It's been so warm here in the DC Area that I thought I would post this photo shot last February and altered a little bit with Adobe Photoshop to remember that Winter is still here.
As part of that, my job is getting ready to cover the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. As part of our prep, I got to do something really cool, something you might see the next time you mail a letter.
I got to interview the artist who designed the US Postal Service's new Winter Olympic stamp. His name is John Mattos, and he lives in Chinatown in San Francisco, California. He is a soft-spoken guy, and said that the big thing for him in designing this stamp was to keep it simple.
The stamp - which carries the Olympic rings, USA, and the phrase Winter Olympics Turin 2006 as well as the new 39 cent denomination - features a female skier going into a turn at full speed. The first time I saw the image, I could not have told you that it was supposed to be a woman, but on closer inspection of a larger image, I saw, that yes, indeed the skier had breasts and a feminine face.
But the thing that was neat about interviewing John was that he said he was reading a magazine in which the names of all the people on the board that selects stamps were published. He tracked them down and sent them samples of some of his work (he won a gold medal in 2003 from the New York Society of Illustrators) and they called him a week later.
Unfortunately, John will not be making the trip to Turin for the Olympics. He's busy with another project - actually two projects - and cannot spare the time. But it sure was cool to talk to him.
If you want to see the new stamp, go to the US Postal Service web site or your local post office. If you want to see more examples of John Mattos's work, check out his website at www.johnmattos.com. And remember, Winter is still here until March - even if the temperature says otherwise.