If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if a group of Hallmark artists decked the halls for the holidays, consider today an early Christmas gift. Hallmark stylist Erin M. shares how she styled handmade Christmas wreath ideas to decorate the Hall family’s historic home. Hallmark illustrator Craig L. then shares his account of illustrating the scene at the beautiful estate. Read on!
Styling Wreaths with Photo Stylist, Erin M.
Imagine the Hall family home— a grand old house with perfectly preserved architectural details built by Joyce Hall in the 1920s. Now, envision filling that home with radiant holiday floral arrangements and evergreen wreaths lovingly crafted in a floral workshop by Hallmark artists.
Then, picture a crew of photographers, stylists, artists and assistants buzzing around the house capturing those festive scenes…all of us glistening with sweat, because it’s August and it’s 95 degrees and the house only has two rooms with air conditioning.
Welcome to the not-so-glamorous life of a photo crew. But, to be honest, our job is pure pleasure even when we’re sweating because of the amazing things we get to create every day and the access we get to places many do not.
That’s what was so special about this shoot. To be in the rooms that the Hall family grew up in, lived in, celebrated family milestones and holidays in—what an honor! We just had to bring the wreaths and floral arrangements and open our eyes and hearts to find spots in the house where each little scene would come to life. Pure pleasure indeed!
Illustrating Wreaths and Florals with Illustrator, Craig L.
After 34 years of working in a beige 8’X8’ corporate cubical (pantone color #7500c) I was delighted to be invited to work for a few days at the Hall family farmhouse. My interest was primed by the fact that I would be partnering with the photo studio and illustrating floral wreaths for Christmas product.
It was an easy ‘yes’ for me, considering the richness and colorful corporate history there on that discreet property. I also expected that working with the photo studio might generate a deeper, visual conversation than what I normally experience in my allotted 64 squares.
As I worked, I had in the soft periphery of my mind an awareness of the history surrounding me. To think that the trajectory of the Hallmark business was started, formed and matured in this house—with full participation from all family members—was remarkable. I felt the echo. My brush moved freely as my mind drew back through the Hall family history. The pull of my imagination was constant as I considered what life might have been like there for the kids back in the day, for Don and Dave especially. Perhaps it’s because they are my age that I think of them the most.
The dialogue in my mind droned on as I painted. Our founder, Joyce C. Hall, raised his family in this house. The boys kicked around like Huck Finn along the creeks, climbed trees and slid down the high hills at Christmas time in the snow without a care in the world. So I had imagined it.
In the end, I have to say my meager bits of artwork became just another small piece, a tiny contribution, of the much bigger collaborative story called Hallmark.
Wreath Workshop Photographer: David Shaughnessy | Hall’s House Photographer: Lindsey Mehlhorn