If you’re at all familiar with Hallmark products, then you’ve probably seen some of Amber Goodvin’s beautiful work. She’s a lettering artist, illustrator, designer, and she even has a knack for the written word. The girl can do it all! We’re proud to call her our co-worker and friend. Read on for Amber’s story!
Name: Amber Goodvin
Current role: Senior Artist, Hallmark Cards Lettering Studio
Education background: BFA in Visual Communication with concentrations in Graphic Design and Illustration from the University of Kansas.
What’s your Hallmark history? I started as an intern in our lettering studio. Hand lettering is a rare and special thing, and Hallmark is one of the only companies I know of that has a whole staff of lettering artists. I don’t have any formal training, so everything I have learned about lettering has been from co-workers here. The lettering artists all sit together, mixed up with the illustrators, too, so there’s a big range of talents to be inspired by in our studio.
What’s your creative process like here? I always start with the words. There may be some specific requirements the art director has given me (put a bird on it, don’t use blue, etc). Then I draw a LOT of bad versions until I find one that works. After that, I bring my drawing in the computer, and the second half of my process begins. My best ideas always come when I’m only half-paying attention, like doodling in a meeting or on the phone.
What kind of product do you work on? Tell us about a favorite product or line you’ve been a part of. Like anyone, probably, I love to work on products that I want to buy and send. Studio Ink, gift wrap and Signature products tend to be my favorite. I love Studio Ink because of the fresh visual style and casual, short messages.
Where do you go or what do you do to feed your brain/soul/spirit? To feed my creative energy, I like to journal and draw, go to antique places and boutiques, listen to podcasts and be alone at a coffee shop. I love the workshops at Hallmark. I really get inspired by working side-by–side with others or trying a material or process that’s new to me.
What kinds of trends are you seeing in the world that inform your work? Bold and brushy surface designs, washy watercolor lettering, fresh plush and embroidery. I love the “maker movement” and returning to traditional methods of making artwork. When you’re working as quickly as we do at Hallmark, it is easy to get too much into the computer. Anytime I’m feeling stale in my work, I start trying to make something with my hands.
Who are your artistic heroes or influences? Carson Ellis, Christopher Silas Neal, Margaret Kilgallen. Creative writing really stirs me too, especially children’s books authors like Roald Dahl.
How does your personal work reflect on your work at Hallmark and vice versa? They both inspire each other. I have found that diving into something I’m interested in during my personal time, like illustration or embroidery, usually finds its way into my work at Hallmark. And vice versa.
What are your favorite things about working for Hallmark? 1) Starbucks on tap. 2) The community of artists and all there is to learn from each other. 3) That the products we make are all about relationships.
Where do you see our company going in 3-5 years? Any product that is all about enriching lives and relationships is fair game! Greeting cards are still needed and important, but I see us having a more curated selection and multiple ways to buy the same art (for a card, for a wall print, a tea towel, or share with friends digitally). As the maker movement rises, I could also see us doing more classes/demos and interacting more with our consumers. We can help them bring out their own creativity, so they can make things for the people they love.
Here are just a few of our favorite products from Amber (clockwise from top left): floral patterned gift box, cotton tea towel, Amber Goodvin artwork collection available at Gillham Studios, “In This Home…” Art From the Heart greeting card on canvas, Studio Ink collection, Walt-o-saurus collection from Hallmark Baby, stationery pack (available at your local Hallmark Gold Crown store).