Hallmark Visit

A couple months ago I interviewed a retired Art Director from the company for a project in one of classes, and he offered to give me a contact in the illustration department so that I could interview them as well and possibly get shown around the office. Today I finally got to Kansas City where Hallmark is headquartered and received a lovely tour from one of the traditional themed illustrators, and I have to say I could definitely see myself working the company. From the impression I got today, Hallmark gives their creative employees an abundance of avenues to explore various artistic methods and to stimulate innovation and inspiration. Everyone I met was extremely friendly, and it appeared that employees extensively collaborate with other departments since the lady giving the me the tour seemed to know EVERYONE we ran into in every section of the building. By the way, the Hallmark building is huge! I entered on the seventh floor, and there were two more floors above me (the below floors go underground), and one of the floors connects to other Hallmark buildings separate from the main corporate building, and that doesn’t even include the buildings NOT connected and located elsewhere in the city. It’s mind boggling! On a related side note, my Digital Arts professor told me that Hallmark is different than Disney because Disney wants their employees to be concentrated in one area and only focus on that concentration and perfecting it where as Hallmark wants their employees to have a breadth of skills. 

The lady I met with gave me a website to check out called Odosketch which I got an account on: http://sketch.odopod.com/users/131077

On a final note, I have started to experiment with my art style a bit more, and I’m now trying to take a more comic book influenced approach to my work. I also want to mess around a bit with my subject matter and make it a bit edgier with more a more obscure dark sense of humor so that the message or point of the joke isn’t clear. Below is my first sketch attempting this. My mom just rolled her eyes when she saw this and asked me what the hell I was drawing now and why. She likes me art…sort of. When it has a happier, less bizarre (and possibly twisted in her opinion) subject matter. Unfortunately, my mind doesn’t roll that way. She keeps telling me if I want to illustrate for children’s books or Hallmark that I need to create lighter subject matter which I can, but this is personal work, so I don’t want to. But try telling her that. It gets a bit irritating at times. I enjoy using bright colors with quirky characters to the dark humor isn’t first realized by the viewer. Not exactly a play of irony but close. Image

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