behind the scenes: a personalized holiday card

We can’t think of a better year to spread some holiday cheer than this year. We’re excited to share an inside look into the creation of a personalized holiday card. Kara Gordon of Magnificent Milestones worked with us to make this one extra special. Kara shared, “Similar to a family photo, I think an illustration makes a holiday card truly unique. My (current) favorite illustration is the family home. For many of us, it’s where we live, work and learn. There is a new appreciation for our homes this year: it’s time to pay tribute!” To turn a classic holiday card into something a little more unique, our graphic designer Katie Magee illustrated the home of Nick, Whitney and Josie. The family opted for our Lawson Holiday card design as the backdrop for their illustration. We will let Katie take it from here to describe what goes into making custom artwork as well as more thoughts from Kara. We can’t wait to see what holiday creations come through our shop next!

Q: What is the most rewarding part of illustrating for specific client customizations? 

Answer from Katie: For me, I love seeing the client’s vision come to life. We’re often illustrating something of importance to them, be it their home or wedding venue, a beloved pet, or maybe a favorite flower, so it feels really great to help them incorporate something that’s truly personal to them into their stationery.

Q: Tell us about the process behind creating a client-specific illustration. What are the behind the scene steps?

Answer from Katie: Line illustrations are a fairly simple process – mainly just making sure I have a good, high-resolution reference photo to work from, and then getting to work drawing on my iPad! Watercolor illustrations require a bit more setup, including lightly sketching out the illustration in pencil, making sure I have all the colors I need in my palette, and then building up layers of color to create the illustration. It also requires more time and patience with waiting for the layers of paint to dry.

Q: What kind of instructions help you most from a client to make the illustration the best it can be? What do you need to hear from them?

Answer from Katie: It’s always helpful for them to provide as much detail as possible! Do we need to omit anything from the reference photo? Will we be changing the color of anything? If it’s a line illustration, do they want it more on the minimal side, or with lots of detail? Each illustration is different, but providing us with as much detail as possible helps us to get things right the first time.

Q:  What do you hope for once an illustration is finally complete? 

Answer from Katie: Simply that it brings joy to the client! Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I was able to bring their vision to life.

Q: Why do you think people should continue to send out holiday cards each year, specifically this year?

Answer from Kara of Magnificent Milestones: I love sending and receiving holiday cards every year… but this year is undoubtedly different. There are friends and family members that I haven’t seen in over 7 months so I will be racing to the mailbox this holiday season. It’s different than a text or a Facebook post that receives a quick glance. These cards are on display for the entire holiday season and put a smile on my face every time I walk by them.

Photo by Kara Gordon of Magnificent Milestones