Saturday, December 02, 2006

Ralph Hulett's Christmas, day VI

Hulett thumbnail
© by the Estate Of Ralph Hulett. Click on the thumbnail to see a full-sized image.
Another moody landscape card, slightly reminiscent of the “Ave Maria” section of Fantasia (on which Father did air-brush effects during his first couple of years at Disney...)

And how did the Christmas cards get sold in those far-off days of the early 'sixties? Why, the card companies had large albums out on large tables, complete with order forms. And potential customers would flip through the books examining sample cards, then order box sets of the cards they liked. This system of card buying has largely passed from existence, as has card companies paying royalties.

Back then, the card companies would send their artists out on publicity junkets to department stores across the fruited plain, where they would paint sample designs for the assembled multitudes, give interviews, and interact with the store managers.

Below is a picture of my father and fellow Christmas-card artist James Warren out on such a junket in 1963. Dad is the one looking over his shoulder with the marker or paint brush (or whatever it is) in his hand. James Warren is the artist who's seated. (I've no idea who the man in the light coat is.) So you see? There was more to the Christmas card industry than simply painting pretty designs at your day-job at Disney. You also had to fly around the country promoting the artwork.


Here are more Ralph Hulett Christmas cards.


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