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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

The First Day of Hess-mas

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Its no secret that I'm very fond of Lowell Hess - both the man, and his art. Lowell spent the last decades of his career working on staff as a paper engineer, designer, and in-house illustrator at a greeting card company called Graphics3. There he designed countless cards and calendars - many with Christmas themes, like this one below - which Lowell created back in the early 1980s.


Many years before Lowell stopped freelancing he was already the go-to guy for delightful Santa Claus pictures. Here's a wonderful Christmas illustration he did for Collier's magazine back in 1953...



Lowell did 22 covers for Boys' Life. This one, from December 1961, was one of his last.


Here's another Santa; this time from 1968. You can see how Lowell was changing his style to try to keep up with the times. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, he found it increasingly difficult to land steady, well-paying assignments. His situation was typical of many illustrators during those times. That dearth of work was what ultimately lead to Lowell giving up on freelance illustration and taking the full-time job at Graphics3.


Normally, as the holiday season approaches, its become a tradition for me to do a "Countdown to Christmas" here on Today's Inspiration. With things being so tumultuous in my life this year I just didn't manage to pull the material together in time. Instead, with Christmas fast approaching, let's enjoy "The Three Days of Hess-mas"... and that'll be it for 2009!

* My Lowell Hess Flickr set.

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