If God bestowed The Magic Cute Pencil upon any one illustrator of the twentieth century it must surely have been Pete Hawley. Cute wasn't a formula Hawley had worked out and applied to his drawing style... it was as natural to him as breathing.
From his earlier period Jantzen pin-ups to his 50's era advertising work (below), to his movie posters and beyond, every man, woman, child and critter Pete Hawley drew had an impish grin and a pixie-twinkle in their eyes.
That singularly cute quality must have been the reason that Bell Telephone chose Hawley for their high profile long distance ad campaign which ran over several years at the end of the 50's and into the early 60's...
...and no doubt those ads must have brought Hawley to the attention of The American Greeting Card Company. Though biographical information on Hawley is still sketchy, we know now that he spent the last decades of his career doing hundreds and hundreds of cutey-pie paintings for the greeting card behemoth.
If you grew up in the 1970's like I did, you probably held dozens of Pete Hawley illustrations like this one in your hands every Valentine's Day - and didn't even know it.
And in regard to Hawley's work for AGC, I've got some very interesting Pete Hawley news I'd love to share with you... unfortunately I'm not at liberty to reveal it just yet.
For now you'll have to satiate your cute tooth by dining on the images in my Pete Hawley Flickr set.