Daniel Miyares is a Hallmark artist who champions creativity of all kinds—both inside Hallmark and out. Today, he’s telling us about a 26-year tradition that’s kept Hallmark employees’ sketching skills super sharp.
Each week a group of Hallmark employees gather together over their lunch hour for the Noon Sketch Group. They’ve been doing this for twenty-six years now. It started back in the fall of 1988. A group of about 40 artists were hired in together that year. They had all just graduated from art school and wanted to continue to draw and paint the human figure. The Noon Sketch Group was an extension of their college life drawing classes…except with more clothing.
Hallmark artist Matt Kesler (pictured above) has been a member of the group since the beginning. For him, that hour each week is a chance to work under a different set of parameters that force him to see in a new way. He has to work quickly and can’t overthink what he’s doing. Even after 26 years of sketching, there’s still something new to be learned.
Currently, the Noon Sketch Group still meets once a week at lunchtime, and many of the group’s motivations have remained the same. Employees want to shake off everyday routines and have a safe place to explore the foundations of art and design. One big difference now, though, is that the participants don’t all have an art background or draw and paint as part of their “job.” Some sketchers are engineers or administrative assistants, and they create alongside illustrators and designers.
No matter what area of the company people come from, everyone who shows up to be a part of the Noon Sketch Group has two important things in common: They possess a certain amount of courage, and they have “learner” hearts. Successful drawings are certainly not guaranteed, but discoveries are.
Featured sketches are by Hallmark Illustrator Matt Kesler, pictured above.