Retro Christmas Cards inspired by Midcentury Memories
October 2, 2021 – If you grew up in the 1950s, ‘60s or ‘70s, you’ll remember shiny tinsel trees, atomic age ornaments and frustrated fathers trying to figure out which faulty bulb to replace in order to fully illuminate their tangled string of colorful holiday lights. Back then the anticipation for Christmas was palpable. In recent years, however, many have turned to nostalgia to re-live those festive days gone by.
Modtraveler.net guest writer and artist, Diane Dempsey, shares with us her take on the holiday nostalgia craze and how she turned her own Yuletide memories and love of Midcentury Modern into a thriving seasonal business …
The sense of style that developed during the mid-century era was different than anything that came before. The lines were simple and clean, the spaces were open, the colors were fresh and popped in contrast to the traditional times that preceded them. These elements and other influences inspired me to create my Mid-Century Modern Retro Christmas Cards and related products.
My Mid-Century Modern house illustrations were a peek into an era that I remember fondly. The memories of these childhood days of the 1960’s, with all the heady excitement of Christmas looming in the near future, lives on with me as I sit down to sketch the next Retro Christmas Card.
“Be home before dark,” Mom would say. As we rambled home from a day playing in the snow, right at twilight, we passed the warmly lit homes a-glow with holiday lights. This memory is a treasured recollection that inspires my Christmas illustrations. In each scene I imagine a family gathering in celebration of their holiday. Putting up the lights, bringing home the tree, waking on Christmas morning, throwing a memorable party… all scenes that I hope you can place yourself in as I did when I illustrated them.
A great deal of research is done to create these illustrations, and I am inspired by the great architects of the era. I take liberties with the architecture by peeling open the fronts of these homes to reveal the festivities inside. I love seeing neighborhoods at Christmas and looking at the holiday lights, it especially charms me to see the silhouettes of families inside the houses though the picture windows. That is the inspiration behind my Retro Christmas scenes.
My fascination with the imagery of a Christmas witnessed at the magic hour brought about a long dreamed of product for the Retro Christmas Card Company – The Retro Christmas Village. I created this village collection to bring my illustrations to life. I am proud to say this, as I worked for years perfecting the process that created this magical mid-century panorama. It was my goal to represent the era that I remember from the 1960s, and to illuminate these scenes from my memories of Christmas past.
I hope my artwork will bring back fond Christmas memories and bring a smile to your face.
by Diane Dempsey
To check out Diane’s Retro Christmas Card Company, visit her website at retrochristmascardcompany.com
Place your order early, she sells out every year!