Announcing the 9th Annual Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Round 5 Winners!

Congratulations to our Fifth Round Winners!

9th Annual Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Contest – Round 4 Winners Announced!

Congratulations to our Fourth Round Winners and our First Save (Entry #1859)!


9th Annual Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Contest – Round 3 Winners Announced!

Congratulations to our Third Round Winners!


9th Annual Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Contest – Round 2 Winners Announced!

Congratulations to our Round 2 Winners!


Get Well Cards Let Employees Know You Care

A Get Well card can mean so much to a person in need.  I remember when my father was very ill, one of the only things that truly lifted his spirits was receiving a Get Well card from his co-workers.  His job was his second home, and his co-workers were like his second family.  These get well wishes meant so much to him that they even made him shed some tears when he opened the card.  This was during the few months he was in the hospital and stuck at home after recovering from a stroke.  For months, my father was unable to spell or perform simple math problems. After receiving support from his co-workers, I could see his spirits were lifted.  He was back at work a few months later and able to perform his daily functions as if nothing ever happened.  I 100% believe the Get Well card and support from his co-workers helped him through the healing process.

We have all struggled with our health at one time or another and we all know how it feels to know someone cares.  I have heard many medical experts say that your mental health can be just as important as your physical health when trying to heal from an illness.  There has even been scientific evidence that an improved mental state can speed up the healing process!  So the next time you hear your co-worker is out of work because they are struggling with an illness, maybe it’s a good idea to send them a card.  It will mean the world to them!

9th Annual Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Contest – Round 1 Winners Announced!

Congratulations to our First Round Winners!

Q and A with Jennifer Soriano – Winner of the 8th Annual Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Contest

First and foremost, congratulations to Jennifer Soriano on winning the 8th Annual Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Contest!

Right now, Jennifer is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Illustration at the Academy of Art University.

We had an initial conversation with Jennifer, but we wanted to get a little more personal in this Q and A session in which she explains how her beautiful design came to life, what she truly wants to accomplish in her life as an artist, and what other artists could learn from her approach to the Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Contest.


MA: So, it’s been a few months – How has winning the 8th Annual Scholarship Program Contest affected you (besides being on top of the world)?

JS: Well, I have to admit to still being in a feeling of disbelief (that I won). It has been such a wonderful affirmation of all the work it takes to perfect one’s craft. I think, like many artists, we often question our abilities, especially in a world where artistic achievement is often overlooked – where our creations are often conceived in solitude. You begin to wonder if anything you paint or draw will matter to anyone else… its a little like putting your soul on display. The scholarship has certainly been both an  inspiration to work harder and to take pride in the work one achieves.

The money has been truly helpful to relieve some of the stress that comes with always figuring out how to pay for cost of tuition. Less stress of course means more energy to invest in one’s artwork.

MA: After reviewing your response towards, “What are your plans after Graduate School,” you stated you are “currently teaching studio art and want to become a better teacher.” What do you feel you need to do to accomplish this goal?

JS: While art may be created in solitude, its ideas are always rooted in other people. There is always an element of the artist’s character within their work. When I create a piece of art, it’s for people. When I teach art, it is not only for the individual student’s fulfillment as an artist, but also as a way for them to communicate artistically with their larger cultural setting. Part of communicating effectively is to understand what you want to say, who you are speaking to, and what is going to be the most effective telling of the story for your audience. I always like to think of art as being a conversation between the artist and the viewer.

(On computer’s changing the way an artist is evolving) – I decided it would be essential as both a teacher and an artist to learn new ways in which to use the computer to communicate a visual idea. Digital media today has a larger audience base and opens up many ways for the artist to communicate with as well. I also wanted to push myself to begin to think about different ways an artist could use this platform, whether they were using traditional illustration methods or digital painting programs. This is the world which my students navigate daily and I wanted to be a more effective educational leader for them by increasing my knowledge in this arena. I also felt the traditional world of artistic creation was an important component of being better able to manipulate new technology, so I wanted to increase my own technical ability in both traditional and digital painting techniques.

MA: What did you find to be the best and most challenging aspect of creating your artwork for the Greeting Card?

JS: I wanted to capture that feeling of when you are small and you are so excited for your birthday! The thing I remember (and is still true of my own children) is when you just can’t wait for that colorful mountain of sweetness that you get in fluffy frosting and colorful sprinkles. There is that barely contained excitement for the anticipation of cake!

2014 Scholarship Winner

I set up my still life of cupcakes so that it was from a child’s perspective, when you can see what’s waiting for you on the kitchen counter or table, but its out of your reach. I wanted to create the perspective like you were that child, looking up at that tempting row of cupcakes, and they are just out of reach.

I ended up sitting on the floor with a table easel in order to see my still life from a kid’s perspective with the cupcakes on the top of a pedestal. I got a real appreciation for the view kids have of much of the world (and their world). It is not the most comfortable position to paint from, but it was very effective.

MA: What did you think of the overall process of the Scholarship program? Besides being monetarily rewarding, was it a process where you feel you can grow from (as an artist and an individual)?

JS: Greeting cards are a form of communication and in this case, there is a very specific type of communication needed for a greeting card. As an artist, you have to think about the best way to communicate the theme. Additionally, you also have to think about the human being you are creating the card for, what ideas might appeal the most to them. It requires the artist to step outside of themselves into the mind of others and try to figure what moves them.

MA: Do you see this contest as being something rewarding to an artist in a creative aspect?

JS: I like these kind of mental challenges. You are presented with a problem and then you have to come up with a solution to the problem that is uniquely your own. Each of the artists who participated came up with answers to the theme that were vastly different. That is the wonderful part of the creative challenge… you get to see how other artists have different approaches to the same ideas.

MA: What advice can you give to other future participants of our Scholarship Program?

JS: Before you launch into drawing out an idea, think about who the card is for. Imagine a scenario in which it might be given and what is that person feeling. I think understanding the audience you are designing for is as important as the technical work of drawing or painting itself.

MA: If you could change anything about the Scholarship Program, what would it be?

JS: Perhaps people would benefit more if the news was spread to make (the contest) more widely known to the artistic community.  Especially as there is little financial support for working adults going back to school. As a group, we are often working full time jobs, supporting children, and even our children in college. Our financial burdens often outweigh younger students and there is little aid out there older students.

I happened to have a friend who saw the “Creating the Greeting Card Scholarship” contest because he ordered cards from The Gallery Collection. Prior to this, I had no idea such a contest existed or that graduate students were eligible! I wish I had known about it earlier.

I think (the Scholarship Program) is a wonderful way to support the education of artists.

Announcing the Winner of the 8th Annual $10,000 Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Contest!

Congratulations to Jennifer Soriano on winning the the 8th Annual $10,000 Create A Greeting Card Scholarship Contest!

The competition was fierce with over 13,000 entries submitted, but Jennifer marched to victory by creating a unique and beautifully designed card that enabled her to take home the prize!

This has been one of the most successful Scholarship contests to date!

We will continue our efforts on helping students achieve their goals with the Scholarship program. Please be on the lookout for the 9th Annual Create a Greeting Card Scholarship Contest!

Stay tuned for a blog post Q and A with Jennifer that explores what she did to win the grand prize!


                                    2014 Scholarship Winner

Why You Should Send Business Photo Cards

Looking to add that personal touch to your business greeting cards?  Why not add a photo?

Sending a business photo card looks professional but it is also very convenient and an easy process to create.  One popular idea is to take a photo of your staff to put on the card so you can send it to clients, customers, and businesses around the country.  I feel many businesses who receive your card may have possibly never met most or any of your staff in person.  It is a nice thing to finally be able to put faces to the voices they hear all year round while negotiating, setting up contracts, and communicating over the phone.

If you are a small and family oriented business, you can take a nice holiday photo of your family to include on the card.  You could also include a nice photo from your family vacation over the summer.  This adds a really great personal and intimate touch to your greeting card that many others may not have.  You could also include a picture on your card that doesn’t feature anybody at all.  Maybe it was a beautiful photo you took down at the beach over the summer, or a nice shot you caught of a family of deer while you were camping in the mountains last winter.

It’s always a nice idea to write your own greeting.  But as everyone always says, a picture can speak a thousand words!