that I like the work of Olivier Ciappa who is one of his creators.
Third reason is the size. It has a small size and therefore does not take too much space on the envelope. Commemorative stamps are all much wider and therefore cover a bigger portion of the envelope.
Fourth reason is that I do send mail art mainly outside France and even outside Europe. The French post issues a very low number of commemorative stamps with the facial value of a letter for outside Europe. So the choice is very reduced, and very often I do not like them. Alternative is to use several stamps with lower face value but them we are back to the problem of size and space taken by the stamps on the envelope…
And finally it is not so easy to integrate a stamp in a digital mail art. It requires a lot of trial and errors to make sure that once printed the design will fit perfectly with the design of the stamp.
But despite all this reason, I understood the question from Philippe as a challenge and I would like to acknowledge here this challenge. I’m going to try to create an envelope and to integrate a commemorative stamp in the design. I don’t know how long it will take me, but I will try. And I will share with you the result.