The 24 Days of Art Mail challenge sponsored by RubberMoon and 100 Proof Press couldn’t have come at a better time. The call for faux postage, decorated envelopes, and handwritten letters was posted on May 1, 2020, inviting artists to upload their artwork to Instagram or the private RubberMoon Facebook page by May 24. Stampers like Jan Bryant (a.k.a. Rubber Rabbit), facing many hours at home due to the onset of the pandemic, turned to stamping to pass the time.  

Artistamps, sometimes called Cinderella stamps, faux postage, or postoids, are tiny works of art that resemble a postage stamp. It is an art form that can depict any subject and differs from forgeries because they are not meant to defraud a postal authority or collectors. 

Cinderella stamps started to appear not long after postage stamps, mostly as advertising or for commercial purposes, like S&H Green Stamps. The term ‘artistamp’ was coined in the early 1980s as museums began to exhibit them. Artistamps can be made into booklets and can be any size or shape (see RSM #110, Mar/Apr 2000).

Jan started her sheet of repeating images by masking the horizontal lines of perforated paper made by 100 Proof Press. That little strip of white breaks up the warm colors of the suns. 

“Each individual image is a little different depending on the coloring and where the stamp was positioned on the paper,” Jan comments. “I used a dauber to apply Distress inks to each rectangle without masking, knowing I wanted the yellow in the center. Then I stamped the image into each block. I used a gel pen to outline the sun’s face, and a Copic marker to color the cheeks.”  Jan hand-wrote the word ‘Sunsets’ within each block, and stamped her artistamp identification number too, giving the sheet its name, 27 Sunsets. 

27 SUNSETS by Jan Bryant(Stamp credits: Numbers, sun—RubberMoon.)