Earlier this year I was invited by the United Nations Postal Administration to illustrate a set of four stamps for their Endangered Species series. Recently, they sent me this image showing how my illustrations will appear in the set:
The theme for this set is nocturnal animals. Clockwise from top left: Banded Civet (Hemigalus derbyanus), Pharoah Eagle Owl (Bubo ascalaphus), Long-beaked Echidna (Zaglossus sp.), and Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang).
I decided on a format of showing each animal’s head in full color and in the background the whole animal in its habitat at night. I created these illustrations using graphite with digital color.
Evidently the UN is the only organization in the world that is neither a country nor a territory that is permitted to issue postage stamps. It is also the only entity to issue stamps in three different currencies – US dollars, Swiss francs, and Euros. The stamps can only be used for postage if mailed from UN Headquarters in New York City, Geneva, or Vienna (depending upon the currency). More information about the UNPA is here at their website.
*Update Oct. 11, 2013*
The stamps are now available and may be ordered here.