Started at Hallmark:
September 26, 1983
Started at Keepsakes:
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Her mother seemed to be taking an art class or immersing herself in an art project during every spare moment. Her brother seemed to be able to draw just about anything. And in an atmosphere where art seemed like a part of everyday life, it was only natural that Sharon Visker would want to give it a try.
She quickly discovered she was unusually good at it. So good, in fact, that her friends would offer to buy the bubble gum cards she copied for fun. Which made Sharon realize she had the ability to be an artist who could make people notice her work.
Throughout grade school and high school, the opportunities for Sharon’s work to be noticed occurred frequently and took various forms. She created elaborate bulletin board displays, designed yearbooks, entered—and won—numerous art competitions.
Her exceptional talent eventually brought her to Hallmark, where, after 15 years as an illustrator, she participated in a woodcarving workshop and discovered a knack she didn’t know she had. A knack for sculpting—which she’s been exercising ever since for the enjoyment of Keepsake Ornaments collectors.
Jingle Bell Rock (2015)
Playing off another fond memory from Sharon’s childhood comes Jingle Bell Rock, a humorous tribute to the pet rock fad that hit critical mass in the mid-’70s. Says Sharon, “I saw the title of the song on a list, and the idea came to me pretty quickly.”
Sharon readily admits to having an offbeat sense of humor. She also confesses that the idea made her little nervous. “It’s not exactly the standard Hallmark Keepsake Ornament, so I really hope it makes collectors laugh like I did.”
Only time will tell for sure, but we think that the fond memories it brings back and the adorable smile on this rockin’ piece of holiday fun will win over the most stone-faced collectors.
Sharon is a big Day of the Dead fan and collector of skulls. This is evident at her desk and in her work for Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy (2015)
Anyone who’s ever been to a beach and ordered a cocktail is familiar with the recipe for this ornament. One part beachiest song ever. One part kitschy coconut. And one part Santa smile. Push button, sit back and enjoy.
But Sharon likes to experiment, so she added an extra ingredient to give a shout-out to the Jimmy Buffet Parrotheads she’s met on her travels—a colorful parrot.
So if you haven’t planned a Christmas beach vacation this year, don’t worry…be happy—this ornament will bring the beach vibes right to you.
Jack Sneaks a Peek (2012)
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
“I love The Nightmare Before Christmas, and when it first came out I bought all of the toys associated with it. This ornament is a scene from the beginning of the movie when Jack Skellington is distraught about being the Halloween King again. He is walking through the forest and seeing trees decorated with iconic art from all these different holidays.
The doorway in a tree with a Christmas tree on it is how he enters Christmas Town. The ornament is able to mimic what happens in the movie when it is attached to a light string. I’ve been able to sculpt Jack several times for Christmas and even once for Halloween. I love Tim Burton, so I’m a follower of all of his films. I’m a big fan of his edgy, dark-side style. It’s fun to see how it mixes the dark of Halloween and fun, bright aspects of Christmas. Here it is almost 20 years later, and it still has a huge following. Even younger generations are getting into it. I think that’s pretty cool.”
Snowy Rider (2012)
“Harley-Davidson is really a fun license to work on. The company has a lot of different looks and logos and styling, and they let Keepsake Artists propose ornament ideas. I love coming up with something original for Harley. I can throw out my ideas in sketches, and they’re very open. They loved this snowman with some attitude from the very first time they saw it.
I wanted to make this one a little different from Jolly Rider, the biker Santa we did in 2008. I wanted some of the same tough-guy spirit about him, so I put him in a vest and crossed his arms and gave him a goatee. I really wanted to get some tattoos in there, too, so he’s got one that reads ‘Mother’ and one that’s a skull with flames. Those tattoos were really fun to design. I’m excited about this one.””
The Hamster Dance Song (2012)
“I’ve wanted to do this ornament for a few years because this song is such a fun and popular Card With Sound. The challenge was turning it into a Keepsake Ornament. Rodney (Gentry) developed the hamster ball on the computer and
I made the hamster fat enough to fit the speaker and all the electronics. Then I gave him a Santa hat and some presents to mash down while he was running in the ball. You can actually roll it across the table while it plays the song. I never did get tired of the song, but I didn’t listen to it much when I was sculpting, either.”