Tracy Larsen

Shop Tracy's Ornaments
Tracey Larsen
Birch Reindeer ornament

Like most preschoolers, Tracy Larsen spent a lot of time with cartoons—but instead of just watching them, Tracy studied them! He spent his childhood hours drawing characters from The Flintstones™ and Peanuts®.

Hometown and school: I grew up in North Ogden, Utah, and received a fine arts degree in illustration from Brigham Young University. I moved to Kansas City and started working at Hallmark in 1987. I’ve been creating Keepsake Ornaments since 1995.

I first sculpted with clay-like kneaded erasers. I made my first serious sculpture, a bust of Muhammad Ali, while I was still a teenager. When I started making Keepsake Ornaments, I created sculptures in wax. Now, I sculpt almost entirely in a 3-D program.

Inspiration: I consider my main mentor my college art teacher, the noted fantasy artist, James Christensen. At Hallmark, I have the opportunity to work with some great people. I get to see the talent in the studio and draw on their expertise.

Favorite work of art (so far): That’s always a tough question. I have almost all of my ornaments in my office. I have some that have particular meaning to me…for example, a Santa behind a desk that has my daughter’s voice on it, has her names on the blocks and a caricature of her as a doll on a horse that rocks. On a personal level, that’s a lot of fun and I liked the way it turned out too.

One my other favorites is a Christmas village—a music box with a couple of vehicles going around the village “square.” One of them is a little Barker Dairy delivery truck, and that was for my mother’s family dairy. Growing up, I would go down to the barn and watch my uncle milk the cows. My dad would help out. So things like that have connections with me personally, and hopefully they’re fun ornaments.

Elf ornament
Santa's Roadster ornament

When I’m not working: I’m married and have five children. I enjoy traveling, especially to the national parks here in the United States. My wife and I have also taken a couple of trips to Europe, which we have really enjoyed and have served as inspiration.

I also love hot rods. So when the project team started on an ornament that would feature the song “Little Saint Nick” by The Beach Boys, turning Santa’s sleigh into a hot rod seemed like the perfect way to combine two worlds.

See the Tracy Larsen Keepsake Ornament collection

Fun Fact

Look in Tracy’s office and it isn’t hard to pinpoint his favorite nostalgia: hot rods. Over the years, he has collected quite a few wild cars with open engines and ridiculously fun designs. They take him back to the “weirdo” car culture of the 1960s.

“I’m definitely a big car enthusiast,” Tracy says. “I’m not a mechanic or anything. I just love how they look.”

Get insight into the backgrounds and inspirations of these featured Hallmark artists.

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