Artist Spotlight: Hallmark design duo Justin and Tuesday Spray

It’s probably not surprising that many a couple is “created” within these Hallmark halls. After all, we’re all about relationships! Rarely do these lovebirds get to collaborate at work, but it can be pretty amazing when they do! Case in point: Justin and Tuesday Spray, whose Valentine’s Day greeting card collection is the perfect marriage (!) of their artistic stylings.

A creative couple's Valentine's Day collection |

Justin and I, as a husband and wife creative duo, have together made a home, a family, a bunch of greeting cards, and the occasional dinner (but we get a lot of take-out, too).

I tend to be the more free-spirited, whimsical artist and Justin is the more refined and tailored designer. I bring home a weird lamp from a flea market and he does a great job pairing it with a tailored leather chair and ottoman. I’m typically the mess-maker and he polishes things up.

A creative couple's Valentine's Day collection | thinkmakeshareblog

That approach carries over into our design collaborations as well. When we were asked to create a line of Valentine’s Day cards for Hallmark, it was important to us that our real, chaotic, and fun lifestyle was captured.

Valentine’s Days used to be romantic and sexy. We’d share a bottle of wine as we lingered leisurely in one of our favorite local restaurants. Now our Valentine’s Day moment takes place in the fancy dining room of our home (that only gets used for holidays) after the kids have been tucked into bed and the baby monitor is in place on the table. Fortunately, it isn’t the roses or fancy dinners that keep the spark alive for us, but rather our love and passion for all the things we make together.

A creative couple's Valentine's Day collection | thinkmakeshareblog

Coffee or Tea?

Tuesday – Coffee. Five cups of coffee. What’s tea?

Justin – Coffee. I love coffee.

Sweet or salty?

Tuesday – Salty. Capers are my favorite. And sunflower seeds…mmm…and peanuts. I guess I really like salty stuff, which is weird because I always forget to add the salt when I’m cooking at home.

Justin – Both. I love both of them. I love candy sweet tarts and I love olives.

A creative couple's Valentine's Day collection |

I’ve been at Hallmark:

Tuesday – Almost five years.

Justin – Fifteen glorious years.

If I weren’t a _____, I’d probably be…

Tuesday – If I weren’t an artist, I’d be a dog rescuer. I love dogs. And it breaks my heart more than anything to see an unwanted or unloved animal. I follow a lot of the animal rescues on social media and Justin is constantly rolling his eyes at how weepy they make me. I’d especially love to have a rescue or sanctuary for senior dogs that have been discarded in their old age. Who does something so mean? I’d also love to have a little bit of land to keep the dogs on, along with a pig and a donkey. That’s another dream that makes my husband’s eyes roll. Probably because with two tiny kids we’re making miracles happen just by getting our lawn mowed weekly.

Justin – If I weren’t a designer, I’d be an architect. It’s very similar to graphic design. I love ancient architecture, Baroque architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright, and cathedrals. I’m in awe of the time and detail put into some of those really old cathedrals.

A creative couple's Valentine's Day collection |

Favorite tool or medium:

Tuesday – Black micron pens. I also love watercolor but any time I get the paints out, I make a mess. And any time I make a mess, ol’ you-know-who (winks and secretly points to hubs) gives me that furrowed brow look. Meanie.

Justin – Photoshop. I love being able to manipulate artwork and change it in different ways for designing.

Best color (in the crayon box):

Tuesday – Deep cerulean blue. I am in love with that color. Give me all the cerulean blue!

Justin – A light olive green, kind of a more acidy green.

Ideal way to feed your brain/soul/creative spirit:

Tuesday – I’ve always had a little bit of an obsession with anything French. I just took a trip to Paris and I woke up in the middle of the night wanting to draw. I felt like my brain was going to explode. So, Paris. Paris is the best way to feed my brain and soul. I also love talking through ideas with other artists. I love collaborating and talking to amazing artists because it fills me up with inspiration.

Justin – Collaborating with other people. I also always get inspired at a local Kansas City home decor shop, Nell Hill’s.

A creative couple's Valentine's Day collection |

Current trend obsession:

Tuesday – Illustration trend…hmmm. I had a really unhealthy obsession with mermaids. Like, I knew I needed to quit them, but I just couldn’t. Now I think I’m gonna get pretty obsessed with peacocks.

Justin – I’m really into big, bold, and bright patterns. I’m a big fan of Andy Gilmore. He does these great kaleidoscopic images with color and geometric shapes. I also really love vintage signage style lettering.

Favorite aspect of working on this collection:

Tuesday – When we began working on this collection, it was important for the writers to get a feel for who we are as a couple so that the writing would be authentic. We’re heavy in the baby-slinging phase of our relationship. We have way too many conversations about kid potty and how to trick babies into sleeping. That being said, when you’re so busy and so tired caring for other people it’s really, really easy to forget about the initial reasons you fell for this other person. I mean, I know I adore who he is as a dad, a husband, and an all around family man, but there are so many more things I love about him and us, so it was really great to get to reflect on that.

Justin – I’ve never really worked with Tuesday’s illustration before. I loved getting the opportunity to take her illustrations and design with them in my style.

Most delightful thing about working for Hallmark:

Tuesday – This place is a creative mecca. It’s chock-full of amazing creativity from the beautiful artwork on the walls, to the libraries full of supplies and books, to the people. The people are where it’s at. I love being surrounded by creative, funny geniuses all day long. I mean, one day we had an extended and serious conversation about unicorns. UNICORNS, people!!! I get paid to talk about unicorns sometimes.

Justin – The people and the freedom I have as a designer. For the most part we’re encouraged to design in the styles that we’re most passionate about personally. I feel like my aesthetic is trusted so I get a lot of freedom to design how I want.

A creative couple's Valentine's Day collection |

What is your day-to-day like as an artist at Hallmark?

Tuesday – I start in the a.m. with a big ol’ coffee from the cafe and a little eye candy surfing trendy blogs. Then I probably draw or paint something. Right about here in my day, someone might pop in and ask me to quickly scribble out some hand lettering. Then I mess around with my artwork in the computer. And in between all that stuff, I have lots of great conversations with other artists. You know, about unicorns, mermaids, the color pink…big, worldly stuff.

Justin – Coffee, first thing, coffee. Next, some headphones. Then I get to it. I’m usually processing multiple designs at one time so I like to just get focused. But I’m always up for taking a break for an office prank like turning a co-worker’s phone ringer to the highest volume when they’re not looking. I’m kind of like your annoying brother around the office.

Learn more about the Sprays and check out their full greeting card collection here. You can also catch them on Home & Family airing Friday morning at 10amEST.

 Want more? Find Valentine’s Day ideas from our artists here. And be sure to check out our Ideas section to get more Val inspiration, from what to write in a Valentine’s Day card to 6 simple treat recipes that are sure to sweeten the day.


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