New Year’s Card for a Business

I draw a New Years card every year for Kohlhepp Investment Advisors, and we try to make it relevant to what’s going on in the news, whether economic or otherwise. Well, this year the prevailing feeling was that everyone wanted to be done with the year 2020, so that was the theme of this year’s card.

I thought of a mountain-climbing expedition where the staff members were happy to see 2021 in the distance, because I’d been told they wanted the characters to appear ‘socially distanced.’ That idea was approved, so I started with a pencil sketch –

We talked over a few changes, and I went on to tighten the characters in the sketch –

I had thought perhaps I could show full faces so I left the mouths in for the sketch, but was later asked to draw masks on everyone.

I did a rough color sketch with colored pencils, and tried making the mountain in the background a volcano – do you see the 2020? – because that idea was considered. But in the end we stuck with just distant mountains in back.

and finally did the finished art in acrylic paint washes, below. Inside the card the message read: “WE MADE IT! Looking forward to a bright new year ahead!” and some kind wishes to their clients. Kohhepp Investment sends several hundred of these cards out to clients and colleagues, and they get some really nice responses indicating that people appreciate them and enjoy the funny antics in which we often portray the staff. They also use it on their Facebook page and other social media – it’s an effective way to personalize a business to their customers.

Business Birthday Card

Every year I am requested to illustrate a birthday card that Kohlhepp Investment Advisors sends to their clients on the client’s birthday. This year the idea of a hot air balloon ride was suggested, and as always I draw the five principals at Kohlhepp involved in the scene.

I started with a rough pencil sketch –

and when approved, tightened up the likenesses in another sketch

And penciled in a rough color sketch

before painting the finish, below, in acrylic washes on illustration board, with a charming birthday wish inside the card.

Illustration for a Business Relocation

A client who has a tailoring business wanted to create a memorable card announcing her new location to her customers. Merja sent me photos of herself and listed some of the items she routinely uses in her work.

I started with a pencil sketch of her running with all her various sewing supplies.


Merja requested a change to slacks and a blouse, and I did a revised color marker sketch of the figure –


She wanted a demure pink background, so I placed the finished art onto a rosy backdrop, with Merja breaking out of the box a bit in her drive:




2014 Illustrated Holiday Greetings for Businesses, Part 3: Card and Animation

For years I’ve enjoyed working with the team at Furia Rubel Communications, an award-winning integrated marketing and public relations agency. FRC always looks to present their brand in unique and creative ways,.and in their holiday greeting to their colleagues and clients we work together to come up with an illustration that combines both gag cartooning and caricature of a sort. The joke invariably revolves around the buzzwords they use with their p.r. clients, then we angle it toward a traditional holiday scene, and finally include simplified caricatures of each member of the FRC team.

The theme of this year’s sketch dealt with media technology, with a little poke at its obsolescence:

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We tweaked it a little and FRC framed the caption better, as a solution to the problem – here’s the final:


Very apropos for their industry. The unique thing about Furia Rubel is, they don’t stop with this art as just a greeting card.  When I create the art, I draw all the elements separately so FRC can send them to their animator Tom Donnelly of TD Post and Animation to create this very fun, very short, holiday video card:

That’s FRC president Gina Furia Rubel’s voice in the video too – It all creates a pretty memorable greeting for their business friends!

More cards in upcoming posts – scroll down to see previous cards in this series.

2014 Illustrated Holiday Greetings for Businesses, Part 2: Caricature

The people at Lifetime Asset Management LLC, a financial advisory firm, like to have a very personalized card, with their principles caricatured in some holiday scene. Last year’s card is here. I sketched the team giving a financial analysis to a seasonal guest (a favorable analysis, I’m sure.) I started with this pencil sketch:


The team at Lifetime has emailed me several photos of each of the managers in the past, so I can get a good likeness – they are located in another state and so I’ve never met them personally.The team reminded me that they have hired a new employee since last year and wanted her added into the composition.  Since I’ve drawn these clients a number of times already, I was able to move onto the finish quickly, which was lucky because I had other time constraints. The finished art, keeping the color scheme autumnal, below:


That’s their company logo in the picture in the background, something we always try to work in if possible. Lifetime also reaches out to their clients with a birthday greeting card, which I drew earlier this year:


(More holiday cards in the next post – scroll down to see Part 1 of this series)