This year's Valentine's Day stamps by Itella Posti Oy depicting furry teddy bears convey a message of friendship and remembrance of others. The Bear Friends stamp series is drawn by a new face to the world of stamps from Kemi, Henna Takkinen, an artist who has specialized in teddy bears.
Born in 1969, Henna Takkinen is influenced by naivism and story illustration and has combined these elements into her own unique form of teddy bear art. In the early 2000s she completed her Master's thesis on teddy bears, whose history dates back to ancient bear worship and up to the modern soft commercial teddy.
"Teddy bears have taken me on an endless adventure, everything is possible in their world. I want to share through art a teddy bear world of universal peace and love. Through stamps that message of caring and friendship can be shared with the world," says Henna Takkinen, describing her artistic vision.
The Bear Friends stamp sheet has six 1st class stamps and four teddy bear stickers.
Graphic designer Markku Kyrolainen, from Kemi, is responsible for the layout of the publication.