Friday, December 24, 2010

The Ghost of Christmas Greetings Past

I was going through some old artwork recently and re-discovered a bunch of really ancient stuff that I thought I might share here...
My parents have always been shameless promoters of their children's creative effforts & regularly encouraged of my artistic habit, as well as paying for private art lessons when from when I was 7 until I was 17, even when they maybe might not have really been able to afford it- thanks mom & dad! One way they encouraged my artistic nature was by using my art for their christmas cards & newsletters each year... from very early on.

Here is an example from 1988 (when I was 6 1/2), the very first time they commissioned art from me for the purpose of creating original christmas card art (I just did the manger scene, the rest is my mother's handiwork):
I remember being particularly proud of my accomplishment in creating the illusion of drapery over joseph's kneeling legs, and being slightly disappointed at not being able to duplicate my success with Mary. Kid's artistic temperaments are funny like that...

a couple years later I had begun taking art lessons, and each year, my tutor, Grace Clater, would have a new pen-and-ink christmas design for us to try to copy for our families to use as card covers. Here is the run-down:


In 1992, we did 2 designs for our parents to choose from. The Hole family ended up using the second design:

In 1993 we were beginning to branch out with customized designs, which incorporated the names of everyone in the family- and I also included a little bootie for my then-baby brother Jacob (and a mouse, which was a common theme in my art of the period, resulting in what I refer to as my "hidden mice" period) :
In 1995 I actually finally did one on my own, at home, a drawing of our own fireplace and mantle, decorated in a christmas theme (and, still in my "hidden mice" period, included a portrait of a mouse that actually did live in a hole in the mantlepiece):This was also the first year I included the "Holemark greetings" logo on the back of the card, which was an attempt at being clever that seemed to work.This logo has gone through several permutations......including themed series of cards revolving around my comic book and comic strip characters, like this christmas card which must be from somewhere between 1998 and 2001 when I first conceived of the Edwin Aardvark characters:
I even made a couple of birthday cards with some of the early prototypes my comic characters, like these:

Before Rat Cat and Bassett, an early variation of the characters was called "Gumper's Gang":
I have continued creating my own christmas greetings, such as the following:

and inside:


and as my contribution to my parent's yearly Family Newsletter/Update On the Kids for 2008:

1 comment:

John Bryson said...

HoleMark greetings??? Thats brilliant!!!! also, loved the car racing movie!!!