Susan WielandShop Now
Title: Hallmark Production Artist
Date started at Hallmark: 1996
Date started at Keepsakes: 1998
Hometown: Aurelia, Iowa
People who knew Susan Wieland as a child might have guessed she would end up as a Keepsake Technical Artist someday, given her passion for finely executed artistic work.
“When I was very young, I loved to color in coloring books. I never went outside the lines and I outlined everything. I was very detail-oriented, even then,” Susan says. “When I was old enough to be trusted to use paint, my mother would take me to the stationery store to buy paint-by-number kits. I think I painted every one that they had. My biggest accomplishment was finishing the paint-by-number of da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper.’ My grandfather was a carpenter so he framed it, and it still hangs in my mother’s home.”
Being encouraged in her artistic pursuits is only one of Susan’s fond memories of growing up in northwest Iowa that inspire her work on Keepsake Ornaments. She also has many warm thoughts of Christmas celebrations filled with good food and lots of family.
“Stomping through the snow-packed hills with my dad to cut down my favorite tree was unforgettable,” she says. “I loved going tobogganing and ice skating with my cousins. We’d be so cold but having too much fun to quit. Then we would go in the house to warm up by the stove and dry out our mittens for later in the day…only to do it all again.”
Coming to Hallmark as a store installation coordinator seems a far cry from an artistic job, but that’s what Susan did for two years before joining the Keepsake Studio. She worked for eight years before taking a five-year hiatus as a freelance artist, but returned to Hallmark in 2011 and is very grateful for the chance to do so.
“The whole creative atmosphere is great here. It’s a combination of being with talented, great people and getting to do what you love,” she says. “I’ve loved to paint since I was a kid, so this is just a dream come true.”