Friday, July 1, 2022

The Stamp Art Was Almost Lost in the Mail

Funny story about these stamps: the original art was almost LOST IN THE MAIL.

To kick off the assignment I did my research in Australia, but I painted it in oil back at my studio in New York. After months of work it was time to send in the original art to Australia to be scanned and placed in their archive. I asked Australia Post how they wanted me to send the painting to them. 

Should I use Fedex, DHL, UPS, or (ahem) the U.S. Postal Service / Australia Post?

They thought about it, and decided to have me send it by the national postal service. It might be bad publicity if they used a private carrier. 

Besides, what could go wrong? 

I shot the art first with my digital camera and then wrapped it carefully and brought it to my local post office. They sent it with all the tracking numbers and insurance. 

For all we knew it sailed along well for a few days, but then got stuck somewhere. Tracking went dark after it left the USA. Deadlines were looming. 

They sent a postal inspector to investigate. He asked officials in the postal network but they had no answers. Was it damaged? Stolen? Forgotten in a warehouse?  No one knew. 

We had to assume it was lost in the mail. The presses were waiting. I sent my digital files, but they were inadequate for the high resolution printing standards they required.

Finally the inspector discovered the art was stuck in customs, which Australia Post didn't control. They cut through the red tape, recovered the painting, and averted the disaster.


Bevan said...

Funny what gets stuck in customs....

Skadjer said...

You trying to import dinosaurs?

Unknown said...

Doh! At least they tracked it down and it wasn't one of those pieces of mail they find 50 years later behind a bin somewhere.

Nice to see your sketch and final painting as well to see the process. Did you do more sketches for the work? Its interesting to see where you made changes (or were asked to).

nuum said...

I thought these things only happened in Brazil...
Paulo - Rio