Gregor Benedetti spent childhood summers hanging out in his grandfather’s wood-carving studio on the Jersey shore. He watched closely as his grandfather artfully crafted little towns and villages out of driftwood found on the beach. “He inspired me to go to school”, says Gregor. Now, as a designer for Hallmark, he loves the challenge of creating something out of nothing and telling stories through his design.
Before joining the Keepsake Studio, he worked in other areas of Hallmark with licensed properties, such as his 2020 Valentine’s collection, “Mickey and Minnie in Love.”
This work, developing concepts for licensed properties such as Disney and Peanuts, helped prepare him for the studio. “There are certain guidelines an artist must adhere to when utilizing any licensed character in design on any given format, from ornaments to salt and pepper shakers,” he said.
While Gregor’s sculpted work is done digitally, his work starts off on paper, “Typically, I sketch up new concepts and ideas very loose and fast with pencil and paper. I sometimes start by drawing a series of boxes on my pages in my sketchbook. The boxes represent dimensions I’m shooting for.” Those sketches are eventually scanned into his computer and completed there.
When time permits him to return to his childhood hometown of New York City, two of his favorite places to visit are the MET and Museum of Natural history where he can sketch and feel a sense of renewed creativity.