Hallmark Art Director Alfred Jones has an incredible aesthetic and an unbelievable eye for detail. This made him the perfect candidate to oversee one of our latest and most exciting projects—a rebrand of our in-store shopping bags and boxes. We’re excited to show you what will be coming to a Hallmark store near you very soon!
I love a project that starts with a simple idea like, “Let’s put the Think.Make.Share URL on our in-store bags,” and ends up as a complete redesign. That’s just what happened with our new Artist Bag and Box Collection.
Our creative team saw a bigger opportunity than just adding the Think.Make.Share website to our shopping bags and boxes. So we pulled together a group of Hallmark artists, gave them blank bags and boxes, and asked them to let their imaginations run wild. (How cool does that sound?) With the help of Hallmark Trends Studio Director Jen Walker, we were lucky enough to get artists Flora Chang, Sam Lewis, Lynn Giunta, Ken Sheldon, Barb Mizik and Kim Pjecha to participate.
Any day I get to work with our crazy-talented Hallmark artists is a great day.
For our workshop, we gave each artist four hours to create as much as they could with the materials we provided. As you can see from the photos, it looks like they had fun.
Jen and I knew that we wanted the designs to be printed with white ink on kraft paper, and the artists were up for the challenge. At the end of the workshop, we had a body of work that surprised all of us. The design, craftsmanship and attention to detail were impeccable. And as you can see, the bags and boxes turned out AMAZING!
On each bag, we added the artist’s signature and a brief bio. We know you’ll want to read and collect them all. The new bags and boxes will be available at your local Hallmark Gold Crown store soon, free with any purchase. When you find your favorite, take a pic and tag @Think.Make.Share on Instagram!
Photos by Kevin Hosley.
A huge thanks to the talented artists who worked on this project, as well as Hallmarkers Jon Saura, Clint Schell, Suba Nadarajah, Terri Irwin, Mike Brady and Chris Watson.
To know Project Runway is to love the show’s recurring unconventional materials challenge, in which designers have to “make it work” by creating garments out of anything and everything from leaves to lawn chairs. Thanks to the creative collaboration between Hallmark Signature and Project Runway, our very own Signature cards stylishly starred as the designers’ materials in this season’s unconventional episode. For those of you who tuned in to see Edmond Newton’s winning wedding dress march down the runway, you already know that his sculptural creation—complete with a coordinating bouquet—was created out of Signature cards, envelopes, and featured embellishments such as gems, feathers and the clever use of the Signature logo on the bodice of the dress. We had a chance to chat with Edmond to learn more about his creative process, what inspires him and even what’s on his playlist.
Where did you first learn about fashion?
Growing up, both my mom and dad were very fashionable people, and I saw this style focus daily. For them, getting ready for work or events was a process. I also grew up in my mom’s beauty salon in South Carolina and was always around beauty and fashion and the whole nine there.
How did you get your professional start in fashion?
I was a professional model for a time, and it was there I realized that I didn’t care for being in front of the camera as much as I liked to be behind it. I loved fashion, and was inspired by what I saw on the runways, but didn’t see the things I liked in malls or stores. I realized if I couldn’t buy it, I was going to have to make it. So in 2004, I started teaching myself to sew. I did some small shows in my hometown that same year. It was also the year I learned about this new show called Project Runway and decided to audition for the first time for it. I auditioned every year until I finally made the show in Season 14.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
I find my inspiration through my life experiences—and always trying to get new ones.
What’s your work process?Do you sketch first?
I dive in, no sketch. The fabric tells you what it wants to do.
What’s your work space like?
I like to think of it as workable chaos.
For the unconventional materials challenge, what were your first thoughts when you learned you would be making a garment out of Signature Cards?
Standing there, looking around, seeing so much shape, color, texture, 3D materials—I was just figuring out what would be my power statement. I took the energy of the Signature line into consideration, too. I kept thinking about what would be a really special, cool statement. Cards are something special these days. If someone takes the time to pick out a card, it has to reflect them. I wanted this to reflect me.
Did you run with your first design concept?
I did run with my first concept. A few of the cards spoke to me the same way fabric speaks to me. They are what jumped out, and they were my inspiration throughout.
Tell us about the cards you chose that inspired you to create your winning bridal look.
The cards brought back memories of my family and their stories as well as my own personal journey in the years leading up to Season 14. I channeled all of that energy into my look.
The handmade bouquet was a wonderful touch.What made you create that as well as your wedding dress?
As an artist, my mind works differently than most people. I focus on one project, but never one thing. For the bouquet, I just pulled out my art class skills—art was always my favorite subject in school.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations from fashion and beyond?
Whitney Houston (I got to meet her on an airplane on the way to casting for one of the Project Runway seasons. I could barely get my words out, I was so starstruck.)
My mom, Rose, and my dad, Edmond
What are your three favorite songs on your playlist right now?
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears (my all-time favorite song)
“It Was All a Dream” by Notorious B.I.G.
“Anything” by Anita Baker
Who would you love to have over to dinner if you could?
Halston. And maybe Rihanna?
Speaking of dinner, what’s your favorite meal?
Pizza. Papa John’s, pepperoni with extra sauce. I like to have that on Thursdays when I watch Project Runway.
To learn more about Edmond and to watch Hallmark Signature-inspired designers in Season 14’s unconventional materials challenge, “It’s All in the Cards,” go to www.mylifetime.com.
The Brite is back! You’re not dreaming, friends: Rainbow Brite, heroine to ’80s kids everywhere, is making a comeback. Did you know that Hallmarkers created the unstoppable world-brightener in the early 1980s? They did! The current generation of Hallmark Creatives is insanely proud to be working for the birthplace of Brite. So we made a video. Like we do. Hallmark Gold Crown stores will be getting shipments of Rainbow Brite goods later this week; call your local store to find out when Rainbow Brite will be in your neighborhood. Rainbow Brite will be showing up on Hallmark.com in several weeks, so keep checking in there, too.
Video Credits: Starring Tommy Donoho and Brian Rio. Appearances by Mark Morton, Jake Johnson and Jen Dreiling. Sound by Chris Johnson and Josh Williams. Edited by Dac McCabe.
As gift wrap designers, Patty Ross and Lorenza Stornello are no strangers to accessorizing. Many gift toppers can be translated to other things—like keychains! What better way to start off the school year (or work week for us older folks) with a fun way to accessorize your favorite bag or backpack with monogram keychains? Find out how below!
Start by gathering your materials. You’ll need embroidery thread or yarn for the tassels, beads (you can paint wood ones yourself using acrylic paint or buy pre-painted beads), plastic animals to paint for some added fun, key chain rings from your local craft store, and a letter for your monogram.
To hang your plastic animal, you can find small eyelet screws that will screw into the plastic at the hardware store. For the monogram letter try using found letters from your local craft store or cutting your letter out of cardboard, felt or even heavy cardstock.
Let’s get started! Paint your wood beads with acrylic paint in your favorite colors. We had fun painting the beads with polka dots and stripes. Use a dowel rod in one end of the bead for easier painting and drying. Also paint your plastic animals to hang from your keychain. We like bright colors! Once you’re done painting, you can decorate your letter while things dry.
Use markers, paint or a sharpie (like we’ve done on the cardboard letter shown) to decorate your letter. Now it’s time to make some tassels! Refer to this blog post from our friends Laura and Ashley on how to make tassels. For an added twist, try wrapping washi tape around the top. As surface designers, we like to add as much pattern as possible!
When all of your parts are ready, start assembling. String your beads onto your tassel top and hang from your keychain. Then add your plastic animal and letter and get ready to accessorize with your custom monogram keychain!
Mirna Stubbs’s unique style is immediately recognizable and yet also wide-ranging (check out her Instagram account, and you’ll see what we mean). She always finds ways to make her Hallmark projects feel original yet relate-able. She’s here today to tell us about her newest collection for Studio Ink, in Gold Crown stores now.
Less than a year ago, I was sitting at my desk and playing around in a sketchbook, trying to find inspiration to start the project that was ahead of me. I can’t remember what that project was. Likely something that didn’t excite me too much, because I was clearly procrastinating.
Sketchbooks are where we feel free to explore, mess up, and express current thoughts and feelings without worrying about how someone else could relate to it. They’re personal, which isn’t always great when you’re illustrating for cards that should appeal to other people and their unique situations. Being that I’m a very passionate person, my sketchbook reflects a certain amount of visual drama, boldness, imperfection and spontaneity. Sometimes it’s a terrible mess, and other times I prefer what’s in the sketchbook over the polished final illustrations I do “for real.” Luckily, on this particular day, my art director preferred my sketchbook art, too.
I was exploring painting on black paper with gouache. Gouache is such a great medium for dark paper with its opaqueness and vibrancy. Even a simple pattern painted on the dark background evokes mystery, luxury and emotion. My art director encouraged me to continue in this direction with a 12-card collection for Studio Ink in mind. For the next few weeks, I dove in to this dramatic, almost mythological, opulent, magical land. I asked one of my much-admired writer friends, Sarah Magill, to help me find a voice for them. She perfectly put the emotion of the illustrations into words.
Although these illustrations came out of a very personal point of view, I believe that Sarah’s voice and the authenticity of my explorations are relatable and identifiable. After all, our situations and relationships may be uniquely different, but our emotions and sentiments are often very much alike, indeed.
What do you think of Mirna’s Studio Ink collection? Show us your favorite Hallmark purchases by tagging us on Instagram! And shop more of the Studio Ink line at Hallmark.com.