Minna Lehväslaiho, known as a postcard artist, was asked to design joyful stamps suitable for spring and Easter. “My stamps depict the wonderful time when nature begins to be flush with light green and spring flowers are literally bursting out of the ground. It feels like the whole world is waking up from hibernation to a burst of colors after a dark winter,” Minna says.
The stamps feature characters familiar from Minna’s postcards. “On the first stamp, a cat and an owl are enjoying the springtime and each other’s company. We can be happy just like that, with no need to rush anywhere. The second stamp depicts little owls’ regular laundry day, which is full of joy. The laundry hung out to dry tells us that the ground has warmed up and the owls have gotten into the vegetable patch.”
Minna did the illustrations on watercolor paper in A4 format. “I drew the pictures with a fountain pen, colored them in with watercolors and gouache and finished them with oil pastels. The work was interesting because, when designing stamps, you must pay attention to the rhythm, airiness and empty space of the illustrations in a specific way. The color choices also have a major impact on the clarity of the illustration. Exchanging ideas with Posti´s Design Manager Tomm Kantola on the stamp designs was very helpful.”
Postcards and stamps are familiar items to Minna through another way as well. “I do postcrossing, in which people from around the world send each other postcards. You create a profile on the website, where you can talk about yourself and your card wishes. The card recipients are drawn, and the whole thing works on the principle that the more cards you send, the more will be sent to you. I think that the funniest part of the hobby is when I get to choose a suitable card for the recipient and a suitable stamp to go with it.”
Currently, there are about 800,000 registered postcrossers worldwide, and cards have been sent from over 200 countries. “We Finns are very keen postcrossers, and we have sent more than four million cards in the last 16 years,” says Minna, who was selected as the Finnish Postcrossing Friends Association’s artist of the year in 2019.
Joy of Spring! will be issued as a 10-stamp sheet containing two different domestic no-value indicator stamps.
Date of issue 19.1.2022
With no-value indicator stamps you can mail letters and cards in Finland and it is always valid. You can mail a letter max. 50 gramms with one stamp. For heavier letters you need multiple stamps (more information in the picture).