In 2012, Valerie McKeehan was a newlywed, creating a "McKeehan's Cafe" sign for her own kitchen when she discovered how much she loved creating chalk art and started an Etsy shop called Lily & Val. The small operation quickly turned into a big one and as the business grew, Valerie figured out how to turn these fleeting works of art into lasting pieces--by turning them into digital prints.
Today, you can find Lily & Val products in various forms, from greeting cards to phone cases including our 2015 Today Is Going to Be A Great Day calendar.
In a wonderful Huffington Post article, Valerie answered some questions about what her design process is and what inspires her the most. Those questions are included below:
Q. How would you describe your background and what has led you to this point in your career?
For as long as I can remember I've loved to create. Although I never pursued any formal drawing or art training, creativity was a big part of my childhood and always encouraged. I graduated from college with a degree in marketing and pursued a career in advertising. I owned a small agency with my now husband and when we got married I created a piece of chalk art for our kitchen on a whim. After hearing such a great response to this little sign, I decided to start Lily & Val as a hobby.
Q. How would you describe your creative process?
I think of ideas for new pieces all the time and record them in my phone. When I set out to draw something new, I'll choose the subject matter and roughly sketch out design concepts in pencil. Sometimes the quote in my mind will automatically dictate the design. I can literally envision the drawn words and illustrations. To most, my sketchbook looks like a bunch of scribbles, but it helps me solidify the design in my mind. I don't like to get too detailed in my sketch since elements and details arise during the process of putting chalk to slate. I never really know how the dustiness will shape the pieces, but it is this variety that produces drawings with character. Once I am happy with the chalk drawing, I photograph the artwork and bring it into Photoshop for minor editing and adding color. I use this digital file to create the products in my shop.
Q. What is your favourite medium to work in?
I love the simplicity of chalk art. It is literally dust on a surface, but watching a beautiful design emerge from that dust is rewarding.
Valerie McKeehan's beautiful chalk art is available in many forms, including, of course, our 2015 Today Is Going To Be A Great Day calendar. Also, wedding decorations, iPhone cases, prints, mugs, and paper goods!