Valerie Shanks

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Keepsake Artist Valerie Shanks

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Valerie Shanks

Title: Hallmark Production Designer
Date started at Hallmark: 2006
Date started at Keepsakes: 2007
Hometown: St. Joseph, Missouri

Valerie buys her grandchildren paint-by-number sets, it does more than just save her more expensive supplies from misuse—it reminds this veteran Keepsake Ornament artist of when she was first inspired to try painting herself. "My mom used to do those all the time. I was about 5 or 6 when I remember her doing one for her mother...she was very patient about it!"

The art gene is particularly strong in Valerie's family. Parents, children and grandchildren are all creative in their own ways. Although her husband's job brought her to Kansas City, it was her husband's uncle, who worked at Hallmark, that gave Valerie the final push she needed to begin her career.

After working in engraving for a number of years, Valerie returned home to raise her children. She did freelance work for the Keepsake Studio when she had the time, which made joining the studio years later like more of a homecoming than a new job!

Valerie is particularly enthusiastic about working with her hands. "Sculpting is my favorite. When I was in fifth grade, I fell in love with sculpting and I have had a passion for it ever since." Her bubbly personality and devotion to her craft is seen in each of her Keepsakes, whether it's one of her more adorable creations or a detailed sci-fi scene.

Find Keepsake Ornaments at your local Hallmark Gold Crown store.

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