Sometimes it's good to leave characters behind and experiment with painting different materials. This piece was great practice as the different elements allowed for a broad range of subjects to cover. Plus it allowed me to learn more about the game my Nephews are obsessed with!
This was originally painted for an internal presentation about the Skylanders brand for the company I work for.
In January this year my sentiment driven card range for Gemma International, Whittle Mill, launched into Clintons stores nationwide! It recently featured on the cover of Progressive Greetings, the number one magazine of the UK greetings industry, which was really satisfying to create and see in print.
Whittle Mill is a cute sentimental range centred around two wooden puppets. There’s a sweet little story to accompany them which tells of how, long ago, a couple carved a heart into a tree which sealed their love inside it forever. Years later a branch falls from the tree and is carved into two puppets who, imbued with the love once sealed in the wood, come to life to be reunited.
This range is very much a love letter to my Wife, who inspired the relationship based illustrations as well as the background story (below) and the verse inside—which in its self was a whole new, and very rewarding, experience to write.
The story on the back of every cards reads (get ready for the feels!);
"A long time ago, before you and me,
A happy couple sat under a tree.
Into the bark they each carved a heart,
And swore to each other they never would part.
In leaving the hearts their promise was kept,
And for many years in the wood their love slept.
Then on one windy day a branch snapped and fell,
Landing next to a sculptor, who said with a yell...
“This wood is perfect for the toys I’ve drafted!”
And from the branch two puppets were crafted.
The sculptor examined his work, delighted,
The happy couple at last reunited."
But my illustrations would be nothing on cards without the expert graphic design skills of fellow Gemma creative Adam Martin which frames them so perfectly. As previously mentioned, Whittle Mill is currently in Clintons stores across the UK, and will soon be sneaking into Tesco and WH Smith. This post contains excerpts from a recent interview I did for Tuts+ which you can read here. Shane www.ShaneMadeArt.com
I'm pleased to announce that Noah's Park, my children's card range for Gemma International has been shortlisted for a Henries award in the 'Best children's range' category!
The Henries are pretty much the Oscars of the UK greetings card industry, so to have my first ever card range nominated for one is something I'm super proud of. To check out the other finalists head over to the article.
I'll be talking a lot more about Noah's Park in future posts, but in a nutshell the range centres around a group of animals (Noah is the lion) who live on an island zoo which is smack bang in the middle of a theme park. Eventually the plan is to have them leave their island home to explore the various regions of the park.
The illustrations are heavily inspired by CG animated characters, but are actually painted in photoshop (which takes a while!).
Can't wait to share more about this fun little character brand!