Have you ever walked into a store and it creates a feeling within you? Sometimes with the way the store is decorated, it gives off a vibe. When you see pink, purple and red you know Valentine’s Day is coming. Pastel hues? Easter and spring is around the corner. Beach balls, sunglasses and swimwear? Summer is on the way.
We react to these holidays and seasons depending on how we feel about them, and our past experiences. And that’s what happens when I walk into a candy store. I get this cozy feeling of nostalgia. There’s one store in particular that does that for me, and it’s called the Confectionery in Seattle. The shelves are lined with glass apothecary jars filled with candy. You won’t see prepackaged brand names like Snickers or Milky Way. I spent many of my college days in that store. And I especially enjoyed discovering new candies.
It’s been decades since I’ve been in that candy store. And I have visited others since. That’s the inspiration for this illustration. I wanted the overall feel to be one that captures the festivity of the holidays, and the nostalgia of a storefront. It’s becoming more rare in this day and age of online ordering. And I know greeting cards are also becoming rare. But I still love designing for them. You can’t re-read a text the same way you do with a greeting card. Facts.
It’s taken me a year to complete this design. I knew I wanted to have a child looking into the store. But I didn’t have a clear vision of the design concept. I started by drawing apothecary jars in their vintage shapes. I sketched shelves filled with candy. Then I decided to mix it up by adding toys like stuffed plushes and a train. Little by little it started coming together.
Once I had the inside done I focused on the storefront. Should I have a bay window, or a flat one? Bricks walls or stone? Should I show a door entrance? People shopping inside? In the end I opted to have the display window as the focal point. Then I had the store empty of people. I wasn’t sure if having them in would make it look too busy.
Than for the child. Should I have a group of children? A trio? Singing carolers? In the end I opted for a single child. Then I had the idea to have a dog, like maybe they were on a walk and happened to pass the store. They were drawn in so they step to the window for a closer look. I drew the child in a neutral way, so it could be interpreted as either a boy or a girl.
Then for the dog I envisioned a scruffy smaller one. I thought it would be cute to have a Scottie dog, but the black was too much contrast to the rest of the scene. I ended up with a terrier-like dog with hues of gray. I also considered adding a second dog, maybe if I do a revision of this scene I’ll add another.
I also thought about adding small birds. It would be cute to have a few perched in the foliage. Maybe buntings or sparrows. Or even a bluebird. That’s something I’ll save for the next revision.
The greeting card is available in the store, and can also be ordered from Zazzle. The great thing about ordering from Zazzle is that you can customize the text, both in front of the card as well as inside. You can add photos. You can even order the illustration on a postcard or puzzle. So many options!