When it comes to creating beautiful things, our artists clearly never sleep. They say that a creative mind is always at work, and that couldn’t be more true for the artists in our wildly talented creative community here at Hallmark. We introduced you to Hallmarket—our very own annual Hallmark maker fair—last year. Now in its sixth year, we couldn’t resist giving our favorite people (YOU!) a sneak peek at what you’ll find at Crown Center Square this year…and a little bit about the creative minds behind the products.
Name: Leslie S.
Role at Hallmark: Senior Designer
What you’ll be selling at Hallmarket: All things handmade and stitched: plush animals (sloths, French bulldogs, seals), potted plants, wall art
Instagram handle for a sneak peek of the goods: @loveleslielou
Tell us about your craft. How did you first get into it? How long have you been doing it? Has it evolved since you first started creating? My love for stitching and making plush was sparked five years ago when I took part in an embroidery workshop led by my talented friend and fellow Hallmarker Susan C. I began making felt plush animals as handmade gifts for friends having little ones. Creating outfits and accessories to suit each friend’s individual style was my favorite part of the process: dresses with pockets and petticoats, button downs with French knot buttons and rolled sleeves, shorts with welt pockets and belt loops. Making one took hours that easily turned into days. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with different fabrics. I’m loving sewing animals and plants with upholstery-grade suedes, velvets and chenilles because they’re simultaneously lush and durable. Also, I’ve simplified the outfits a bit; my latest menagerie is all decked out in their birthday suits. In time, apparel making and primping will resume—It’s inevitable.
Any other fun facts we should know? My favorite stitch is the blanket stitch.
Name: Charlie H.
Role at Hallmark: Senior Artist in the Character Design Studio
What you’ll be selling at Hallmarket: Presidential prints and accessories
Instagram handle for a sneak peek of the goods: @charliehadley
Tell us about your craft. How did you first get into it? How long have you been doing it? Has it evolved since you first started creating? I’ve always been into drawing, and I’ve always been into history. I figured I would combine the two and draw all the presidents. It started out as just something fun to do. Then I thought maybe I should make a print with them all on it.
Any other fun facts we should know? I was born on the 4th of July and raised in a town called Independence. Maybe that is where I got my love of history. Although I’m not super political at all, the presidents have always intrigued me. They are almost just characters to me. I love to look at the old 19th century caricatures of them from the newspapers way back when. The illustration stylings are so well done with a lot of detail.
Name: Kristin S.
Role at Hallmark: I’m a graphic designer in our communications division, where I get the opportunity to design for a wide variety of audiences, formats and environments.
What you’ll be selling at Hallmarket: Art prints where the subject matter ranges from Kansas City-inspired designs to silly little creatures for kids rooms (or big kids, like me). In my goodie bag of creatures are hipster monsters, space monsters, a space cat, professor pug, robot DJ, snow-skiing squirrel and more.
Instagram handle for a sneak peek of the goods: @kristinowl
Tell us about your craft. How did you first get into it? How long have you been doing it? A few years ago, I was playing keyboards in a band. At this time, I also became madly obsessed with the world of illustration and consumed it voraciously. I couldn’t get enough! I was tasked with creating our band’s posters, and this gave me the perfect avenue to begin experimenting with something I wasn’t really sure I could do. It was all that I needed to realize I was in love. I ended up quitting the band and started focusing most of my creative time outside of my job on creating silly creatures and things that reflect the city I love. Making space kittens and wacky monsters is a great counterpoint to my job at Hallmark, but I also feel this practice has really influenced and shaped my approach as a designer during the day.
Has it evolved since you first started creating? I’m learning to trust my instincts and voice more, which is definitely easier said than done. Some days I’m really thinking about how to evolve my use of color. I’m naturally drawn to loud, bold colors but I also appreciate the softer, more refined palettes. I’m thinking more about weight, movement, environment, playing with scale, etc. There always seems to be another level to reach for, which keeps me challenged since I’ve been designing for about six years.
Any other fun facts we should know? I was a band & orchestra geek through college and played oboe. I rarely get pop culture references—it’s only because of my boyfriend Mike that I can make it through conversations with other normal humans. My guilty pleasure is the “Bachelor.”
Name: Ava N.
Role at Hallmark: Merchandising Assistant at Halls
What you’ll be selling at Hallmarket: Decorative leather journals
Tell us about your craft. How did you first get into it? How long have you been doing it? Has it evolved since you first started creating? I have always enjoyed doodling and journaling. As a child I loved the challenge of filling up a blank journal with my own words and images. Now I’m making the actual journals myself so everyone else can enjoy the same challenge. I chose leather for my journals because it is durable and rugged (you have to lug your journal everywhere). The objects I use to decorate them can be as simple as a rusty piece of metal found on a walk or odd castoffs from an antique mall or garage sale. If I can glue it, sew it, or somehow bind it, to the cover it goes!
Any other fun facts we should know? I get inspiration from visits to museums (I love the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art), festivals (Day of the Dead and Native American Pow Wows), summer travels (Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a favorite destination), and I’ll use ideas and findings from these experiences in my journals.
Name: Madeline T. (and Diane is my mom and co-creator of Tag Team Tompkins)
Role at Hallmark: Designer in Hallmark Home and Gifts
What you’ll be selling at Hallmarket: letterpress art prints
Instagram handle for a sneak peek of the goods: @tagteamtompkins
Tell us about your craft. How did you first get into it? How long have you been doing it? Has it evolved since you first started creating? TTT got started after my mom retired from Hallmark, and we wanted to collaborate on a project together. My mom was very inspired by cut paper illustrations at the time, and I developed a lettering style that worked well with her art. A friend was just starting up a letterpress printing shop, and we wanted to see how our art would look on his press. And after working together for the past seven years, we’ve developed more than 50 prints with a few different styles.
Any other fun facts we should know? Collaborating with your mother on art projects is as hard as you would think.
Name: Lynn G.
Role at Hallmark: Lettering Artist
What you’ll be selling at Hallmarket: Collage artwork, art prints and bracelets
Instagram handle for a sneak peek of the goods: @Lynn_Giunta
Tell us about your craft. How did you first get into it? How long have you been doing it? Has it evolved since you first started creating? I have been collaging since 2010. Former Hallmark Lettering Artist Lisa Rogers and I taught a workshop together, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It combines my love of cut paper with my love of making things. I never get tired of seeing how transparent tissue paper changes when it overlaps other colors or patterns. My collages are mostly patterns and icons; my prints are mostly positive words.
Any other fun facts we should know? My basement is a messy of pile of tissue paper and cut paper scraps right now.
Will you be shopping Hallmarket this year? Share your amazing finds with us on Instagram @think.make.share!