Latest News: Artists

Latest News: Artists2020-04-11T17:36:55-06:00

Artist Journal: Nina Aubé

Tuesday, July 14, 2021

From the sketchbook of Keepsake Artist, Nina Aubé.

Inspired by recalling memories of silly fun times with friends, Nina created these adorable sketches! Although these sketches do not have plans to become ornaments, we thought they were too cute not to share! What do you think?

Community Manager. “From the Desk of Nina Aubé.” Hallmark Keepsake Community, July 14, 2020. https://keepsakecommunity.hallmark.com/share/from-the-desk-of-nina-aube.

July 14th, 2020|1 Comment

Artist Insights: 2020 Series

Here are some Keepsake Artists’ insights into an ornament each has created for 2020.

Holiday Parade
2nd in the series.

Tammy Haddix: “In creating this series, I imagined a holiday parade of vintage trucks that represent business in a nostalgic town–each named after one of my fellow Keepsake artists. My inspiration for this year’s parade entry, Sharon’s Bakery, is Sharon Visker’s sweet series, Season’s Treatings.”

Rocking Horse Memories
1st in the series.

Matt Johnson: “What an honor to reimagine this popular series from the 80s and 90s. I spent a lot of time researching the history of rocking horses and then digitally sculpting for authenticity, balance and scale. I kept the stirrups. bearing rein and tail true to the original series.”

Black-Throated Blue Warbler
The Beauty of Birds
16th in the series.

Edythe Kegrize: “When I consider which bird to add to my series, I look for striking colors and patterns that will show up nicely on a Christmas tree. I was thrilled to run across this charming little bird who just happens to be the first warbler so far in the Beauty of Birds series.”

“Keepsake Ornament Premiere Display.” Hallmark Gold Crown Stores, July 11, 2020.

June 17th, 2020|0 Comments

Experience the Magic: The Art of Sculpting

2019 Keepsake Ornament Club Convention

Last summer, almost 2,000 KOC members gathered in Kansas City for the 2019 Keepsake Ornament Club Convention. Some fan favorite games and seminars were held, including a new sculpting seminar given by some of our Keepsake Artists!

“The idea for the sculpting seminar actually came from our KOC Convention planning team,” said Keepsake Artist Nello Williams. “We had to figure out how to hold the seminar so attendees could follow along while making their own sculpts.”

With only 40 minutes to complete a full sculpt, Nello and other artists were challenged to help attendees create a nice complete piece. After brainstorming with the team, one of Nello’s personal hobbies gave him an idea.

“I like to create custom candy molds and cookie cutters in my free time,” he said. “We decided to investigate having a mold or cutter that would get attendees started, but also let them add their own touches with help and direction from the artists. We found that what worked best was using a stamp or cutter and a clay that Sharon Visker found at the craft store.”

Seminar attendees ended up leaving with a one-of-a-kind design that tied in with other exclusive ornaments available only at the 2019 KOC Convention.

“I was able to take a computer file that Tom Best created for a convention lapel pin and have Rodney Gentry do a 3D print that Kris Gaughran, Anita Rogers and Sharon Visker then used to test with clay,” said Nello. “Once we had it working, Robert Hurlburt took it to our molding shop to get a bunch of duplicates made for the seminar. And there were SO many more artists involved, too. It was a real team effort!”

In in the end, almost 700 people signed up for the seminar and left with a fun, exclusive piece they created themselves!

“I turned out to be a lot of fun,” said Nello. “The best part was just talking and interacting with the people who came. And who knows…maybe we’ll do it again at the next convention!”

– By Hallmark Senior Editor,
Lindsay Evans

Experience the Magic: The Art of Sculpting Workshop

Williams, Nello. “Nello Williams on the KOC Convention Sculpting Seminar.” Hallmark Keepsake Community, May 06, 2020. https://keepsakecommunity.hallmark.com/share/nello-williams-on-the-koc-convention-sculpting-seminar.

May 6th, 2020|2 Comments

Artist Journal: Matt Johnson (Super Bowl LIV Ornament)

Monday, February 17, 2020


Matt Johnson

All of Kansas City shouted for joy on February 2nd this year as the Kansas City Chiefs won the title of Super Bowl LIV Champions. For fellow Kansas Citian and Keepsake Artist Matt Johnson, that day was made extra special by being the artist who got to design the Keepsake Ornament celebrating the win! “I am a Chiefs fan and Hallmark is such a huge part of Kansas City and the Chiefs Kingdom,” he said. “It’s just incredible to think we have been waiting 50 years for another Super Bowl! All of the history and traditions passed down from the generations really make this special. Between the Royals winning the World Series after a 30-year drought and the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl after 50—my kids couldn’t have picked a better time to live in Kansas City for sports. It’s amazing to be designing a Christmas ornament for the Super Bowl Champion team to begin with, but to have it be your home team winning makes it all the more incredible!”

Designing a championship ornament took months of work and preparation, and even meant designing for multiple teams. “I began working on a variety of concepts for the graphics and then landed on a final solution that was submitted to the NFL way back in March of last year,” said Matt. “I used a 3D sculpted football that Keepsake Artist Orville Wilson had created for personalized Keepsake Ornaments and then designed the printed piece that could attach to it. I wanted the typography to be center aligned with the football and ‘Champions’ to be a strong read. I chose to use the team’s color as the background to create contrast and help the graphics really pop off of the ball. I also wanted the winning team and the Super Bowl LIV logos to be prominently featured. After all of that work, we then waited anxiously until the playoffs to submit each remaining team to the NFL for approval.”

But even though multiple designs had been submitted, Matt was hoping his home team would bring home the trophy. “I was always refining the design and looking at it through the lens of the Chiefs being the team that would win and that would be the official ornament,” he said.

So did he have a good luck charm to ensure a Chiefs win? “Catrick Mahomes is our lucky cat,” Matt said. “The statue was originally decoupaged in a burnt orange patchwork design and had been traded around at multiple white elephant gift exchanges in the Keepsake Studio. In 2018, a few people in the studio painted him gold and dressed him in a red Mahomes football jersey and headband with hair. I brought him home during the playoffs to create a Chiefs shrine and took him everywhere we watched the team play! I think he was good luck and he now sits back in my office awaiting the 2020 season!”

– By Hallmark Senior Editor,
Lindsay Evans

Johnson, Matt. “At My Desk – Matt Johnson (Go Chiefs!).” Hallmark Keepsake Community, February 02, 2020. https://keepsakecommunity.hallmark.com/share/at-my-desk-matt-johnson-go-chiefs.

February 17th, 2020|0 Comments