If you get a Valentine’s Day card in the mail this week, pay close attention to the stamp on the envelope. It may be the work of Q. Cassetti M ’09, a graduate of the Low-Residency Master of Illustration program at the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School. The U.S. Postal Service chose her design for the annual LOVE stamp series and it has a close connection to the University of Hartford.
“This project was a direct result of posting my Hartford MFA thesis (on valentines) online and having the USPS art director find me,” says Cassetti. “[I learned] many lessons: the power of social media; the value of a thesis directed at a particular topic; the power of my Hartford education. Keep on encouraging others through the MFA illustration program. It has provided [me with] the confidence and skills to do things that until recently were ‘bucket list’ projects.”
Cassetti's "Cut Paper Heart" design became available on Jan. 21.
She says the stamp takes its inspiration from the folk art traditions of papercutting. Her digital illustration depicts a large white heart enclosing a smaller pink heart with a saw-toothed edge along its left-hand side. Surrounding the central hearts are pink swirls, with smaller hearts embedded in the design and a ragged-edge motif that echoes the edging on the small pink heart. The hearts and swirls are contained within a red square that has “pinked” edges, as if cut with pinking shears. A white border frames the entire design.
Cassetti runs her own design consulting firm, Luckystone Patrners, in Trumansburg, N.Y. Among her clients are Tiffany and Co., Estee Lauder, Corning Inc., Steuben Glass, and Quest Diagnostics.