Fish Stamps: A History

So the tour fundraiser stamps. They're weird. They're simple. They're mostly text-based. Why?

Although disc sports, and disc golf in particular, have captivated me for, uh, pretty much ever, I draw a lot of inspiration from other sources--books, music, artwork, nature. I find many stamps on golf discs to be too intricate in the linework, or totally unrelated to what they're nominally promoting.

And because I'm difficult (sometimes), I elected to swing the other way, by adapting things I think are fun and interesting from outside disc golf, and throwing them on a disc.

2019: The Harry Potter-inspired "Boring Golf" Stamp

I wish I had a Marauder's Map. I like the idea of boring golf being equated to being up to no good. And so I'm'a throw an efficient Comet shot down the middle instead of trying something riskier or fancier.

2020: The Ratatat-inspired "Seventeen Years" Stamp

I find it difficult to beat a Ratatat playlist--instrumental or remixes--for getting into a putting groove. I like that this was the first track of their first release--and at the time I felt like the way for me to play best was quickly, reactively, and instinctually.

2021: The Bad Religion-inspired "Hooray for Me" Stamp

Okay cool just awesome punk music fighting against the establishment.


2022: The Rene Magritte-inspired "Treachery of Images" Stamp

Sometimes an artist wants you to interpret a certain thing from their work. Is a pipe a pipe? Maybe a disc is just a disc, or something more. Or less. I don't know. I like the Surrealist and Dada movements in early-20th century art as a response to a rapidly changing world. It seemed like a fun thing to put on a disc, so I did it, with apologies to Rene Magritte's genuine creativity and far better use of oil paints than me.

2023: The textbook-inspired "Maryland Darter" Stamp

Also loosely borrowed from an old Ching Roc design that had a multi-colored "Striped Mullet" on it. A biologist friend suggested finding a species native to Maryland, and I quickly settled on this little cutie. To be clear, I'm not naming myself the Maryland Darter ("Fish" is just fine) and I've long resisted logos and iconography that leans into "Fish". Say anything enough in a specific context and its general meaning gets lost. As such, the word "fish" is something I associate with myself more than any particular animal. The Maryland Darter (shown on the stamp about double their actual 3" length) is probably extinct, since it hasn't been seen since 1988 and had an extremely limited environment and living conditions. My background in water resources and interest in being outside is always a big influence on my desire for conservation. Anyway. Just like it would be presented in a field guide. Perhaps this will become a series. Perhaps not. If I was more forward-thinking I probably would have started with this five years ago, but here we are.