As every year, the Christmas issue is a large one, with stamps, two retail booklets, minisheet, generic sheet and stamp cards. However, we think this year’s stamps are stunning!
Deepti Nair & Harikrishnan Panicker
Deepti Nair (b. 1981) is a certified geek and is usually seen designing complex systems for a leading Telecom company as an Interaction Designer. Deepti says that her day job helps to keep her sane and makes her appreciate the time and opportunity she gets to create art a lot more. She is a trained artist and prefers staying away from the computer to create or assist in her art. She believes that art has to be felt and experienced and specialises in working with paper cuts, acrylic and loves sculpting with clay.
Hari Panicker (b. 1980) is a trained graphic designer and illustrator. He was born and raised in Mumbai, India, where he was the senior designer for MTV Networks and designed for brands like MTV India, VH1 India, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. Apart from designing for these brands, he is also an established illustrator and has designed album covers for a number of musicians. Hari loves to collect and customise vinyl toys, is obsessed with drawing monsters, loves to screen print and secretly aspires to be in space some day!
Magical Paper-Cut Light Boxes
Hari and Deepti have developed a unique style of paper art that inspires images of beautiful paintings or fairytales. They start by cutting out designs on stiff watercolour paper. Each layer builds upon the last, enriching the scene. Then everything is put together in a box and backlit with LED strips, creating these beautiful storybook scenes. The layers of paper grow darker and darker as they grow further and further from the light, giving them their strikingly dark and layered appearance. Hari says that he was inspired by Balinese shadow puppets, and this influence shows somewhat in their work – their figures are expressive and exotic, and often star in mythical scenes.
Did you know…?
- The scenes in paper-cut light boxes are also known as ‘diorama’, which means a model representing a scene with three-dimensional figures, with in miniature or as a large-scale museum exhibit; sometimes seen through a peephole.
- Christmas stamps are issued each year so that people can send Christmas mail with a festive feel, after the tradition of sending Christmas cards was established in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, when just 1,000 of them were produced.
- The first artificial Christmas Tree wasn’t a tree at all; it was created out of goose feathers that were dyed green. The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany in the 19th century due to a major continuous deforestation.
- Xmas is a common abbreviation of the word ‘Christmas’ however some people think that this spelling isn’t right, because it takes the ‘Christ’ out of it. But, in the Greek alphabet, the letter ‘x’ (“chi”) is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ or Christos.
- ‘Jingle Bells’ was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. It was also the first song to be broadcast from space.